If you’re looking to cut energy costs for the summer season, here are nine useful methods that will save you money without sacrificing comfort:

1. Plug any holes you may have in your house. Use plastic film on any drafty windows or just replace them if you have the budget, as leaking air is one of the biggest ways energy gets sucked out of your house and costs you money. Foam and caulk any other problem areas you see, like gaps around your doors and windows and around your outlet plates.

2. Close the shades. Anything that keeps the sunshine from coming directly into your house will help lower your energy costs.

3. Keep your filters clean. You should check your AC filter at least once a month to make sure it’s clean and you should be replacing it as necessary. This way your air conditioner isn’t working twice as hard to circulate cool air throughout your house.

4. Program your thermostat. If you aren’t home, you obviously don’t need it to be as cool as when you’re there, so feel free to raise the temperature a little bit. Only about half of all people actually take advantage of their programmable thermostat, which is unfortunate because it’s a cheap and effective way to reduce energy costs. Also, overhead fans can circulate and cool air a lot more cheaply than a low thermostat, so don’t forget to use them if you have them or install a couple to help keep your air just how you like it.

“If you aren’t home, you obviously don’t need it to be as cool as when you’re there.”

5. Unplug, unplug, unplug. Computers, TVs, mobile devices, and any other devices such as these that are plugged in can use up energy while they’re not in use. Unplug them when you don’t use them and you’re not around so they’re not drawing energy while you’re not there.

6. Cut back on oven usage. Using a grill or outdoor cooktop instead will reduce the amount of heat being generated in your house.

7. Turn down the thermostat on your water heater. Lowering the temperature from—say—130 degrees to 115 degrees can save you around $50 a year, which can add up over the long term.

8. Get your HVAC tuned up. Don’t ignore your air conditioner until something goes wrong with it, because if it malfunctions when it’s 100 degrees out in San Antonio, you’ll want someone to fix it right away, and it will probably cost you a lot of money to get that done.

9. Upgrade your systems.This means things like changing your light bulbs and replacing major appliances like your refrigerator, washer, or dryer. If and when you do, make sure you check out the energy efficiency rating of these items before you buy another so its replacement has a higher rating.

If you have any questions about cutting summer energy costs or you’re thinking about buying or selling a home in the San Antonio market, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I’d be glad to help you.