Dallas Electricity Consumption: Tips for Surviving the Freezing Temps

Dallas Electricity Consumption

Dallas Electricity Consumption: Tips for Surviving the Freezing Temps

November 22, 2023
by
Shawn Cornett

The typical Texas homeowner pays 13.83 cents for each kilowatt-hour of electricity consumed. As such, Texans can expect to see higher electricity bills during the winter when electricity consumption spikes. These higher bills can be a financial burden, put a strain on the power grid, and lead to power outages.

As a result of these factors, you need to adopt strategies to reduce your Dallas electricity consumption during the winter months. These strategies include turning down your thermostat and using energy-efficient appliances. Here's how to implement each one to survive the freezing months.

Embrace the Warmth of Your Fireplace, But Use it Safely

While convenient, a natural gas fire starter shouldn't be your primary heat source. It emits little heat and causes exhaust fumes to remain indoors. These exhaust fumes could lead to carbon monoxide buildup.

Limit the use of Duraflame-type logs to one at a time. It's because most residential fireplaces can't handle more than one. If you use several logs at a time, they cause excessive heat and chimney damage.

An annual chimney inspection will ensure the chimney is free of excessive creosote and debris accumulation. A clogged chimney poses a fire hazard. You should also burn natural fireplace wood or fuels designed for indoor fireplaces to reduce toxic fumes.

Weatherproof Your Doors and Windows

Most people overlook their doors and windows when it comes to home insulation. But they can be significant sources of heat loss. Air leaks around doors and windows may allow cold air to enter your home.

With cold air in your home, it's difficult to maintain a comfortable temperature. You may also incur high energy bills. You can use door sweeps, weatherstripping, and door seals to weatherproof your doors.

For your windows, caulk, sealant, weatherstripping, insulating curtains and window film can work. If you're unsure about how to weatherproof your doors and windows or if you have extensive repairs, consult a professional.

You should also trim any trees or shrubs that overhang your windows, as they can block sunlight and reduce heat gain during the winter.

Switch to a Month-to-Month Plan

Month-to-month electricity plans offer a flexible way to manage your energy consumption. They also help you avoid the hassle of long-term contracts. With these plans, you can switch electricity providers in Dallas or plans when you want and enjoy great control over electricity rates in Dallas, Texas.

A month-to-month plan may have a variable or flexible rate. When choosing one, keep track of your electricity consumption. Do this to identify areas where you can save energy.

Variable rate plans offer month-to-month flexibility but may not be the most cost-effective option in the long run. Fixed-rate plans from the best electricity company in Dallas can provide more predictable pricing. A variable rate plan might make sense in temporary situations when you're uncertain about usage and when you prefer flexibility.

Ambit Energy's Lone Star Flex plan is a variable rate plan that offers month-to-month flexibility and no cancellation fees. The plan also includes an additional $4.95 monthly charge. Call us for more information on the current rate.

Use a Smart Thermostat

Smart thermostats offer several features to help you manage your home's heating and cooling. These features include programmable schedules and remote access. Some smart thermostats learn your habits and preferences and adjust the temperature.

The programmable schedules help you adjust the temperature automatically. They can adjust to your temperature preferences. This way, you can avoid wasting energy when you're not home or asleep.

With remote access, you can control the smart thermostat with a smartphone or tablet. As such, it's easier to adjust the temperature from anywhere. It can be helpful if you come home early or need to make a quick change.

Use Reliable Resources to Inform Yourself About Power Outages

Power outages can disrupt daily routines and pose potential safety hazards. To know about power outages, use reliable resources, which include Dallas energy companies. These resources include ERCOT, Oncor, Farmers Electric Cooperative, United Cooperative Service, Tri-County Cooperative, and Denton Municipal Electric.

ERCOT's comprehensive dashboard can give you insights into the current state of the Texas power grid. It features real-time data on the grid's overall health and potential risk of outages. If you're in the Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) metroplex, Oncor's outage map offers a detailed overview of power outages affecting the region.

