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of July found you enjoying great food, family, friends and fireworks. We are in the middle of a wonderfully green summer season, thanks to all the rain.

You likely noticed the temperatures have been in the 90’s. It’s typical for summer in West Texas. Certainly not Phoenix hot, yet enough to warrant keeping the air conditioning on for sure. So how do we keep our cool without blowing our top when the electricity bill arrives?

Because we all want to save money where possible, here are some ways you can keep your summer energy costs down.

Consider setting your thermostat higher. Personally, I love a colder room. But there’s a price for that. If you’ll set your thermostat higher, you’ll save money. For every one degree higher above 72 degrees, you can save approximately 1%-3% on your energy bill. Using the high end of that range, you could save up to 12% on your monthly energy bill by simply adjusting your thermostat from 72 to 76 degrees.

Another trick to stay cool after you set your thermostat higher is to make use of ceiling fans. By keeping the air moving in the room, you’ll stay cooler even when adjusting the thermostat to a higher setting.

Take advantage of off-peak hours. Many utility companies offer lower rates during off-peak hours. You can save money by running major appliances like dishwashers, clothes washers and dryers after 8 PM in the evenings.

If you have a swimming pool, cut back on the amount of time your filter and pump operate. Cutting back to a 4 hour schedule and then only on off-peak hours will save you money.

Use cold water to wash your clothes. With today’s technology in equipment and detergents, clothes don’t need hot water to get clean. Simply by setting your machine to rinse with cold water can save you 4% on your energy costs.

Set up an old fashioned clothes line. It’s a great childhood memory. Watching my Mom and Grandmother hang laundry out on the line to dry. Letting a summer breeze dry your sheets instead of an electric dryer will save you money.

When using the clothes washer, be sure you’re washing full loads. This applies to your dishwasher, too. Don’t run it for just a handful of iced tea glasses. Wait till you have a full load to wash. Also, clean out the lint screen on the clothes dryer. The freer the air flow, the more efficiently your dryer will run.

Turn off lights. Get in the habit of turning off the lights when you leave a room.

Do you have an old refrigerator in the garage? If you’re not using it for more than the occasional gallon of orange juice or a case of soda, unplug it and sell it. Older appliances tend not to be very energy efficient.

While we’re talking about refrigerators, did you know a full refrigerator and freezer are easier to keep cool?

Change the filter on your air conditioner. In windy, dusty West Texas we can’t emphasize this enough. Keeping a fresh filter on your AC system keeps your system from working harder than it needs to, lowering your energy costs. It also keeps dirt away from the interior of your system which, over time, can cause expensive breakdowns.

While we’re talking about air conditioners, here’s a couple energy related tips for saving money. Have your ductwork checked for leaks. Up to 25% of energy loss in air conditioning units comes from leaks in the ductwork. A professional HVAC company can inspect and seal your ductwork, resulting in big savings on your energy bill.

How old is your air conditioner? If it’s more than ten years old, you may want to consider replacing it with a new, energy efficient model. A professional HVAC company like Sinclair can inspect your existing unit to see if it’s still operating well and suggest solutions that may improve your situation.

Here at Sinclair, we are all about helping you keep your cool while keeping money in your pocket. Call us today and we will be happy to answer all your questions about cooling, heating and plumbing. 806-749-COOL (2665)

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