Invest to Save
Lower your energy use by committing to enhancements that offer long-term rewards. Some efficiency improvements may require a higher up-front cost and the help of trained professional installers with the savings difference paid back over time through lower energy bills.
Educate yourself and enhance your property.
R-Value is a measure of the capacity of a material to resist heat transfer. Higher R-values keep more cool air in during summer and warm air in during winter. Before hiring a contractor to evaluate the insulation in your attic, walls, and crawlspace, educate yourself on Insulation Basics.
Appliance Shopping Guide:
Appliances older than five years may be costing you money. Today’s ENERGY STAR® refrigerators use half as much energy as ones made in the 90s. Appliances with the ENERGY STAR label have the same features and functionality as non-labeled products but use less energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Look on the label for annual energy costs and compare to similar models. For an easier shopping trip, research online first with ENERGY STAR Shopping Guides.
Building Green Homes:
Green building means improving the way that homes use energy, water, and materials to reduce impacts on the environment. Building a green home means making environmentally friendly and sustainable decisions throughout the building process – decisions that will minimize the environmental impact of the home while it is being built and over the many years it will be lived in. Begin your green building education here: A Green Home Begins with ENERGY STAR Blue.
An old-fashioned clothes line is an inexpensive first step on the path to reducing dependence on non-renewable energy sources. As the next step, learn more about other renewable energy options. Check with your local utility for greener energy choices. Work with your homeowners association to develop a renewable energy plan for your community. And when planning remodeling or when building your next home, take advantage of Texas’ rich renewable energy sources.
New Heating/Cooling Systems:
If your central air conditioning unit is more than 12 years old, replacing it with an ENERGY STAR qualified model could cut your cooling costs by 30%. But remember, bigger is not always better. An oversized AC system runs in short cycles never reaching efficiency, costing you more and removing less humidity for less comfort. Consult with an HVAC professional for appropriate system sizing and educate yourself about Central Air Conditioning, Room Air Conditioners, Heaters and more.
Windows provide no-cost day lighting, ventilation, and solar heating in the winter, but they can also account for 10–25% of your heating and cooling bill. During the Texas summer, your air conditioner must work harder to cool hot air from sunny windows. Closing your drapes may not be enough. ENERGY STAR and low-e windows can cut the cooling load by 10–15%. Learn How To Shop for Windows.
Water Heater Options:
Water heating is the third largest energy expense in your home. It typically accounts for about 12% of your utility bill. There are four ways to cut your water heating bills: use less hot water, turn down the thermostat on your water heater, insulate your water heater, or buy a new, more efficient model. See Water Heater Energy Savers and Tankless Water Heaters.