Whether we want to accept it or not, the change of the seasons is coming. Of course, “change of the seasons” in Arizona just means going from warm to hot, but that change can also drastically affect your energy bills. Maintaining sanity in Arizona summers means using lots of electricity on A/C, increasing the need to cut back in other ways to keep your bill down. Luckily, there are lots of ways now to be more efficient in your home. We at Shea Homes® have picked just six of the many changes you can make to cut your utility bill.
Install a Low-Flow Showerhead – While you may not get the full body massage that comes with many “high-flow” showerheads, one that outputs less water can save you money in the long run. Look for a showerhead that uses closer to 2.5 gpm (gallons per minute) rather than the more typical 5 gpm. You’ll still get a full shower, just with much less water used.
Seal All Windows – One of the worst things you can have in the summer is hot air coming in and ruining the nice cool air your A/C is putting out. Seal any potential air leaks around the windows in your home. Add a bead of silicone caulk on any cracks in your drywall, and even blackout curtains can be helpful, especially in the summer when the most UV rays are coming in through your windows.
Turn Off Unnecessary Water – According to the Environmental Protection Agency, homeowners can save upwards of $150 per year with small changes to their water usage. When you’re shaving or brushing your teeth, make sure the water is off as those few minutes can add up when you’re doing the task every day. Avoid taking too many baths as well, as they can use over four times as much water as a shower.
Unplug Unused Chargers - According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the average charger consumes 0.26 watts of energy when not in use and 2.24 watts when connected to your phone. That number may surprise some, as nothing is actually connected to the charger, but there is a reason unused chargers have been given the nickname “energy vampires”. One charger may not affect your bill so much, but with most households having at least a handful of chargers left plugged in, the cost can grow quickly.
Wash Clothes With Cold Water – According to some sustainability articles, 90% of the energy used by your washer is actually to heat the water, and only 10% is to actually run the machine. You can see how using cold water to wash your clothes would save quite a bit of energy. Not only will it save you energy, but cold water can be less damaging to clothes, so they may not wear out as fast.
Be Aware of Peak Hours – New homeowners, and those new to Phoenix may not realize that energy companies tend to have “peak hours” for energy use. The peak hours are at a certain time of day (usually afternoon to evening) when the rate per kilowatt of energy used is much higher than usual. The rates can jump up to 4x as much as “off peak” hours, so be aware of what energy plan you have, and try not to use too much energy during the most expensive times.
What are your energy saving tricks?
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