It’s about that time again here in Arizona where the the temperatures start to spike along with our monthly electric bills. This time of year leads a lot of people, myself included, to think about easy ways to cut down on the money spent to keep your house cool. While solar is the most viable way to cut costs and also reduce your reliance on the local power company, there are a number of other options that are great for those families not quite ready for solar.
One key thing to remember when trying to save money on your energy bill is that many seemingly insignificant steps can add up to a big cost savings when combined together. Everything from lights to when you use your energy can have a noticeable impact on your monthly energy bill. Here are a few of our favorite tips to help you live a little bit cooler, and a little bit cheaper, all summer long.
1. Only use energy during off-peak hours
This one may seem kind of obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people forget about this easy money-saving option. If you’re on a time-of-use rate plan, energy can be significantly cheaper during off-peak hours. By shifting as much of your major appliance use as possible into these hours, you can realize substantial savings on your electric bills. Do your laundry on the weekend, or turn your AC down during the day. It all adds up! Check with your local energy provider to determine the off-peak hours in your area.
2. Add solar screens to windows
These screens have been proven to cut cooling costs up to 25 percent by reducing the amount of heat that travels into your home through your window glass and frames. They also protect from harmful UV rays, reduce glare, and add privacy. These could be especially useful if you have a lot of afternoon sun coming through your windows.
3. Use fans
Ceiling fans and other circulating fans work well to keep your house cool. Fans also help move the cooler air-conditioned air more efficiently throughout your home. Using fans will help reduce your use of the AC, just be sure to turn them off when you’re not in the room.
4. Replace your AC filter
Did you know that not properly changing out your AC filter can lead your AC to work less efficiently and cost you more money? Not only do they filter out bits of dirt and pollen that would otherwise lead to poorer air quality, but clean filters also keep your HVAC system running efficiently, saving you money in the long run.
5. Don’t leave doors open and turn off lights
Another one that may seem like a no-brainer, but when you get caught up in your daytime bustle, this tip can easily slip your mind. If you’re stepping outside for a minute or two, be sure to close the door. In as little as a few seconds, hot air flowing through an open door or window can make a substantial impact on your bill. Turning off lights when exiting rooms can also add up over time. Not only do lights use electricity, but they also produce heat, contributing to the overall temperature.
6. Install solar
With over 300 days of sunshine, Arizonans have a great opportunity to turn the state’s most abundant natural resource into big savings. Having a properly designed solar energy system on your house can greatly reduce your energy bills, while helping you live cleaner and more sustainably. A local solar installer should be able to give you a savings estimate based on your unique energy profile.
If you’re looking for more ways to save on your electric bills, we invite you to download our complimentary guide: Is Solar Right for You? to explore if solar is the right choice for you and your home.