Whether you live in a sprawling custom estate home or a trendy micro-apartment, summertime energy efficiency is critical in the harsh Sonoran Desert. We have gathered some easy and inexpensive ideas you can use to amp up your savings and keep you cool for less this season.
Invest In An Energy Audit
One of the first steps you might want to take is to have an energy audit conducted on your estate home. This can be done by the power company in your area or an independent contractor. Either way, this is one of the best ways to discover where you can save the most.
Don’t Let Your Money Go Out The Window
Keeping your windows covered is a great way to reduce how often your air conditioner kicks on during the day. Many of today’s window-covering options can reduce heat transfer into your home; upgrading the windows in older estate homes can greatly increase energy efficiency as well. It’s also a good idea to properly caulk any cracks and gaps in the window casings to eliminate air leaks that can drive up your electric bill.
A Programmable Thermostat Is A Must-Have
It is recommended by the U.S. Department of Energy to set your thermostat as high as comfortably possible in the summer to keep the difference between indoor and outdoor temperatures at a minimum. In warm climates like Arizona, this is sometimes hard to do. To lower your overall cooling, program your thermostat to maintain a warmer than normal temperature while you are away, gradually lowering the AC to a comfortable level for your anticipated arrival time. Ceiling fans can also reduce air conditioning costs by allowing you to raise the thermostat setting about 4°F with no reduction in comfort due to the wind chill effect.
Additional Conservation Ideas:
- Use ventilation fans while showering or bathing to remove heat and humidity. This can also be a beneficial heat-reducing option for laundry rooms as well.
- Keep your air conditioner well maintained.
- Avoid heat producing appliance when possible. Using the microwave or even grilling outdoors are great options.
- Wash dishes and clothes only when the loads are full and consider air drying both dishes and clothing.
While we all expect energy costs to go up in the hot summer months, implementing a few of the above ideas can greatly reduce your energy use and save you money.