As MOMs in AZ, there’s lots we have to think about and energy efficiency certainly is at the top of the list. It’s not only important for a comfortable home environment for the fam, but it’s also beneficial to the household budget.
There are several ways to keep the house comfier and the wallet happy during the summer months. Here are our great suggestions from our MOMs:
- Get sunscreens, especially on the windows in direct sunlight. Sunscreens come in many different sizes ranging from 60-90% sun coverage. They not only help block the heat but also provide some privacy. Sunscreens can make a really big difference in the overall comfort of your home, and also offer major relief on your energy bill.
- Sunshades are a must and we LOVE the automatic version. There are many options and colors of shades that are programmable. Once the sun hits a certain level, the shades come down. It’s great! Manual versions are also available and are a bit more cost effective while still offering the savings on the monthly energy bill. Check out one of our favorite, and very popular, manual sunshades here.
- Nest Thermometer! This programmable thermostat learns your habits and saves approximately 15% on your cooling bill. The coolest part is that it can be controlled by your smart phone.
- Check out energy rebates and usage programs from SRP, APS and SW gas.
- Check your insulation levels. Having the correct amount of insulation is super important, and at least 90% of AZ households do not have sufficient insulation. Speak to a professional to determine the appropriate amount of insulation and appropriate R-value. Here’s some more info.
- Energy efficient windows are a great investment and will definitely help reduce the energy bill. When selecting new windows, consider their energy performance ratings with respect to climate and home design. You can expect at least a 20% savings on your energy bill if not more.
- Make sure your “extra” fridge in the garage is up for the challenge. Higher temperatures can stress it by forcing the motor to run constantly, especially if your garage exceeds 110 degrees. The energy bill will spike and you run the risk of the machine failing and risking food spoilage.
- Service your AC unit ASAP if it has not been regularly maintained. You’d be surprised how much more efficient a regularly maintained AC unit is and you might even find that it makes sense to upgrade and replace the unit with a higher SEER rating for maximum efficiency. Be sure to change your AC filters regularly; it may seem small but this helps keep the unit running efficiently.
- Speaking of AC units, don’t forget about your ductwork. This is nearly as important as the unit itself. Look for sections that should be joined but have separated, and for obvious holes. Don’t want to do the work yourself? Consult a pro. Ignoring this could mean a 25% to 30% energy loss.
- Seal energy leaks around doors, windows, etc. If you can see the light of day, you are losing energy. Caulk and/or apply weatherstrip to doors and windows. Caulk to seal air leaks where plumbing, ducting, or electrical wiring comes through walls, floors, ceilings, and soffits over cabinets. You can even install foam gaskets behind outlet and switch plates on walls.
- Moving air is cooler that turning on your air conditioning because it creates quick evaporation of moisture from the skin. Ceiling fans are found in almost all homes in the Phoenix, AZ area and help create a more comfortable environment by moving air. Don’t think there’s a fan for you? Ceiling fans come in many styles and colors to fit any design scheme!
- Go solar! Solar power popularity is on the rise and you can now either purchase or lease the systems. There are still several options and incentives available for installing solar panels on top of the already big savings on energy bills.
- Upgrade to energy star appliances, and don’t forget the water heater. These appliances save a ton on energy but they don’t slack on performance. Upgrade your dishwasher, freezer, refrigerator, washer, dryer and water heater.
- Keep the fireplace damper completely closed while not in use! Consider adding glass doors and keep them closed to increase energy efficiency.
- Planting the appropriate trees in strategic places around your home conserves energy and reduces your energy bills. Be sure to consult a professional as planting an inappropriate type of tree or placing it in the wrong area can be damaging to some major systems of your home including the roof, foundation and plumbing.
- Purchase black out shades or blinds and place on all windows affected by the sun.
- Consider purchasing a home with North / South exposure. This is the most optimal orientation in the Phoenix AZ area. Search Phoenix area homes for sale here.
Contact me to discuss your energy efficiency level. I have great referrals for professionals to help with any of these suggestions and love to get to know MOMs!