How to lower your utility bills in the summer

Our summers in Tucson can create surges in your utility bills.  Cooling costs can account for about 50% of your home energy budget.  Figuring out the best way to ventilate your home can result in serious savings.  Here are some tips that require minimal effort on your part to help lower those bills.

  1. Adjust the temperature of your AC when you leave your house. For every degree the thermostat is raised, 4%-8% can be saved on your cooling costs.  A programmable thermostat can be a huge help and has can lower electricity bills by 20%!
  2. Switch to Energy Star appliances which meet rigorous energy efficiency guidelines set by the US government in order to decrease greenhouse emissions. An air conditioner that has been certified with an Energy Star rating uses approximately 15% less energy or more than non-certified models.
  3. Check your home insulation for air leakage from outside your windows and doors. Caulking and weather stripping are a very simple solution to this problem.  Use caulking to fill in cracks and openings around doors and window frames.
  4. Make sure your air conditioning vents and units are clean. Replace air filters regularly and save yourself 5%-15% in energy consumption.
  5. Use your ceiling fans to circulate air and help cool the room by 4 degrees.
  6. Block the sun into your home with blinds and drapes. Keep them pulled down or closed over windows that have a lot of sun exposure.  Blinds can reduce heat gain by up to 45% and drapes by 33%.

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