Houston – Home energy bills are rising in this heat wave. One way to dismantle them is to get an energy audit to see where your home is wasting energy.
Related: Do you need to change power plans to save money?
You can pay a few hundred dollars for a professional energy audit. But some energy providers, such as Reliant Energy, offer home appraisals for free. Reliant showed us how you can make your own.
“This is an infrared thermometer. I can take a temperature reading and I can say 72.2 degrees right now and read Thermostat 71, so it’s pretty accurate,” said Arcadio Padilla with Reliant Energy.
The infrared thermometer, which you can buy for under $ 20, is one of the energy advisor devices like Arcadio Padilla.
They say ideally, the air temperature coming out of your air vents should be 15 to 20 degrees cooler than the air temperature.
“Something is wrong, less than 10 degrees. Then you have to get somebody out and look at your unit,” Padilla said.
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Another great energy-saving suggestion is to close the blinds and curtains, especially the thermal curtains, to prevent the sun’s heat.
The EPA says you can cut your bill by 33%, and Padilla agrees.
This means up to $ 82 on a $ 250 bill. A ceiling fan starts from as low as $ 30. Running clockwise can shave 4% to 8% of your bill. That’s up to $ 20 a month.
“It’s a lot cheaper to run a ceiling fan than to run air conditioning,” he said.
Related: “People don’t realize how much water is wasted,” Houston residents asked to conserve water
Padilla says don’t use a hot dryer on the dishwasher and don’t use an oven or cloth dryer on hot parts of the day.
“If you add heat and humidity during the hottest days of the day, it’s hard for an air conditioner to remove that heat and humidity,” he said.
As a rule of thumb, Padilla says in the summer, you should aim to use one kWh of electricity per square foot of your home.
“If you’re consuming one kWh per foot, you’re doing so much better. Less is better,” Padilla said. “If you’re consuming too much, there’s room for improvement.”
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You can call your energy supplier’s customer service to ask about a free audit.