Did you know that as much as 43% of a home’s monthly utility bill can be attributed solely to heating and air conditioning? This number is especially important in Arizona, where we experience extreme temperatures year-round. Phoenix also receives an average of 299 sunny days a year, which is great for our tourism industry – but not so wonderful for home energy bills.
Even with rising summer temperatures, Arizona homeowners can still find ways to save on home expenses and keep cool at the same time. Here are just a few tips to reduce energy costs this summer and beat the heat!
Landscaping. Not only do plants produce oxygen, naturally decreasing the overall temperature in an area, but they can also serve as sunshades for your home. Consider planting shade trees that are native to Phoenix such as Palo Verde, Mesquite, or Acacia. SRP actually offers up to two free shade trees per home for Phoenix residents who attend their Tree Planting Workshop in Avondale. Register today and you could save up to $50 on your annual energy bill.
Solar Screens. SRP estimates that an average of 50% of the heat in your home enters through the windows. While reflective window films are effective at repelling heat, they are not effective when the windows are open. For this reason, it is recommended that Phoenix residents instead turn to solar screens, which have been known to cut cooling costs by as much as 25%. Professionally installed screens may be subject to $0.80 rebates per square foot for added savings!
Air Duct Sealing. Energy Star estimates around 20 – 30% of a home’s air is lost due to leaks and poorly-maintained air ducts. Phoenix residents should keep up with regular air duct maintenance and annual cleanings to ensure optimum performance. Air duct maintenance promotes air movement, helps your equipment last longer, and allows condensation from your air conditioning unit to drain properly. Seek annual maintenance for best results.
Energy Efficient Units. Certified air conditioning experts in Phoenix offer energy efficient cooling units that will help cut costs during the extreme heat of summer. Old units without energy efficiency ratings have to work much harder to produce less effective results and cost a significant amount more to run. Energy Star certified units use about 14% less energy that what is required by minimum government standards. Save money, save energy, and preserve our planet in the process by requesting brands with high energy-efficiency ratios (EERs).
Ceiling Fans. Moving air helps create a cooling sensation in your home and keeps the air moving for an even temperature throughout the house. This is especially important in homes with high, vaulted ceilings. Make sure your ceiling fans turn counter-clockwise in the summer to create a wind shield effect. Reverse the direction in the winter to redistribute warm air and save on heating costs, too!
Phoenix residents can easily cut summer cooling costs by utilizing just a few of these tips. Pick and choose your favorites or combine ideas for maximum savings this season. Always remember: when in doubt, consult a local heating and cooling expert for additional tips, rebates, and savings. There’s no need to sweat over the temperature of your home – or the state of your bank account this summer.