It’s technically fall, but here in Arizona, the heat doesn’t seem to have gotten the message. By the end of September we hope to be getting cozy in sweaters while drinking our coffee or hot chocolate, but instead we’re turning up the A/C and still sweating wherever we go. Not only are we not getting the weather some hope for, we’re not getting a break on our electric bills, either. Here are some tips that should help you keep cool and save money as we head into October.
Use a ceiling fan or plug-in fan in the room you’re in so that you can turn up the thermostat a few degrees and still feel comfortable. Just turning up the thermostat one degree can help save 2 or 3 percent on the cost –and most people we know don’t feel a difference! Leave the temperature up higher when no one will be at home. A lot of heat also enters houses through the windows – close the blinds or cover them some other way to block as much as you can. It might make your home feel a little cave-like, but whether or not you enjoy that, you’re sure to enjoy the money you save!
Switch your light bulbs from standard incandescent to LED lighting to save energy and money in the long run. While LED bulbs might cost a little more than the standard bulbs, they last over three times as long. Plus, they’re more environmentally friendly thanks to their energy efficiency and non-toxic chemicals! Reduce your bill even more by turning off any unnecessary lights or appliances when you’re not using them. Don’t forget, you want everyone you live with getting used to this too!
Your hot water heater can also take up a lot of energy. Turn its temperature lower, to around 120 degrees, and use a hot water heater timer to keep it cooler during times you’re not using it, such as when you’re sleeping. Find out the on-peak/off-peak usage hours of your energy plan and run major appliances like your washer and dryer during the off-peak hours. Speaking of which, you can wash your clothes in cold water and then dry them outside to save even more energy. Why not take advantage of that Arizona sun when you can?
You may not be able to act on all of these ideas, and some might take a bit of time to get in the habit of doing. But just think, these tips are sure to add up in your next energy bill. Start encouraging your family or roommates to work on all they can, and just wait and see how much money you’ll be saving!