Houston has some of the hottest temperatures in the United States. Because of this, residents have learned several techniques guaranteed to help them dial back the heat. From architectural features in their homes to saving money on their electric bill, the residents of Houston have it figured out.
Keep Cool for Less
There are a number of ways to bring down your electricity bill even if you are running the AC more frequently to keep your home cool. First, look for ways to improve your energy efficiency throughout the home. The most obvious energy wasters are typically large appliances such as the refrigerator, washer and dryer, stove, and water heater. However, there are little energy wasters that are probably slowing increasing your bill every month.
Go through the home and look for smaller appliances that are always plugged in and in sleep mode. This can include computers, televisions, printers, and gaming systems. Make it a policy to turn these types of devices all the way off when they are not in use or to unplug them altogether.
The lights in your home are another potential energy waster. As bulbs go dark, look for the most energy-efficient model to replace them. These will cost more initially but they typically reduce the energy requirement by at least half and have a substantially longer lifespan.
Texas residents have the added ability to shop around for their energy provider. It can really pay to visit a site that specializes in finding consumers the lowest energy rate in their area. Rates can vary by quite a bit and some companies have tempting incentives to persuade homeowners to switch companies.
Architectural Features to Consider
Home renovations are popular for a variety of reasons. Sometimes they are needed for cosmetic reasons such as repairing damaged drywall. Other times, they are necessary to make the home a better fit for the climate.
Homeowners who are interested in adding to their home should consider thick building materials such as adobe or concrete. These types of walls can provide an added layer of protection from the heat and keep the interior space cooler for longer periods of time with less energy expenditure.
Large southern porches have been popularized in literature and films for decades. This isn’t simply a fantastic way to develop plot, large covered porches are also a great way to reduce the temperature throughout the home. They remove direct sunlight flooding in from windows and provide additional shaded breezeways which can be leveraged to increase the air movement within the home.
Outdoor water elements can be added to help cool the area as well. It works in a similar fashion as the misters found in amusement parks. Fountains are not only beautiful components to an outdoor room, they also help to actively bring down the temperature. Trees and shrubs can also help provide insulation from the sun as they grow.
Drinking enough water is one of the most important things one can do to stay cool. When people are dehydrated they often produce less sweat, which is the body’s way of naturally cooling off. The average recommendation is for about three liters of water each day, but during the summer you may want to increase the amount if you will be spending time outside.
Smart summertime snacks are a great way to manage the heat. Fresh fruit is typically cooler than other choices and has a high water content to further ensure adequate hydration. Spicy foods are so popular in warmer climates because they promote sweat production which can actively assist in keeping your body cooler.
Light cotton clothing plays an essential role in beating the heat. Sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses also help protect Texans from the punishing summer sun. However, it’s best to avoid direct sunlight altogether between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. whenever possible.
Becoming too hot is a serious concern in the middle of a Texas summer. Residents of Houston must remain aware of the serious complications that can occur because of heatstroke. While the hot weather is primarily inconvenient thanks to electricity and modern technology, it is far too easy to become overheated quickly if proper precautions aren’t taken. Implementing all available techniques to remain cool isn’t merely a way to stay more comfortable under the hot Texas sun, it’s also key to remaining healthy.