According to a 2015 Energy Information Administration report, Arizona’s average monthly electric bill is $124.67. And that’s higher than the national average.
Of course we can’t control our local electricity rates but we can manage our electricity use. And with New Year's Day right around the corner, we think reducing monthly energy bills is a mighty fine resolution, don’t you?
To help you start the year off on the right foot, we’ve compiled 4 energy-saving tips that can save you money.
1. Get rid of air leaks
All homes have some amount of conditioned air leaking outdoors/outside air entering the home. The bad news is that the more air leakage you have, the more energy you’re wasting every month on escaped conditioned air.
But according to Energy.gov, air-sealing techniques are extremely cost-effective when it comes to getting rid of air leaks. In fact, on average, you can save up to 11% on energy costs by air sealing your home. And over the course of a year, that’s a savings of up to $164.60.
So, how do you know where your home’s biggest air leaks are? Well, we suggest following these techniques to detect air leaks. Some common air leak locations include:
Once you’ve identified where your home’s air leaks are, you can use caulk and weatherstripping material to seal off those leaks.
2. Kill energy vampires
(Don’t worry, we’re not going to ask you to hang garlic or wield a crucifix for this one.)
“Energy vampires” are actually appliances that draw electricity when they’re plugged in but not in use. Almost every household has some energy vampires lurking in their home, wasting an average of $100 a year!
Energy vampire appliances include:
- Hair dryers/curling irons
- Electric shavers
- Coffee makers
- Toaster ovens
- Cable boxes/DVD players
- Desktop computers/laptops
So, how do you protect yourself from these energy-sucking appliances? We suggest unplugging them from the socket when you’re not using them. Or hook up larger appliances to a single power strip so that you can easily cut power when you’re not using them.
3. Use energy-efficient light bulbs
Even though they’re small, on average, light bulbs suck up a surprising 5% of our energy. But here’s the cool part: if you replace 5 of your most frequently used light fixtures or bulbs with ones that have earned the Energy Star, you can save up to $75 every year.
Some light bulbs you should consider switching to include:
- LEDs, or light emitting diodes, are light bulbs that use 75% less energy and last up to 25 times longer than traditional incandescent bulbs.
- CFLs, or compact fluorescent lights, are light bulbs that use 75% less energy and last up to 6 to 15 times longer than traditional incandescent bulbs.
4. Use your programmable thermostat correctly
According to Energy.gov, a programmable thermostat can save you up to $180 a year. Now here’s the fine print: they’ll only save you money through “proper use”.
So, how do you use a programmable thermostat correctly and save money? Well, energy.gov gives a comprehensive list of proper use guidelines for programmable thermostats, but here’s the gist:
- Make sure your pre-set schedule allows for your thermostat to be set at its energy-saving temperatures for at least 8 hours a day.
- Avoid “overriding” your preset, energy-saving temperatures.
- If you have multiple heating or cooling zones, use separate programmable thermostat for each zone.
Don’t have a programmable thermostat? Consider getting one. A basic programmable thermostat can be as low as $20. And if you follow the guidelines, you’ll likely earn back that money in just a few months of using the thermostat!
Think your energy bills are too high?
If you live in Phoenix, just contact us with your questions.
We can assess your energy usage and suggest energy-efficient solutions. From programmable thermostats to duct sealing, we have the knowledge and tools to help you cut down on energy costs!