We are just on the cusp of it being just so, so hot in your Phoenix home. If you’re like me you likely didn’t use your heat much this winter to cut utility costs; that is until the seven blankets you were using became too heavy and made it nearly impossible to reach the remote.
Now, I wouldn’t consider myself a ‘cheap’ person but why pay more for your electricity than you have to? I mean come on, in order to be comfortable we have to crank our A/C down to 75 degrees, which can be about a 45 degrees difference than the horror that is outside! Here are a few tips to ensuring you’re not paying more than you have to in the next few sweltering summer months:
- Make the investment and switch every single light bulb (that you actually use) to either CFL or LED light bulbs. Though LED bulbs are more expensive the have been proven to cut energy costs 90% in comparison to the old style incandescent bulbs. Plus they last much longer and you can take them with you when you move out.
- It may be too late for this, but when apartment shopping, check to see if your unit or house is equipped with windows made of double-paned glass. That extra barrier does a great job of keeping the cool air in and insulating against the heat. If you find yourself in a single-pane situation, see if you can have the landlord reseal the frame. It’s worth a shot! If not, be sure to cover those with heaver window treatments in the summer months.
- Unplug unused electrical devices. Even when you’re not using your blow dryer or toaster they are still using electricity. Simply unplug them when not in use to save a bit of power. This is also safer as leaving electronics plugged-in and unattended can actually become a fire hazard.
- Be sure to have those air filters changed frequently; every 3 to 6 months. Most apartment complexes will do this for you if you request it though the maintenance department, but it’s pretty unlikely you’ll get your landlord out to do this for you. You can pick them up at any home improvement store or Home Depot for a few bucks.
- One of the simplest things you can do to cut costs and keep your place even cooler is to invest in some Magnetic Vent Covers to seal the vents in the rooms you don’t really use. Order a few online and you’ll keep the rooms you actually inhabit cooler and reduce the energy usage on your A/C unit.
Running through the provisions above should legitimately take you no more than 30 minutes this weekend and can really save you some cash this summer. I don’t know about you but I’d rather spend that money on a trip somewhere with weather more suitable for human habitation. More realistically, I’ll be spending it on the high priced gas I’ll be pumping into my car.