Half of all the energy we use in our homes goes toward heating and cooling. A significant amount goes towards water as well. There are many steps you can take to prepare your home (and your wallet) for the summer heat without sacrificing comfort, specially here in Phoenix, Arizona, where the sun is out 99% of the year and the average temperature in the summer months is over 100°F.
Some of the first things to know about your bill are:
- Check which plan you’re using. Each plan bills you differently.
- Standard plan cost varies depending on usage in summer, and a fixed rate in winter.
- The Time Advantage plan is billed on an off-peak and on-peak basis. Electricity used during off-peak hours is billed at a lower rate, so limit the usage of your major appliances to these times.
- Some plans combine both options or offer rebates.
To use your AC more efficiently:
- Replace air filters and clean your vents.
- Schedule your thermostat to shut off the AC when you are away.
- Set your fan to “Auto”. This reduces the negative impact of improper air balances and turns the fan motor off when the unit is not cooling saving you $15 to $25 each month on your energy costs.
- Close blinds during the day.
- Use ceiling fans when you’re in the room to circulate air instead of lowering the thermostat.
- Ban the oven so your AC doesn’t work overtime. Eat more salads and other cold foods or use your toaster oven instead.
- An individual product draws relatively little standby power, but a typical U.S. home has forty products constantly drawing power. Together these amount to almost 10% of residential electricity use.
- Consider using a power strip that can be turned off when the devices aren’t being used with the push of a button. Some smart power strips can be controlled with your cell phone or by a schedule, while others can detect when a device is in standby and turn only that device off completely.
To save on water heater usage:
- Wash clothes in cold water. 90% of the energy your washer uses goes to heat the water. Most American families do around 400 loads of laundry per year, switching to cold can really add up.
- Pack the dishwasher and run it during the cooler parts of the day (early morning or late evening). And to save even more turn off the “heat dry” option.
- Install a low-flow shower head. They’re easy to install, and they’ll help conserve water while saving you money every day.
Get all family members on the same page and you’ll see the results!
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