WIRED BLOG

10 Ways Houstonians Can Save 15% or More on Their Electric Bill

  • By proadAccountId-374328
  • 10 Jan, 2018

We all dread the day we receive that pesky electric bill in the mail, hesitating to open it for fear of the amount inside. According to Wallet Hub , the average energy bill in Texas is around $153 monthly. To some this may not seem like a great deal, but if you can save money, why not? We compiled a list of 10 easy, low budget ways to save at least 15% on your electric bill.


Seal Air Leaks with Weather Stripping. The first step to take to save energy is ensuring there are no air leaks in your windows or doors. Not only does this waste needed cool air or heat, but it can also add unnecessary charges to your bill. If you have leftover caulk or weather-stripping, start sealing those cracks! According to Energy.Gov , this could save you 5%-10% on your energy bill.


Check/Change Your Filters Regularly. This may go without saying for most of us, but for those who do not check their filters consistently, now is the time! Every other month or 4 times a year is what is recommended for changing home air filters. This is different for every home, so see what works best for you. There are some that say replacing the air filter monthly can be beneficial, however, unless you have severe allergies this is not necessary.

Unplug Electronics. Again, this should be pretty obvious, however, many of us are too busy with the rush of our day to think about something as simple as unplugging our electronics. The best solution is to have multiple plugs on an extension cord that can either be switched off or unplugged entirely. Although the devices may be turned off, if they are still plugged into an outlet they are drawing power from the circuit breaker, and thus, drawing change from your bank account.

 

Use Your Dishwasher Efficiently. There are many of us who run the dishwasher when it’s not completely full, but these are a few ways you can utilize it and save money on your energy bill. Hand wash/dry pots and pans as they take up too much space, thus wasting water and energy. Try rinsing your dishes well and waiting for a full load before running your dishwasher. Also, if you have a heat dry setting, changing it to air dry can also save energy. This all may seem counterproductive at first, but a little extra effort on your part will reduce energy costs down the road. Think of what you could do with the money you save!

 

Utilize Your Ceiling Fans. Texans have no problem using their ceiling fans, especially Houstonians. We do not see many days in Houston that don’t require having your AC on high, but when we do it is important to utilize your ceiling fans . If we happen to be blessed with a nice not-too-hot, not-too-cold kind of day, take advantage and open the windows to release all that stuffy air, which will also help ease the strain on your air filters or dehumidifiers.

Wash Your Clothes in Cold Water. Unless specifically instructed otherwise, it is easier on your electric bill to wash clothes in cold water, as well as the washer itself since it will not have to work as hard to heat water. This can save you up to $152 per year in energy costs. This doesn’t seem like much of a savings on its own, but combined with everything else on this list it can make a great deal of difference.

 

Hang Your Clothes to Dry. It’s so easy to throw the clothes in the dryer and be done with it, but it can be beneficial in many ways to hang-dry your clothes. Not only can it save wear and tear on your dryer, but it can reduce costs on your next energy bill as well. Some suggest an outside clothesline, however, with all the allergens in our Houston air, we do not suggest this. Instead, finding space indoors to hang-dry clothes is far more favorable for most. Although, this may be difficult for those living in smaller spaces, such as apartments or condos, but even changing your dryer to a lower heat setting can make a difference.

 

Use Heat-Generating Appliances at Night. This one can be a little tricky as everyone’s schedule differs immensely. For those who can incorporate this into their daily routine, it can make a great difference in saving energy and especially money. During the day, especially in Houston, using many heat-generating products, such as ovens, dryers, or the heating system itself, can strain your appliances as well as your wallet. Some utility companies, depending on your location, will even offer discounts for switching usage to off-peak times, typically after 8:00 pm. Call your provider today to see if this applies to you!

Replace Light Bulbs with LEDs or CFLs. The proper lighting can make a significant difference on your energy bill. According to a 2016 study from Energy.gov, switching to LED or CFL bulbs can save you up to 9% annually. Check out our blog post, giving you the rundown on LEDs vs. CFLS , and determine which will work best for your home. Also, consider all the rooms in your home before improving your lighting. Guest bedrooms or offices that are rarely used, for instance, will not necessarily need upgrading.


Utilize or Upgrade Your Thermostat. For some, replacing a thermostat may not be an option. However, by simply turning back your thermostat 7-10 degrees from its normal setting, you can save up to 10% annually on your energy bill, regardless of the type. If you are able to replace your thermostat, there are many options and most are programmable. Homes with electrical resistance systems require thermostats capable of handling 120-volt or 240-volt circuits, so keep this in mind should you decide to upgrade. Ultimately, maintaining a moderate temperature setting, whether in the summer or winter, is the most cost-effective practice.

 

Not everything on this list may work well for you, but every Houstonian can find at least one thing on this list that will help them save energy, and especially money.


*Savings will vary depending on home, products, climate, and usage.


Wired Electrical Services

By proadAccountId-374328 10 Jan, 2018

We all dread the day we receive that pesky electric bill in the mail, hesitating to open it for fear of the amount inside. According to Wallet Hub , the average energy bill in Texas is around $153 monthly. To some this may not seem like a great deal, but if you can save money, why not? We compiled a list of 10 easy, low budget ways to save at least 15% on your electric bill.


