HometownBell County


Energy efficiency could save CTX homeowners big bucks

Posted at 10:12 PM, Aug 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-21 23:12:53-04

BELL COUNTY, TX — The summer heat has many people cranking the air conditioning in Texas. Some receive higher electric bills in order to keep their homes cool during the heat. But experts say there are easy ways to cut costs through energy conservation.

“Make the home perform at the least expense,” said Steven Rinehart of Rinehart Real Estate Inspection Service. He is a professional energy efficiency auditor.

“The house works as a system, and all the pieces have to work,” explained Rinehart. “If there are poor components of that either a wall that’s not insulated or poorly performing windows, it’s going to effect everything else,” he continued.

He says homeowners should identify the heart of a problem.

Many think that replacing windows is a surefire way to improve costs. But that is not always needed

“Maybe solar screens would fix their problem. And it’s a lot cheaper than changing windows than anything else, keep the solar heat out,” said Rinehart.

“Your Sheetrock is very good at keeping the air leaks out of the house until we cut sixty or seventy holes in it for every outlet, every register, every light fixture,” he said. Rinehart suggests wall plate insulation gaskets to line outlets. They are about $20 for 100 and take only a few hours to install throughout a home.

“The old incandescent light bulb that my sister used in her easy bake oven to use cupcakes, those are very inefficient,” said Rinehart. Using infrared technology, Rinehart showed Central Texas News Now that a light produces an incredible amount of heat.

He said that the lights in our test home were 186 degrees. However, Rinehart said you may not need to replace every bulb in your home.

“Don’t spend the money putting an LED in a closet that you only turn on 30 seconds a day,” he said.

Water heaters are huge energy hogs.

“Adjust the water heater like a thermostat. If you’re taking cold water, making it too hot, send it to the bathroom. It’s so hot you mix it back with cold water, you’re wasting money,” said Rinehart.