Spring is nice for more than a few reasons: flowers are blooming, you can open windows for crisp air and your energy bill is usually at its lowest. That’s because you’re not using your furnace or cooling.

But as temperatures begin to increase, so do your energy bills. Here are a couple of ideas for saving energy in Houston and keeping bills lower.

1. Schedule Seasonal AC Maintenance

Giving your AC system an annual tune-up can help it work more efficiently and trim costs. Replacing your air filter will help keep utility bills less expensive.

If your cooling equipment has experienced better days, spring is a good time to upgrade it. The energy-saving features in newer cooling systems is a big advantage for keeping your utility bill down.

2. Turn Down Your Thermostat

There’s a painless way you can save up to 10% on home comfort charges. Just dial your thermostat back 7–10 degrees for 8 hours each day.

Learning how to efficiently schedule your thermostat is the best way to cut down on energy charges in the summer.

  • Set your thermostat as high as comfortably possible when you’re at home. Consider it this way, the smaller the difference between outdoor temperatures and inside temperatures, the less expensive your energy bill will be.
  • When you’re not at home, set the thermostat to a significantly higher temperature or shut it off. You shouldn’t have to cool an empty house.

3. Try Other Approaches to Cool Your Space

You can try a couple other methods to help keep your house comfortable:

  • Use a ceiling fan-By using a ceiling fan, you can raise your thermostat setting an average of 4 degrees with no loss in comfort. Have your fan spin counterclockwise in the summer, which drives cool air upward. This distributes cool air more equally when you’re in the room.
  • Keep blinds closed—Sunlight quickly converts to heat as it passes through windows. Keep your house more comfortable by shutting blinds and curtains when you’re not sitting in sunny rooms.

4. Consider Installing a Smart Thermostat

You’ve left home and immediately realize you failed to turn up the thermostat. Then you worry about it the full day!

Smart thermostats learn your schedule and move the temp when you’re out and about to help you save energy and money. You can also adjust the temperature from anywhere with your phone.

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