When you live in Arizona, the moment those winter months are over and you are no longer heating your house, that moment strikes you when you realize summer is already here. With that, comes the desperate attempt to keep cool, without breaking the bank on air conditioning! Electricity is expensive, especially when you are fighting an uphill battle against the sun itself! Here are some simple and inexpensive tips on how to save money on AC during these summer months.
Air conditioning tips to save energy (and money)
- Add Screens on windows and close curtains, blinds and shades: Blocking the direct rays of the sun that come into your home is a great way to beat the heat. Curtains eliminate the UV and infrared energy that directly increase the temperatures in your house. Screens keep the bugs out while letting cool breezes in.
- Adjust temperature: If you aren’t home, why are you wasting money keeping it at the same temperature as when you are there? You can save money by simply turning your thermostat back 7°-10°F from your comfort setting while you are away.
- Get a programmable thermostat: If you have trouble remembering to turn the AC up, or more importantly setting it to your liking when you get home again, invest in a programmable thermostat.
- Operate Fans: Steady circulation of air is important to regulate the temperature of your home. There are areas that are warmer, probably due to southern exposure windows or constantly opening and closing doors, and areas that are normally cooler such as basements and interior rooms. Moving the air will equalize these temperature zones and reduce your need to run your AC.
- Maintain your AC: As air conditioning units age, they begin to lose efficiency. Replacing dirty filters and making sure that your AC unit is regularly serviced will improve its efficiency as well as extend its life.
- Wash your dishes by hand: Your dishwasher is a convenience that most people couldn’t imagine living without. But when you reduce the amount of hot, humid air it pumps into your house with every cycle, you might be surprised at how much cooler your home stays. Also, the energy you save with running the dishwasher can even outweigh the expense of running the AC more often.
- Cook outside: Fire up the BBQ grill to avoid heat buildup during the day. It’s better tasting, and the cleanup is a lot easier!
- Plant trees around your house: This is a long-term fix that requires some planning and investment. In just a few years, you will notice a significant difference. Trees offer shade to your home, not only for your windows and entryways but also for the roof over your home as well! Your roof catches a lot of the sun’s radiation and the shade that trees provide can drastically reduce the amount of direct energy your attic insulation has to fend off.
Stay cool while saving some cash this summer!
It’s basic physics when it comes to understanding why it is hard to heat your house when it is cold outside, and hard to cool it off when it is hot, but you don’t need a degree in thermodynamics to understand that either way can get expensive! By just following a few of these tips, you’ll notice a savings in your bills that you can take to the bank!