When the temperature spikes, you expect that your energy bill does too – especially when the thermometer is pushing 120. The good news for Shea Homes® homeowners is that with ENERGY STAR appliances, you can be confident that your bill won’t make you make you consider turning up the thermostat to uncomfortable temperatures just to save some money. But there are a few simple switches any homeowner can make to shave a few dollars off their bill each month. Remember, a few little changes can add up to big savings!
1. Check for Open Windows or Doors
If all that cool air your unit is producing isn’t staying inside, you’ll be feeling like there is a crack in your wallet, not just your doors. Check each window and doors, especially the door to the garage to make sure each are fully closed..
2. 78 is Great
We all know to turn the thermostat up when we leave for work during the day, but it’s important not to try to turn your house into an ice box as soon as you get back. 78 degrees is the oft quoted sweet-spot for keeping your house comfortable without draining the bank. Try cooling things down further with either standing or ceiling fans – they’re much more efficient than turning down the air even a few degrees.
3. Light it Up
Thomas Edison made a fortune from his incandescent bulbs specifically designed to burn out sooner rather than later, so why not make the switch to something easier on both your wallet and your bank account? According to the U.S Department of Energy, switching even just your five most frequently used lights to energy efficient models like CFL’s or LED’s uses anywhere from 25 percent to 80 percent less energy, and can last up to 25 times longer than traditional incandescent bulbs. That’s hundreds of dollars of savings over a bulb’s lifetimes for five minutes of work.
4. Who Needs Steam?
Another quick fix is waiting in your garage. Turning your water heater down by a few degrees is one fast way to save a few dollars, and those savings will compound over time. Even if you’re someone who loves a scalding-hot soak, invest in an insulating wrap for your water heater, which will pay for itself in no time and mitigate any temperature changes while maintaining your savings.
5. Do Laundry like Grandma Did
90 percent of your washing machines energy goes to heating the water. With the advances in washing machine tech and detergent (there have been some!), washing clothes in cold water uses a fraction of the energy and gets clothes just as clean. Don’t stop there though; dryers are an energy hog, too. Make that Arizona sun work for you and lay your clothes out to dry on a clothesline in the backyard. Dryers cost upwards of $1500 to operate on average over the lifespan, so why not cut that cost out unless you really need it? Just these two small changes alone could save you hundreds of dollars every year.
At Shea Homes®, we work to keep our new homes energy efficient from the start, which is why our ENERGY STAR® certified homes use up to 20-30% less energy than other non-certified homes. Through a combination of complete thermal enclosure systems, high efficiency ventilation, comprehensive water management systems, and energy-efficient appliances and lighting, together families that have purchased ENERGY STAR labeled homes save more than $350 million dollars each year on utility bills.
Visit Shea Homes to learn more about the Shea difference.