How to Save Money by Knowing Your Appliances

Sabrina Lopez
April 29, 2019
3 min read

They say that knowledge is power, and there’s no place where that is more true than when it comes to your monthly electricity bill. After all, understanding how much power each appliance in your home requires and then choosing to operate those appliances during cheaper off-peak hours is a great way to save big money on your monthly bill.

With the current health pandemic unfolding and seasonal hotter temperatures approaching in a few months, we thought we’d shine some light on the most energy-demanding products in a typical Arizona home. We hope this information will assist you in making informed choices and hopefully result in money saved during these turbulent times.


1. Air Conditioner

Your AC is the most demanding and used home appliance during the warmer months. At the height of summer, your air conditioner can account for as much as 50% of your total electricity bill. Consider installing a programmable thermostat with more advanced programming options to help you align energy consumption to cheaper, off-peak hours. Many smart thermostats also offer remote access through the internet or smartphone, so you'll have easy 24/7 access when you're away.

Another tip for better AC management is the popular pre-cooling technique. Program your thermostat to pre-cool your home three degrees below your ideal temperature before the costlier on-peak hours begin. Then at the start of the on-peak time, program your thermostat three degrees above your ideal temperature. The fluctuation will be hardly noticeable, but your AC will run much less, thanks to your preparation.


2. Clothes Dryer

An electric clothes dryer uses the same electricity as a typical air conditioning unit. As such, doing laundry during costlier on-peak hours can be a very expensive practice. Try saving this chore for the weekend or later in the evening when electricity is much cheaper. You can also try drying your laundry outside in the abundant Arizona sun with a simple clothesline. It will dry in about the same amount of time while allowing you to avoid purchasing electricity altogether.


3. Water Heater

Water heaters are more difficult to manage since you cannot shut them off when they’re not needed. You can, however, reduce your water heater’s energy draw by using cold water for less critical laundry loads or by setting your dishwasher to a cooler temperature. You can install a programmable timer to prevent on-peak heating or turn down the water heater’s thermostat to 120 degrees to save as much as $7 a month!


4. Electric Oven

Next to clothes dryers and AC units, electric ovens love to gobble up electricity. Waiting until off-peak hours to cook your meals or preparing multiple meals in advance can dent your monthly electric bill. You can also choose to grill your food outside or use the microwave. The cost will be dramatically less and your kitchen will also stay cooler.


5. Pool Filter 

Most conservative estimates show that a typical pool pump can account for more than 10% of a home’s annual energy use. Install a programmable timer to keep your pump from operating during high-cost, on-peak hours. You can also install a variable speed pool pump, which will automatically alter its speed up or down based on the needed amount of cleaning.

Simple behavioral changes can greatly impact your monthly budget, but don’t forget that we have the most abundant power source in the solar system hanging right over our heads. If you're wondering if solar is right for you, we invite you to download our free guide, "Is Solar Right for You?" In it, you'll find various factors that will help you assess your solar suitability.