Tips To Help Lower Your Energy Bills
Temperatures are rising which means that your utility bills are likely on the rise too. With the average American spending around $250 a month on their main energy bill, most are looking for a way to decrease those prices in any way they can. Just not using air conditioning is an unrealistic option (especially here in the Valley of the Sun), so there are other updates and changes you can make to save money and still stay cool this Summer.
Find An Energy-Efficient Home
If you are on the hunt for a new home this Summer, think ahead and make energy efficiency a priority in your home search. Keep square footage to the minimum you think you will need – the more unnecessary space you own, the more space you’ll be cooling (and heating this Winter.) Certain home features, like sun rooms and high ceilings, also contribute to unnecessary space that heats quicker than normal.
Check Your Appliances
While newer appliances are easily labeled with their estimated yearly cost by Energy Guide, older appliances aren’t as easy to determine. Using the Department of Energy’s online appliance energy calculator, you can decide if investing in newer appliances with a lower operating cost could save you money in the long run. You can also have an HVAC professional check your equipment to ensure it is the appropriate size for your home. Having a system that is too large or too small can create unnecessary costs. If it is time to upgrade your appliances, consider waiting (if you can) until around Black Friday Sales begin, as that is one of the best times of the year to purchase appliances at the lowest cost.
Tint Windows And Add Window Coverings
Here in the Southwest, it is HOT, HOT, HOT in the desert during the summer months. Checking into having your windows tinted, especially those that take on the most sun during the day is an excellent energy saving idea. Adding blinds or window coverings, can really help to keep the heat out and your home cooler, helping to lower your utility bills as well.
Replacing appliances and equipment can be a large up-front cost, so if you’re looking to start saving now, even small amounts, quick fixes are your best choice. Some options include using cold water for laundry, changing the direction of your ceiling fan for Summer from Winter, and using energy-efficient light bulbs. Check your doors for sealing issues and replace weather stripping if necessary to prevent drafts.
Find An Expert
If you want more guidance on how to save energy, you can contact your local utility companies. Many provide free energy audits and can offer professional advice on ways to lower your energy use and save you money and several have different programs that may be of interest to you, such as paying the same amount each month to help even out the lows and highs of the bills over the course of a year.