Energy Saving While on Vacation

Looking to enjoy a little vacation time soon? While many may have traveled for the holidays recently, some like to wait until January or February to get out and see the world.

If you’re looking to spend some quality time away from home, follow these tips to reduce energy use while you’re away and save yourself some money.

Thermostat

If you have a digital thermostat with a vacation mode, set it to that to reduce how often the heating system runs. It will only kick on as necessary to prevent things from getting too cold (and causing problems like burst water pipes).

Otherwise, lower the thermostat to about 60-62°F. The heat will turn on if it drops below that, but that won’t happen often (unless it’s really, really cold). Make sure to leave the fan on “auto” so it only operates when the heat is on, instead of

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Keep Warm for Less

Winter is upon us and lately we’ve been experiencing some pretty cold temperatures even here in Texas.

So what can you do to help keep your home warm this winter without having to crank up the heat and your heating bill?

Keeping Warm without Heating Up Your Energy Bill

There are a lot of ways to keep warm at home during the winter, including bundling up more and managing how your home uses heat.

First up, if you have a fireplace but don’t use it, close the damper. The damper functions like a medium-sized window being open all the time, and you don’t want your home’s heat getting sucked up the chimney.

Next, open up the curtains and let in as much sunlight as possible. Sunlight is a natural source of warmth, and the more you can warm your home with it during the day, the less

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Your 2017 Energy Savings Guide, Part 3: Landscaping

Landscaping may not be one of the first things you think of when it comes to saving money.

In the last entry of our 2017 Energy Savings Guide, we’re looking at how the right kind of landscaping and using natural boundaries and design can help you reduce your energy use all year long.

Shade

It’s pretty obvious that the sun is the cause of warming your house up during the summer and causing you to run the AC a lot.

Adjusting how and when the sun hits your home can help you save money in summer and winter, though.

Plant trees tall enough to shade your home on the south and west sides of the house. During the summer, they will shade your home and reduce solar heat gain.

In the winter, the leaves from these trees will fall off and allow more sunlight to hit the

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Your 2017 Energy Savings Guide, Part 2: Electronics and Lighting

Continuing our look at energy savings to bring you a 2017 guide to saving money, we’re going to examine electronics and lighting.

Lighting only accounts for a small amount of energy consumption, just about 5% in total. That doesn’t sound like a whole lot, but you can actually reap some pretty big savings in the long run.

Electronics and appliances on the other hand are a pretty significant portion of your energy bill, taking up to a quarter of your house’s energy use.

Lighting

Incandescent bulbs have been all but eradicated by this point. They were banned from sale about a decade ago, with the phase out increasing over the years.

In their place, CFL and LED bulbs have risen.

CFL bulbs, or compact fluorescent lamps, have been around for quite some time as an alternative to incandescent bulbs. Many of them are comparable in price to

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Your 2017 Energy Savings Guide, Part 1: Climate Control

It’s a new year, and what better way to kick it off than by saving money on your energy bills? Every dollar you save this year can go toward a vacation, new vehicle, or some other celebratory cause!

Reducing energy waste can save you hundreds to well over a thousand dollars over the course of a year.

In this first part of a trilogy of energy saving tips, we’ll go over how energy is consumed in your home on a regular basis and how to address the biggest offender.

Energy Use

There are several major parts of energy consumption in your home, the largest of which is heating and cooling your home.

This is the section that is best to focus on to save big bucks.

Water heating is the second highest single category of energy consumption. Your hot water tank is constantly operating, keeping the numerous

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Resolutions That Will Also Save You Electricity

Have you already picked out your New Year’s resolutions yet? If not, you’ve got a couple days left and we’ve got a few ideas for you. Some of these resolutions may sound like old clichés, but they all have an added benefit that you may not even consider before choosing it: saving electricity. And what’s an awesome side effect of saving electricity? Saving money! Boom! Two resolutions with one life change.

Sleep More

Most resolutions end up being something go-getting, but we say “kick back and relax.” Getting more sleep is actually good for you, especially if you don’t already get enough sleep to begin with. Try going to bed earlier and you’ll find that your late-night energy use will go down. As a bonus, you’ll wake up feeling more rested and ready to take on the day.

Spend More Time with Friends
Who doesn’t love

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Potentially Saving Over $400 per Year on Electricity

Saving energy by optimizing your home could easily pay for any upgrades in the first year or two of energy savings. Anything beyond that would be pure savings.

Airtight Home

Weatherstripping and sealing air leaks in your home could potentially save you $250 each year. In many cases, the savings will more than pay for any materials purchased to weatherstrip your home.

Target the areas where air escapes most:

window frames door frames HVAC ducts chimneys

You can use caulking or rubber gaskets to seal most air leaks, and most of them can be sealed by you. Some areas like the HVAC ductwork may require a professional technician, but the savings will be worth the service call.

Insulating your home will also keep more conditioned air inside and more unconditioned air outside your home. This will drastically improve comfort and reduce energy costs.

Maintenance

Proper maintenance of

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Cut Your Energy Costs in 2017

We’re here to help you kick off 2017 with some energy savings that can help you cut energy costs all year long. Some of these tips may require a small investment to increase energy savings, but others won’t cost you a penny and will turn pure profit instead.

Light Bulbs
Upgrading your existing light bulbs from incandescent ones to CFLs or LEDs will save you about 80% on your lighting energy use. Switching to LEDs specifically can potentially save you a lot more, as they can last up to 20 years without being replaced.

Weatherstripping
One of the biggest energy wastes in your home is lost climate controlled air. Winter or summer, the air in your house is always trying to equalize with the outside. You can use weatherstripping to prevent a good portion of that air from escaping by sealing the edges of windows

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Cold Weather Electricity Savings

Saving Money on Texas Electricity

First and foremost, lower temperatures means less need for AC. That is a big savings right there.

Your air conditioner accounts for about half of your energy bill each month, and if you don’t need to use it much, you can save big during the fall and winter.

In addition to not needing AC, you might come across a few colder nights that might make you want to turn up the heat.

Unfortunately, fireplaces are pretty inefficient when it comes to heating and the less you need to use your climate control system, the bigger your energy savings will be.

Bring out some thicker blankets for the overnight hours to stay warm all night long.

Find Cheap Electricity in Texas

Because of Texas electricity deregulation, you can pick your own retail electric provider, and this is a good time to do that.

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Hour of Code

In taking a break from the energy side of things, we’re looking into another important aspect that affects all of our lives: coding.

Nearly every major electrical part of your life is affected by coding in some manner. Just about every single home has a computer or mobile device, most modern cars have computers in them, smartphones are abundant . . . the list goes on.

Even in the world of electricity, coding is important because it is with this powerful tool that companies like Source Power & Gas and the many utility companies streamline the process of getting electricity to you.

As we continue on into the future, coding is going to become an ever bigger asset, and this is emphasized by the fact that children can start learning how to code before they even know how to read!

Through the brilliant minds of the people

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