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8 Ways to keep electric bills down in San Antonio this summer

Posted by Mission del Lago on Jun 21, 2016 9:23:25 AM

The South Texas sun can get hot—that we all know. But we’re not all aware of simple ways we can cut our electricity use, which can mean lower bills, even in peak usage times. Follow these tips to keep cool in your new San Antonio home without breaking the bank.

1. Raise your air conditioning by a few degrees

If you can handle raising the temperature by a few degrees, you can save some money. For the maximum balance of comfort and savings, “Set your thermostat to 78 degrees when you are home and 85 degrees or off when you are away,” said the Consumer Energy Center.

2. Get the best out of your thermostat

Using your thermostat efficiently can help you manage the temperature and keep your electric bill in check. Investing in a learning thermostat like Nest can make an even greater difference. “Nest retails for about $250, and the company’s website claims it can cut down electricity bills by about 20%,” said Fox Business.

3. Run appliances in off hours

Doing the laundry or running the dishwasher in the heat of the day creates extra effort for your air conditioner. You can maximize efficiency by waiting until peak hours are over and using the dishwasher and washer and dryer between 9pm and 8am.

4. Do laundry in cold water

According to Bankrate, running the water heater “accounts for about 14 percent of your total power bill.” You can lower it using less hot water—washing your clothes in cold water, taking cool showers, and also skipping “the ‘dry’ cycle on your dishwasher."

5. Banish your oven and stove

Turning on the oven and stove can also raise the temperature in your kitchen, and make it harder for your A/C to work efficiently. Using a toaster oven or, even better, a microwave, will help. “Nothing is more energy efficient for cooking than your microwave,” said Consumer Energy Center. “It uses two-thirds less energy than your stove.”

And just think—with all your savings, you can go out to dinner and try out the best restaurants in San Antonio instead of cooking!

6. Turn off the ceiling fan

“That is, when you aren't home,” said US News. Many people aren’t aware that fans don’t actually cool the air; they just circulate it. “So when you're at home, by all means, let your fans whirl away. But to let the blades spin for hours on end when you're gone—that just adds to your electric bill.”

7. Check for leaks

You probably won’t have this issue with a brand new home on the Southside, but you never know when a child or pet will pull on some weather stripping and create an air leak. According to Energy.gov, “You can save as much as 30% of energy usage through proper insulation and air sealing. A DIY home energy audit can help you determine if you have a leak that needs to be addressed.

8. Take it outside

When choosing your features for your new home in San Antonio, consider adding a patio cover, which will provide a shaded space to enjoy your back yard, and can also help lower the temperature inside your home depending on where you put it.

Solar screens are another recommended feature for sun-facing windows. They block approximately 90% of UV rays—without blocking your views.

For more information, visit Mission del Lago. This masterplanned community offers new homes in San Antonio starting at just $160,000, with all the space and features homebuyers are looking for. New releases like D.R. Horton’s Express Homes and chic offerings from Lennar give buyers numerous options, while the convenient Southside location and community amenities are counted by homeowners as just a few of the desirable reasons to call Mission del Lago home.

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Topics: energy efficiency, South Side, new home in san antonio