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It’s our cool season here in the desert when we finally enjoy a respite from the grueling heat and unforgiving sun of the late Spring, Summer, and early Autumn. It’s also a good time to start preparing for the inevitable heat. This can include investments in your home to keep it cooler and save on your electricity bill at the same time. Here are some energy efficiency tips to help you reduce your energy costs and lessen your impact on the environment while living cool and in comfort all year round.
Reduce Energy During Peak Hours
The morning sun starts cool, but it doesn’t take long for things to get hot. By noon the sun is right at the center of the sky, using all of its power to heat your home and make your air conditioner work overtime. During the peak hours between 11 am – 6 pm, the energy demand is greatly increased. Try putting off running energy-demanding appliances such as washing machine, clothing dryer, or dishwasher until things cool down a little bit. Similarly, wait till the sun sets to roast and bake in your oven.
Program Your Thermostat
Most HVAC systems can be programmed to control the temperature of your home during certain hours. If you wake up at the same time every day to go to work or school set your thermostat to a comfortable to 78°. However, once you leave to work for eight hours or more there is no need to use this much energy. Try setting the thermostat to 85°. This can keep your home from melting but isn’t cool enough to take a toll on your electricity bill.
Maintain Your HVAC System
Your HVAC system will work it’s best when it’s properly maintained. This includes changing air filters, cleaning ducts on a regular schedule, and monitoring your AC system for malfunction. It’s surprising to many that on the hottest day of the year, their HVAC system just stops putting out enough power output because the filter is too old. Keep up with regular maintenance schedules and as a rule of thumb, if your climate system is over 10 years old, it’s a good time to consider upgrading to a more energy efficient model. The technology is advancing quickly, and you may be impressed at how much it can reduce your energy bill in comparison.
Upgrade Your Doors and Windows
Doors and windows which keep out the heat and are sealed up tight can make a big difference in keeping your home the coolest possible. If you don’t want to get all new windows and doors even going through and sealing up gaps along your ducts, doors, and windows will keep the cooled air in your home, saving you’re A/C unit from working overtime.
You may be surprised how much more energy incandescent light bulbs require. Many favor them for their warm quality of light but often compact fluorescent lighting (CFLs) and LED bulbs last years longer, using a fraction of the amount of electricity. They also come in warmer tones that emulate incandescent lighting. Try installing dimmer switches for when you don’t want to utilize the full capacity of a light bulb and save on power consumption as well.
Automated Outdoor Lighting
Out here in the desert outdoor lighting not only takes a toll on our energy bill but increases the amount of light pollution as well. It’s estimated that tens of millions of people in populated areas have never experienced truly dark skies in their lives, due to artificial outdoor lighting. Dark skies are also important in the biological world, particularly for native plants and animals in hot ecosystems like here in the Sonoran Desert. Setting up motion-sensing lighting to turn on when you need to walk inside can keep your entry illuminated while keeping it a little dimmer and saving on your energy bill as well.
Install CC Sunscreens
CC Sunscreens and awnings can protect your windows and patios from the heat and UV rays of the sun. Our sunscreens block out 90% of UV radiation as well as 48% of the sun’s heat. That’s a relief to your energy bill and can protect your furniture and belongings from damaging sun rays. On average CC sunscreens translate into a 25% reduction to your energy bill. To find out if our sunscreens are right for your home, contact us for a free consultation today.