Tips to saving cash on your summer bills

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by Tyler Baldwin

azfamily.com

Posted on June 28, 2011 at 9:37 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jun 28 at 9:46 PM

PHOENIX – Stop sweating those high electric bills. Experts show you how you can save money during the summer months.
It all starts with your air conditioner, according to Scott Harellson with SRP.

Your air conditioner accounts for more than half of your electric bill. Every degree you set your thermostat for under 80 will cost you an extra 3 percent on the air conditioning portion of your bill.

For example, if you set your thermostat at 73 degrees, you have just increased the air conditioner half of your electric bill by 21 percent.

Harellson recommends you set your thermostat for 85 degrees when you leave for the day but, don’t turn it off.

Turning off your air conditioner will make it very expensive to turn back on. “When you get home your air is hot and so are the walls, the furniture and everything else. It’s all just radiating heat,” Harrelson said.
 
Also, don’t forget to change the filter out on your air ducts every month. You can also go green and switch your light bulbs out with the energy-efficient light bulbs. They use less electricity and put off less heat.
 
Also, cook those summer meals in the microwave instead of the oven, if you can. That will keep the house from warming up drastically.
 
According to David Robinson with REEis, they can run tests on your home and find out where you are wasting money.

Using a giant fan attached to a sealed front door, they suck the air out of the home and then look for air leaks.

In one Scottsdale home they found a back door that needs to be sealed better. They also found out the house was losing a lot of cool air through the duct work.

According to Robinson, some houses are losing around 20 percent of their cold air through faulty duct work.

“If you have a leak in the attic you’re pulling in 145 degree air, plus contaminants, allergens, dust… causing it to cool 145 degree air instead of 80,” Robinson said.

An inspection by REEis will cost you just under $100 and there are some rebates and tax credits to help pay for any home improvements needed.

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