As the heat of our West Texas summer kicks in to full swing, we usually notice the sweat on our brow. Soon after, however, we may notice the increase in our utility bills!
Following are a few ways you may be able to beat the heat at home, & save your hard earned money too!
1. Natural shade.
For those of you contemplating buying a new home, I strongly recommend trees (or lack thereof) to be a consideration before you buy. You simply cannot replace the natural shade of established, mature trees. This is something that almost all new construction neighborhoods just can't offer. So, you should consider the real possibility that you may not be able to enjoy your new yard in the summer, and your utility bill may reflect the lack of shade between your home and that HOT West Texas sunshine!
For those considering a resale home, consider the current placement of trees and shrubs. Trees should shade the home and yard, not overwhelm it. Trees that appear overgrown and in need of attention probably haven't had the care they need over the years. That may mean you could be footing the bill for tree trimming and pruning, or even removal ($$$$!!)of sick or dead trees later on.
Healthy trees can have a big impact on being able to enjoy your yard all summer, and helping your air conditioning system operate more efficiently and your home stay cooler.
2. Make the most of cool nights.
When it's possible and safe, you might consider letting nature cool your home. Opening windows and doors may provide all the cool air you need at times. Why pay for it when God created it for all of us to enjoy?
3. Less is more.
Rooms that are not in use can have their supply vents closed to avoid wasting cool air on those areas of your home.
Don't close off areas with return air vents. Your heat/cooling system was designed to use these vents to provide air to the system.
4. Have you A/C system serviced regularly.
Though some companies recommend having your heating and cooling system serviced twice a year, at least annually should be your goal. By having it serviced on a regular basis, you are actually helping the system operate more efficiently and extending the lifespan of your heating/cooling system as well. (Read: save $$$ long term!)
5. Change the Filter!
In my opinion, air filters should be changed monthly in West Texas. I'm aware that many big box stores sell air filters that advertise their usefulness for 3 or even more months before you have to change them. I just don't believe those work well for the South Plains and the Permian Basin.
Too much wind. Too much dust.
The rules are different here. Even if you choose to invest in multi month air filters, I urge you to replace them monthly.
Hopefully, I've got you thinking! There's so much to consider when buying a home, and we certainly can't forget how our West Texas weather can affect our home too!