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Sunday, May 21, 2006

Energy Saving Tips for the Hot Arizona Summer

Electronic, programmable thermostat As the Arizona temperature gets higher and higher, so does your utility bill.  It happens every year, and there's nothing you can do about the weather.  However, there are several simple steps you can take to save energy and lower your electric bill this summer.

  • Use ceiling fans in conjunction with your cooling system.  Turn ceiling fans on in occupied rooms, and off in unoccupied rooms.  The air movement should be downward during the summer (usually counterclockwise).
  • Have your air conditioner or heat pump serviced annually by a qualified professional to keep it running at peak performance.
  • Consider replacing older air conditioners and heat pumps with newer, more efficient units.
  • Change your air filters at least once per month (yes - every month!).
  • Keep at least 90% of all your home's air vents open to avoid creating a pressure imbalance.
  • Clean any debris or obstructions near the outdoor components of your cooling system to improve cooling efficiency.
  • Install a timer on your pool pump, and run the pump only as long as necessary to keep the water clean (usually 8-12 hours/day in the summer, and 4-8 hours/day in the winter).
  • Grill instead of cooking meats inside and avoid using the oven.
  • Don't put a refrigerator or freezer in the garage.  It can cost almost twice as much to operate a refrigerator of freezer in the garage.
  • Keep your pool filters and strainer baskets clean so the filter motor will run more efficiently.
  • Keep your pool chemicals properly balanced, as this will help keep the water clean more so than running the pump.
  • Replace incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent lights (or mini fluorescents) where possible.  Fluorescent lights use less energy and operate cooler, thus reducing your cooling costs.
  • Repair or replace the weather stripping around your home's exterior doors.
  • Do chores that produce moisture (such as dishes and laundry) in the evening when the temperature is cooler.
  • Find ways to shade windows such as using outside shading screens, window film or tint, trees or shrubs, awnings, blinds, shutters or drapes.  Half of the heat in your home during the summer can be attributed to windows.  Shading your windows can cut your cooling costs by up to 25%.
  • If your home has an older manual thermostat, get a new electronic, programmable thermostat installed.  This can potentially reduce your cooling costs by up to 20%.
  • Set the fan on your air conditioner to "auto".
  • Set your thermostat up to 85 degrees or higher when you are not home, and set it between 78 and 80 degrees when you are home.  According to SRP, you can save 2% - 3% on cooling costs for every degree that you set your thermostat above 80 degrees.
  • Ask your electric company about "Time of Use" type programs and other ways you can save money.

With cooling costs accounting for almost half of the average Arizona resident's energy use during the hot Arizona summer, it may seem difficult to stay comfortable and still reduce energy consumption.  But just taking a few simple steps like the ones listed above can make a bigger difference than you might think.

Scott Hubbard of Homewerx Home Inspections in Phoenix, Arizona Written By: Scott Hubbard
Certified Home Inspector, ASHI® Member
Homewerx Home Inspections
Office: (480) 503-2611
Toll Free: 1-888-THE-WERX
Email me

Posted by Scott Hubbard, Arizona Home Inspector on May 21, 2006 | Permalink


How to do reach the home page for West Valley Bank that is opening a new office at West Indian School Rd and Rancho Santa Fe in Avondale.

Posted by: Cheri | Jun 8, 2006 12:34:10 PM

In stead of fluorescent bulbs, go one step further and try a few LED light bulbs. They put off almost no heat since virtually all the energy they use in converted into light. I found that www.shop.donsgreenstore.com has a few different ones at a reasonable price. They are best used as night lights, or small reading or task lighting.

Posted by: Jeff Ownby | Nov 25, 2006 10:20:19 PM

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As we get into the 100 degree temperatures, the efficiency of your home's cooling system becomes of the utmost importance. Your air conditioner or heat pump is usually the most expensive appliance in your home, not only in terms of [Read More]

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