10 Ways to Reduce Electric Bills and Conserve: The Desert Southwest temperatures are always high especially during the summer months. Arizona is no exception in an around Mohave County. You AC is working overtime just to keep up and provide a tolerable temperature inside your home. The following are 10 steps you can take to ease the pain of high utility bills and help conserve energy.
1. Turn it off if you don’t need it
This may sound like common sense but you can’t imagine how many of us are negligent. One of the top ways to conserve energy and reduce your electricity bill is by turning things off! If you live with a number of people, this can be hard. Try to get everyone on board and have times when all the lights are off except in the room you are currently using. Doing this will enable you all to significantly reduce power usage. You also want to make sure that your video game boxes, computers, and TVs are turned off when not in use. This small way to conserve energy alone will really help reduce your electricity bill!
2. Turn your Hot Water Heater temperature down
Let face it, none of us like cold showers but most of our appliances such as your dishwasher and washer only need the water to be 120 degrees. Reducing the temperature on your water heater, you can save over $60 a year! This is such an easy adjustment as all you have to do is make the change on your water heater. Another way to conserve energy along the same lines is to let your fridge get a little warmer. Making sure your fridge’s gaskets are sealed correctly and are clean can also help reduce the electricity bill. Once you do these things you wont have to think about them again.
3. Check for Cracks and Air Gaps
Conserve energy by making sure the heat/AC isn’t escaping through poorly sealed ducts, doors and windows. You can get cheap caulk to seal the cracks. Expanding foam will also do the trick, depending on what you are sealing. Another place you may want to look is where pipes go through the walls of your home. There are even people that work with the utility companies to ensure your home is operating efficiently.
4. Check Your Vents
If you are having to turn up the air condition because your bedroom isn’t getting cool enough, you may have a closed vent. In addition, you may want to close the vents of rooms that you don’t often use. If you have a guest bedroom, close the vents during the times that the room is unoccupied. This won’t make a huge difference in your energy bill, but it may help a little. Your AC filter also needs to be changed every few months to keep your central air system working at top notch especially in dusty environments. You may be losing a little money every month because your dirty filter is clogging up your AC system.
5. Purchase energy saving products
6. Pay attention to water temperature
7. Setback Thermostat and proper location
Make sure that your thermostat is not in a spot where it will get hit by sunlight or close to a lamp. This will make the temperature higher near the thermostat than the rest of the house and will increase energy usage making up for the temperature difference that is only affecting the area near the thermostat. Also you may want to ensure that your thermostat is in good working order, if not, they can be as cheap as $25 to replace.
8. Block the Sun
During the summer, use blackout curtains and keep your shades shut. Blocking the sun from entering the home will keep the temperature lower during the sunny times of the day. Another way to block out the sun is by planting trees or plants that will block the sun from coming in the windows. West exposures have the greatest heat increase during the afternoon hours so it is especially important to follow these steps.
9. Be a Smart Cook – Minimize usage
Microwaves use much less energy than electric ovens. When you can, use smaller appliances, like using a toaster oven instead of an oven. There are many one pot or pan recipes online. This is one way to conserve energy, cook an easy meal, and only have to wash one pot or pan.
10. Look into getting solar panels installed or maybe Wind turbine
Talk to your local solar company on how much it would be to install solar panels on your home! There are many programs that help with the cost of solar and many companies that require $0 down to get panels installed. As a Arizona Resident, you may actually make money on your solar panels. Contact your utility company to determine if they offer any credits. You may also look into wind energy. Both can be helpful in subsidizing your utility bill.