In Phoenix, fall offers a welcome break from our the summer's brutal heat. And with Halloween right around the corner, the fear and dread we normally reserve for our monthly power shift to more pleasant images of ghoulish kiddos snapping up buckets of delectables, or a cozy Netflix weekend curled up with your favorite horror selections.
But with changing seasons it's easy to forget about all those critical energy-saving measures that kept your power bills slightly less ghoulish throughout the summer. And with more people staying at home this fall than ever before, our fall electric bills might be higher than they've been in the past. So as the temperatures start dropping, keep in mind these 5 easy tips to help reduce your energy consumption and save money as fall turns to winter here in the Valley of the Sun.
1. Replace your filters
Filters are the access point for your HVAC system's airflow. When filters aren't cleaned and replaced regularly, they can get clogged with the excess dust they are filtering out of the air, inhibiting the easy airflow that normally would exist with clean filters. This can put a strain on your HVAC system, making it work harder to cool or heat your home during the Arizona fall months. Checking your filters every 1-2 months to ensure they aren't too clogged with dust will help keep your HVAC system working efficiently.
2. Take advantage of the sunshine
Instead of turning your heater on or up on the cooler fall days, let in some sunshine to let it do the heating for free. An easy way to do this is to open up blinds when you leave for work in the morning and let the sunshine heat up your house while you're gone, and close them once you get back to keep the free heat inside your home. Doing this regularly will help reduce the amount of heating you'll need in the evenings, helping you save on your electric bill. And if you have solar panels on your house, turning down the heater means more energy credits from your utility to draw from when the thermostat starts to climb.
3. Ensure you have adequate insulation
Cooling and heating your house will only go so far without adequate insulation. As the season changes, it's worth the time and money to ensure your house is properly insulated. This includes checking for cracks, leaks, and drafts that can let your heated or cooled air escape. If you see a gap between the bottom of a door and the floor, you can easily fix it by adding weather stripping or caulking. Be sure to check the exterior of your home as well—it's common to find gaps and cracks around windows, so pay special attention to those areas.
4. Install a programmable thermostat
Programmable thermostats are an easy set-it-and-forget-it method to saving on your fall electric bills. Lowering your thermostat by 7-10 degrees for 8 hours a day, can help save as much as 10% of heating costs, according to the Department of Energy. If you're on a time of use plan with your utility, programmable thermostats can make it even easier to have your cooling or heating kick on during the times when energy is cheapest. A number of programmable thermostats also have remote monitoring and control from your phone, so you can even adjust the temperature during the day to keep your energy consumption low.
5. Go solar
Fall is one of the best times of the year to go solar in Arizona, and with the lucrative tax incentives, like the 26% solar tax credit, there has never been a better season to make the switch. Every Arizona resident has the unique opportunity to turn our most abundant natural resource into free, clean energy. Depending on budget and goals, a properly designed rooftop solar array can dramatically reduce, or even wipe away your monthly electricity bill.
If you’ve been thinking about solar, now is the time to act to lock in the 26% ITC! Contact one of our solar experts for a custom solar quote. If you aren't quite ready for a quote, you can download our complimentary guide: Is Solar Right for You?