When the summer heats up in Arizona you will always notice a giant impact on your AC bill. There are plenty of small changes you make to beat the heat. There are also some big changes you might consider making to your home.
How to make small changes
Every day you can make small changes to your daily routine that will add up to big changes on your AC bill. Here are some smalls things you can do this summer.
Always keep the drapes closed to help keep heat out.
If you have a fireplace, be sure the damper is closed to avoid cool air escaping.
Avoid putting TVs or large appliances near your thermostat. It can sense the heat from these larger appliances, thus causing your air conditioner to run longer than necessary.
Use the “auto” setting on your fan. This step can reduce the negative impact of improper air balance. It turns the fan motor off when the unit is not cooling.
If you can handle it, for every degree you set your thermostat above 80 degrees, you can save approximately 2 to 3% on cooling costs. This might be ideal if you are leaving for the day and don’t mind coming home to a warm house.
You want your ceiling fans blowing to help circulate air rather than lowering your thermostat.
Wash your clothes, do the dishes, and other moisture-producing chores at night or early in the morning. This will help your air conditioner.
Take short, cold showers instead of baths. It’s hot anyway, right?
Wash your clothes in cold water. Approximately 90% of the energy used to wash clothes goes to heating water.
Try using speed cycles on your washing machine when possible. This can reduce your loads from over an hour of washing time to 35 minutes.
Change your water heater thermostat to 120 degrees. Most people have it set at 140, but dropping it can save upwards of $7/month.
Replace all your light bulbs with LEDs.
Lights out! Turn your lights off when not in use.
Be mindful of opening the refrigerator door. Each time you open it, 30% of the cool air escapes.
Have an extra fridge? Avoid putting it in your garage or on your patio. It will cost you more to operate an older model fridge during the hot heat of the summer in these places.
Grill often and outside. Try using your larger kitchen appliances less often.
Be mindful of preheating your oven.
Run your dishwasher or laundry always on a full load.
Air-dry your dishes.
Create a “charging station.” Take a power strip and put all your power cords on it. When not in use, simply turn off the whole strip to save big.
Avoid opening your oven door during cooking. You can lose 25-50 degrees of heat each time you open it.
Put your clothes outside to dry. You might be surprised how fast they dry in the hot Arizona heat.
Always clean the lint filter after each dryer load.
Pool people, run your equipment less. Tons of homes in Arizona have pools and they wreak havoc on your utility bill. Get a cover for your pool and when it’s hot, make sure your spa heater is definitely turned off.
Inform the whole family of these changes. Once you get everyone on board, you might start to see big changes on your next bill.
How to make bigger changes
Perhaps you are ready to make some bigger changes to your home to get that utility bill to drop. Here are five options that might cost you upfront, but will help you in the long haul.
Install Attic Insulation:
A well-insulated attic will help reduce your energy costs. Tons of heat enter your home through your attic, so if you do not have a proper barrier, then your AC bill will skyrocket. You can reduce costs anywhere from 15-25% by adding more insulation.
Get a Radiant Barrier:
Another type of barrier to keep the hot Arizona heat out of your home is called a radiant barrier. This barrier is placed between your attic and roof to help reflect the heat back into the atmosphere.
Homes across the state of Arizona are now proudly covered in solar panels, and for good reason. Solar panels take the energy from the sun and use as a source of electricity. There is obviously a large upfront cost, but it usually works out well in the long run.
WiFi thermostats or “smart” thermostats are becoming a very popular and affordable method to help reduce your energy costs. These devices can learn your daily routine and optimize your home’s heating and cooling system to help you save big.
Get energy-efficient windows:
If you are ready to upgrade your windows, then it is time to opt for double-pane, energy-efficient grade windows.
When it comes to saving money on your AC bill in this hot, Arizona heat, you have many options. There are plenty of small changes that can add up to big-time savings. However, you can also invest some money to save in the long run as well.