Tag Archives: Texas

Tips to Help Cut Back on Energy This Fall

As the summer is quickly coming to an end, and fall approaches we put together a list of easy to do tips that may help you cut back on your energy usage this fall.

  • Give your heating system a check-up. As we get closer to the fall season, we suggest you give your heating system a maintenance check. This will help determine if your system needs to be updated or if any repairs will be required to ensure the system is running smoothly.
  • Seal any air leaks. Walk around your home checking for air leaks. Use caulk as one way of sealing any air leaks. You could save between 10% – 20% in energy usage when you seal all opening, especially around the windows.
  • Lower the temperature. Before you leave the house, make sure you lower your thermostat by 10 degrees. Remember to turn it back up when you come back home. By implementing this easy tip, it could help you save close to 10% on your heating bill.
  • Check your home’s insulation. Did you know that properly installed insulation helps reduce heating costs in your home? By checking the insulation of your home it can help cut back on your energy usage this fall.

General tips are taken from the below sources and are not independently verified by Champion Energy. Dollar and usage savings are estimates and are based on, but not limited to the following: home profile information, performance assumptions, third-party resources, and the average regional cost for electricity. Savings are not guaranteed, are subject to change, and may vary.

Sources: http://porch.com/advice/5-tips-saving-energy-fall/

https://energy.gov/energysaver/fall-and-winter-energy-saving-tips

 

 

Get Ready for Hurricane Season

Hurricane Season in TexasAs anyone who lives in coastal Texas knows, summer means hurricane season. Officially, hurricane season runs June 1 – November 30.

The Weather Channel (weather.com) predicts an above average 2013 hurricane season. Their pre-season forecast calls for 16 named storms, 9 or which are expected to become hurricanes, including 5 major hurricanes (Category 3 or higher on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale).

Hurricane Season Preparation

There are some simple things you can do to prepare for a hurricane, like buy batteries for flashlights, buy canned goods that are easily prepared, or purchase (and keep charged) a spare battery for your cell phone.

Your Hurricane Readiness Kit should include:

  • Flashlights & extra bulbs
  • Battery-operated radio
  • Battery-operated lanterns
  • Batteries (in different sizes!)
  • Matches
  • First aid kit
  • Duct tape & scissors
  • Rain gear
  • Clock (wind-up or battery-powered)
  • Plastic garbage bags
  • Can Opener
  • Extra blankets
  • Heavy gloves

When you hear that a hurricane is approaching, don’t wait until the last minute. Get prepared by buying a supply of non-perishable food for each person for 3-7 days. Don’t forget pet food, drinks and prescriptions!

Champion Energy has created a resource page for customers who want to plan ahead.

Allergies, Asthma and Air Filters

Running the AC and changing filters will help you fight allergies and asthma symptoms caused by pollen.

Running the AC and changing filters will help you fight allergies and asthma symptoms caused by pollen.

Here in Texas, a mild winter is often considered a perk that balances out our hot summers, but this year’s warmer than average winter is having an uncomfortable side effect according to this article in the Houston Chronicle. The Chronicle reports that allergies and allergy related asthma symptoms are on the rise as Texas trees like oak, elm and ash enjoy a longer pollinating season. This naturally occurring irritant bothers many of us with itchy eyes, runny noses and coughing. Even for those with less dramatic allergy symptoms, the pollen can trigger immune responses that often leave our bodies more susceptible to common viruses like the cold (at least that seems to have happened last week at Champion Energy’s offices). Now, you may be wondering why Champion Energy is writing about allergies, asthma and pollen in the first place. Well the answer is pretty simple. Some of the most commonly recommended ways to make your home a healthy haven from pollen (like replacing air filters and using HEPA air purifiers) also affect your electricity bill.

Tips for pollen proofing your home.

  • Limit your time outside when pollen counts are highest (early morning and late afternoon).
  • Use a HEPA air filtration system in your bedroom.
  • Vacuum, dust and mop often.
  • Run the central air conditioner often and change your HVAC filters more frequently.

Reviewing this list of tips you’ll notice right away that all of them require you to spend more time indoors and to use more energy. Let’s review these tips one at a time and consider ways to protect your health and also protect your wallet.

Limit your time outside when pollen counts are highest (early morning and late afternoon).

The good news is that you can offload much of your home energy expenses during the spring by extending your day away from home. Check for free before and after school programs for your children such as extra art or music lessons, or additional study time for those looming standardized tests. A play date or study session at a friend’s house after school is another way to keep your kids away from the pollen without increasing electricity consumption at home. For you, consider taking advantage of that gym membership you bought in a fit of ambition in January, or impress your boss with longer hours a few days a week.

Use a HEPA air filtration system in your bedroom.

A HEPA filter in your bedroom will capture pollen and keep it out of the air you breathe, but, according to the EPA, a standard room air purifier, operating continuously, uses approximately 550kWh per year in electricity. Even at Champion Energy’s low electric rates, that is a cost of over $50 per year in energy costs. The good news is, you can use the Energy Star website to find a HEPA purifier that is up to 40% more efficient.

Vacuum, dust and mop often.

If you experience serious allergies or asthma, then you may have already been given the advice to replace your carpet with tile or hardwood floors. While that doesn’t save you any effort or cost in the short run, sweeping and mopping use less electricity than vacuuming.

Run the central air conditioner often and change your HVAC filters more frequently.

Running your air conditioner helps capture pollutants from the air, but this effort only helps if you have an air filter that will catch air borne irritants and keep them from being re-circulated into your home. Look for filters with a Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV rating) over 9 to achieve better filtration, but be cautious about choosing a filter with a MERV rating higher than 12, because this level of filtration may actually hinder the efficiency of many home air conditioning systems. Consult an HVAC specialist for a recommendation optimized for your home’s HVAC system. Champion Energy also recommends that you change your air filters often, because a filter clogged with captured particles and allergens like pollen will also reduce your home’s energy efficiency.

For additional money saving tips to keep your home energy efficient this spring, you can also read our article on Spring Energy Efficiency Tips, or consider switching to an affordable electricity plan, with exceptional customer service, from Champion Energy.