20 simple and inexpensive ways to save on your energy bill

Set the AC to cool down after 7 p.m. , CPS Energy advises

Energy saving tips

SAN ANTONO – As we remain in unprecedented times, saving a few extra dollars each month on house bills helps tremendously.

CPS Energy has provided helpful tips on inexpensive actions that can help you save energy money during the summer and winter months.

Tips to conserve energy and lower your energy bill with your air conditioner:

When San Antonio has days with 100 degrees plus weather our natural instinct is to turn the AC way down, but you will most likely not like the result in your energy bill.

  1. Move the temperature on your air conditioner up a few degrees. When you are at home, 78 degrees is great, CPS Energy suggests.
  2. Use fans. They can make a room feel four to six degrees cooler.
  3. Run your ceiling fan blades in a counter-clockwise direction (as you look up at the fan.) Use a high speed to blow air straight down and get the best effect.
  4. Shade outside AC units or condensers. Keep out of the sun and hot air by making sure your windows and doors are closed tightly. Close blinds or drapes on windows that get direct sunlight.
  5. Keep your house warmer than normal when you are away. Set or program your air conditioning to be five degrees warmer when you’re gone for more than four hours.
  6. Avoid setting your thermostat at a colder setting than normal when you turn on your air conditioner. It will not cool your home down any faster and it wastes energy.
  7. Set the AC to cool down after 7 p.m. Aim for one to two degrees warmer than the final evening outdoor temperature.
  8. Limit your use of the vent fans above your stove and in your bathroom, because they pull in hot outside air, making your AC work harder.
  9. Check and/or replace your air filters every two weeks from May through October.
  10. Have your system inspected by a licensed and bonded professional at least twice a year -- in the spring and fall.

[Related: Tips on how to understand your energy bill]

Tips to conserve energy and lower your energy bill with water heating:

Unfortunately, taking a long, hot shower isn’t free -- it can easily run up your water and energy bills. Conserving water is key, especially when Bexar County is experiencing a drought. Try to conserve water to save on electricity as well.

  1. Take short showers or shallow baths.
  2. Use cold water as much as possible when using a dishwasher or washing machine.
  3. Buy a high-efficiency washing machine when you need a new washer.
  4. Check the setting on your water heater. The recommended setting for our area is 120 degrees. Also, check the unit for possible leaks.
  5. Wrap an old water heater with an insulation jacket to decrease its heat loss. Insulating the water pipes also can help.
  6. Don’t leave the hot water running when shaving or rinsing dishes. This will reduce the amount of energy needed to heat the water and save on your water expenses as well.
  7. Wait to wash dishes and clothes until you have a full load.
  8. Install a low-flow showerhead or faucet aerator to not only save water, but to reduce water heating costs.
  9. Try a natural gas water heater for better efficiency. You can take advantage of CPS Energy’s natural gas rebates.
  10. Consider a tankless water heater system. Tankless units heat water directly, without the use of a storage tank -- saving energy and water, reducing both of your utility bills.

To learn more tips on how to save on your energy bill, click here.