Farmers Electric Cooperative is a great resource if you're a customer of FEC. The UCS outage map is a valuable resource for residents of Ellis or Tarrant counties who use United Cooperative Services. Customers of Tri-County Cooperative can access outage information on their website.

Make Food Safety a Priority During Power Outages

Since outside temperatures fluctuate, don't store food outside during a power outage. As this happens, refrigerated food may enter the "danger zone" above 40°F. Bacteria may grow in your food, or the frozen food may start thawing.

A refrigerator may maintain its internal temperature for around four hours if the door remains closed. Similarly, a fully stocked freezer can hold its temperature for approximately 48 hours. Only open the refrigerator and freezer doors when needed to preserve the cold air and prevent food from spoiling.

You should also strategically store your food. Place meat and poultry on one side of your freezer or on a tray to prevent cross-contamination from thawing juices. Group other foods together in the fridge and help them maintain a colder temperature within the unit.

Embrace LED Lights for Your Holiday Display

As the holidays approach, you may want to embrace the festive spirit. Twinkling lights and vibrant decorations can help you achieve this goal. To cut lighting costs, switch to LED lights for your holiday display.

LED lights, also referred to as light-emitting diodes, are a revolutionary lighting technology. They consume significantly less energy than incandescent lights. LED lights also last up to 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs.

Since they operate at a lower temperature, they reduce the risk of burns or fire hazards. LED lights also feature durable materials that can withstand harsh weather conditions. As such, they're ideal for both indoor and outdoor use.

Replace Old Appliances/Devices With Energy Star Certified Models

If your appliances are noisy, inefficient, and not meeting your needs, it's a sign that they're not right for you. They may also be nearing the end of their lifespan. Replace them with new appliances that are more energy-efficient and meet your needs.

Energy Star Certified appliances consume less energy than traditional models. They may help you save on your electricity bills, especially during the winter months when energy demand is high. These appliances come with advanced technologies that improve their heating and cooling performance.

Since they have durable components, Energy Star Certified appliances are less prone to breakdowns. As such, you can enjoy their benefits for many years to come. Energy-saving appliances for a home include Energy Star Certified refrigerators, washers, and ACs.

Insulate Exposed Pipes and Watch Out for Signs of Freezing

Locate exposed pipes, especially those in crawl spaces, attics, exterior walls, and near windows and doors. These pipes are more susceptible to freezing due to their exposure to cold temperatures. Once you find them, choose the appropriate insulation material for the location and size of the pipes.

Common insulation options include foam pipe sleeves, fiberglass insulation, and heat tape. Whichever option you use, wrap the exposed pipes securely with the chosen insulation material. Ensure there are no gaps or openings.

You should also monitor the water flow in your faucets and showerheads. If the water flow is slow or nonexistent, it could indicate frozen pipes. Inspect the pipes for bulges or visible ice formations and listen for unusual noises.

If you suspect frozen pipes, turn off the water supply to the affected area immediately. Don't attempt to thaw frozen pipes yourself since this could cause further damage. Instead, contact a plumber.

Have an Emergency Preparedness Plan

Sudden power outages during cold spells can pose significant risks. An emergency preparedness plan can help ensure safety and comfort. It ensures you have alternative heating sources, adequate supplies of food and water, and communication means to seek help.

You can make energy-efficient choices with a plan in place even when you're a customer of one of the top energy companies in Dallas. These choices include using flashlights instead of lamps and turning off unnecessary appliances. They can help conserve electricity and prolong the life of battery-powered devices.

Freezing temperatures and harsh weather conditions can cause damage to your home. But if you plan for these conditions, you identify potential hazards in advance. You can also respond promptly to reduce property damage.

Need Convenient Dallas Electricity Plans?

As the mercury dips and the days grow shorter, be ready for the potential of power outages. Stock up on essential supplies, create a Dallas electricity plan, and stay abreast of weather conditions. Follow these tips to stay warm, comfortable, and safe throughout the winter months.

With Ambit Energy, you can say goodbye to confusing energy plans and hidden fees. We offer several electricity plans in Dallas to suit your household's needs. Create a MyAmbit Account today to have complete control over your energy plan.

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