Seal Air Leaks with Weather Stripping. The first step to take to save energy is ensuring there are no air leaks in your windows or doors. Not only does this waste needed cool air or heat, but it can also add unnecessary charges to your bill. If you have leftover caulk or weather-stripping, start sealing those cracks! According to Energy.Gov , this could save you 5%-10% on your energy bill.


Check/Change Your Filters Regularly. This may go without saying for most of us, but for those who do not check their filters consistently, now is the time! Every other month or 4 times a year is what is recommended for changing home air filters. This is different for every home, so see what works best for you. There are some that say replacing the air filter monthly can be beneficial, however, unless you have severe allergies this is not necessary.

By proadAccountId-374328 03 Jan, 2018

It’s been more than four months since Hurricane Harvey, which destroyed several homes and businesses in Houston and surrounding areas. It is estimated that somewhere around 30,000 to 40,000 homes were seriously damaged from the unforgiving storm. Although most are in the remodeling process by now, it is a slow and often difficult one. Our hearts go out to each and every family affected by this monstrous storm. Here is some helpful advice to get our fellow Houstonians through it as quickly and easily as possible.

 

First things first, before starting ANY remodeling, most areas of Houston will require a city permit . This is to ensure that all electrical and other safety requirements are up to code. Our professionals at Wired can help you obtain a city permit, just let our administrative staff know that you will need one when you call.

 

Keep in mind that all electrical equipment in your home or commercial building is ruined. Only a licensed technician is capable of assessing and removing damaged electrical equipment. A full evaluation/estimate of the effected area is typically required before reconstruction can begin, especially for those with insurance claims. Do not just hire any electrician, make certain they are licensed and most importantly Insured . You’ve been through enough as is, so the less risk, the better. Our technicians are both licensed and insured for your protection.

By proadAccountId-374328 27 Dec, 2017

Many of us Houstonians often wonder what lighting is best, not only for our area, but in general to save us time, energy, and money. So which is better, LED or CFL? We gathered some information to weigh out the pros and cons of each.

By proadAccountId-374328 22 Dec, 2017
It’s that time of year again, and some of us have already overload a circuit breaker! Overloaded outlets are one of the top three causes of electrical fires every year. So, we compiled some helpful tips to avoid tripping a breaker in the future. Before we can discuss best practices for avoiding this, we first need to look at how and why this happens.

In an ever advancing world, we are constantly being introduced to more and more technology; most of which require electrical power . Let’s face it, many of us are guilty of overusing extension cords for our phone charger, tablet charger, lamps, or even devices like the new Google Home, all on the same circuit. Every one of these appliances use a specific amount of amperage, and it is best to research ahead of time to see how much they require as well as how much your circuits are designed to handle .Circuit breaker sizes vary between 15 to 6,000 amps, so it is crucial to know what size circuit breaker you have. Just as important, you need to know if the wiring is adequate for the breaker. Electrical wire cannot support the amount of power flow from a breaker of greater size, especially with outlets containing overused extension cords. The wire will overheat, resulting in a power short or even an electrical fire.

Now that we know what the causes are, let’s look at some preventive measures . One commonly asked question is if a 15 Amp plug can be used on a 20 Amp circuit . If there are multiple receptacles on a 20 Amp circuit, the receptacles can be either 15 or 20 Amp (aside from some exceptions). This will allow you to have multiple devices plugged in drawing less than 15 Amps each, but the total draw on the circuit may be greater than 15 Amps . To ensure your home’s safety, it is always best to match the correct sizes and amperage for your breaker. Most important, it’s beneficial to have a licensed technician handle it for you. There are many projects that can be DIY, however, electrical wiring is not .

If you have any questions regarding the proper circuit breaker size for your home, please give us a call and one of our experts will be happy to assist you! We want to make sure your home is protected from any potential hazard, especially an electrical one.
By proadAccountId-374328 19 Mar, 2010
Many people understand the inconvenience that comes with being without power; we rely on electricity for just about every facet of our daily lives, but few take the time to prepare for all the headaches power-loss can cause. Money lost on spoiled food, stereo and video equipment damaged during power surges, etc... these are all things that can be avoided by taking the right preventative steps. 

Having a generator installed in your home is key to an easy mind during any storm or power loss. However, each home is different, and must be assessed accordingly, so when looking for a generator for your home, you want to make sure it's the "right" fit. 

The most logical way to determine your needs is to envision your home without power. Some outages may be short in duration, while others could last for days or weeks. What would you like your living conditions to be? What are you most concerned about? What do you feel will be necessary to keep powered and what can you perhaps do without? While compiling your list and ideas, try and separate them into two lists, your wants and your necessities. Any estimator can supply you with a quote for installing a generator that will accommodate your basic necessities against a quote that provides you a generator allowing for a little more comfort. With detailed prices in front of you, it is always much easier to make a decision and find the generator that fits your home perfectly. 
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