We’re in the heat of summer, and that probably means you’re looking for ways to save on utility bills. Trying to keep up with the summer sun can feel like a losing battle for a few months of the year, but there are steps you can take to keep those bills in check this season when you live in the Hill Country.
Work with the sun
You know the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. Opening and closing windows and window coverings at the right times of day can help to keep areas of your New Braunfels new home cooler. Pay special attention to rooms where windows on opposite or adjacent walls can give you cross-ventilation. If your window coverings aren’t sufficiently controlling the heat, adding lined drapes to your window covering package can help.
Kiss your oven goodbye
Anything that raises the temperature of your house makes it harder for your A/C to cool it and, in turn, costs you more money. Your oven is a prime example. Instead, use the microwave, use a smaller appliance like the toaster oven or slow cooker, or head outside and fire up the grill.
“Nothing is more energy efficient for cooking than your microwave,” said Consumer Energy Center. “It uses two-thirds less energy than your stove.”
Or, choose not to cook at all and use it as a great excuse to check out some of those great New Braunfels restaurants.
Limit water heater use
The oven isn’t the only thing heating up your home. Your water heater is a huge culprit when it comes to high bills throughout the year. According to Bankrate, running the water heater “accounts for about 14 percent of your total power bill.” But that doesn’t mean you have to give up showers, laundry, or washing dishes. Taking a cooler shower, washing clothes in cold water, and limiting use of appliances during peak hours can help. One more tip from Bankrate: “Skip the ‘dry’ cycle on your dishwasher. Either hand-dry dishes as you put them away, or let evaporation do the work for you.”
Look for leaks
It’s rare for a brand-new home in the Hill Country to have any issues, but if something does come up, you’ll love having a home warranty. If you suspect you have a leaky faucet or toilet, call your warranty company right away. The longer you wait, the more you’ll pay in high utility bills because hot air is getting in or cold air is escaping.
Get the best out of your thermostat
You probably already have a programmable thermostat in your existing home and will in your new home. But are you using it properly? “When you use it, a programmable thermostat can save up to 10 percent per year from your heating and cooling bills, according to Bankrate. Invest a couple hundred dollars into a learning thermostat like Nest, and you can cut another 10 percent from your bill.
Raise the temperature
If you can stand it a little hotter in your home, the difference in your electric bill can be substantial. Experts say 78 degrees is the prime temperature to balance comfort and savings. When you’re away, set it to raise to 85 degrees.
Pay attention to your ceiling fan
Many people leave the fan running all day and night in the summer, whether they’re home or not. But that can actually increase your electricity usage.
“Many people aren’t aware that fans don’t actually cool the air; they just circulate it,” said US News. “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.”
Think about the outdoors
When choosing features for your new home in New Braunfels, consider adding a patio cover. This valuable new home feature will provide a shaded space to enjoy your back yard, and can also help lower the temperature inside your home, depending on where you place it, by deflecting the sun away from your windows.
Solar screens are another great choice to keep sun from penetrating windows. They block approximately 90% of UV rays—without blocking your views.
For more information, visit The Crossings. This 288-acre masterplanned community features two neighborhoods of new single-family homes in New Braunfels from Lennar with modern floorplans, spacious gathering areas, and coveted features like granite countertops and window coverings included in the price. An ideal location that feels private and serene but is close to shopping, restaurants, recreation, and I35 and amenities including a swimming pool, grassy play areas, and walking trails has helped make The Crossings New Braunfels’ most popular new community. These affordable new homes in New Braunfels are priced from the $230s.
For more information, visit The Crossings or click below to view all floorplans.