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The Newsflash: Our life here in Estrella

Read about what our community is talking about—from Estrella news and events to home design and entertaining tips.

10 June . 2015

10 energy saving tips from Gehan Homes

Some of the benefits of owning a new home are the many energy saving features that often come standard in new builds.  Estrella’s newest builder, Gehan Homes, offers a wealth of energy efficient design options, and below offers tips to slash those energy bills for any homeowner.


Tip 1:  Window Treatments – A Clear Way to Save

The right windows can block a considerable amount of heat from the sun, but did you know that proper window coverings can save you even more? Window awnings can reduce solar heat gain by more than 70%. Also consider dual shades. Dual shades feature a white side that reflects heat and a black side that absorbs heat that can be reversed in the winter.

Tip 2:  Size Matters

Efficient use of your cooling system is another important component in keeping energy costs at bay.  Proper sizing is very important for efficient air conditioning – bigger does not always mean better!  A unit that is too large will not cool your home uniformly. An improperly sized unit will cool the room to its thermostat set point and shut down prior to properly dehumidifying the room, leaving the area feeling damp and humid… and your electric bill through the roof.

Tip 3:  Get with the Program

Use a programmable thermostat. You can keep your house warmer than normal when you are away and set it to a lower, more comfortable temperature when you are home. 

Tip 4:  Relax…it’s Cool…or Will be Soon

Be patient. Don’t set your thermostat to a colder-than-normal setting when you first turn on your air conditioner. It will not cool your home any faster and could result in excessive cooling and unnecessary expenses. 

Tip 5:  Out with the Old

Remember to replace those air filters!  Replacing a dirty, clogged filter with a new one every three to four months can lower your air conditioner’s energy consumption by up to 15%.  That’s a cool way to save!

Tip 6:  Chill Out

Ceiling fans are not only stylish, but combined with air conditioning, will allow you to raise the thermostat setting about 4°F with no reduction in comfort.  Always remember to turn off ceiling fans when you leave the room. Fans cool you by creating a wind chill effect, not the actual room. Leaving them running has no benefit when you are not in the room and can lead to extra electric costs.

Tip 7:  Get Out!

Get outdoors!  Flip the switch and make the most out of natural sunlight. You can also enjoy the great outdoors by grilling instead of using the oven, so you don’t have the extra heat in your home. Gehan Homes offers beautiful outdoor kitchens that allow you to make the most of your outdoor living area.

Tip 8:  It’s a Turn Off!

When inside, leave the lights off, and when you need to turn them on, be sure to use incandescent bulbs. Using these bulbs in just five of your most used light fixtures saves $75 per year. ENERGY SMART bulbs are a bright idea!

Tip 9:  Cool Down

Water heating can account for 14% to 25% of the energy consumed in your home. Turn the temperature of your water heater down to the warm setting (120°F). You can also take cooler showers, which can often be refreshing in warmer weather.

Tip 10:  Timing is Everything

Run heat-generating appliances like ovens and dryers early in the morning or late at night. Or better yet, not at all: using a clothesline instead of a dryer will give you fresh-smelling clothes and can save up to $100 per year!

With these 10 energy saving tips from Gehan Homes, you’ll be sure to stay cool, comfortable and save money too!