Six Tips to Lower Your Electric Bill, Despite the Houston Heat

Do you cringe every time you get a piece of mail from Reliant?  Are you finding yourself sweating just walking from your front door to your car?

If the answer is “yes,” you’re probably living in Houston in August.  If you’re in the Heights or one of our other historic neighborhoods in Houston, you know the challenges of keeping cool in the summer.  Here are 6 tips to lower your electric bill.

1.  Plant a tree.  This will help keep your attic space cool and shade the light coming in through your windows.  If your outside condenser is in the shade, it will help, too.  Of course, don’t plant trees too close to the house – the roots are bad for the foundation, and the branches can be bad for your roof, but that’s another article.

2.  Invest in solar screens, in particular on the west and east side of the house.  They really do work.

3.  Get a fan.  Box fans, although they may not match your decor, will help circulate the air.  They’re lightweight, so you can move them around the house, and they don’t use a lot of electricity.  

4.  Eat food that doesn’t have to be prepared, such as sandwiches and salad.  Not only will healthy eating help you feel better, but avoiding the stove top and oven will help keep the house cooler.

5.  Try not to run your dishwasher, vacuum, and clothes dryer during the heat of the day.  Wait until the sun goes down, so your thermostat isn’t working overtime.

6.  Fill up a spray bottle with ice water and spritz it on your hair and the back of your neck. Hot showers will produce more heat and humidity than you want to trap in your house, so keep the water temperature down and keep it snappy.

Here’s hoping you keep cool this summer!  Got any other energy saving tips?  Feel free to comment below!