Cheap chills: How to lower your electricity bill, save money during the long, hot summer


by April Warnecke

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Posted on May 6, 2014 at 10:29 AM

Updated Tuesday, May 6 at 10:36 AM

PHOENIX -- This is the time of year when Arizonans pay a little more to live in the desert. The temperatures go up and electricity bills skyrocket as we try to keep cool, but there are some ways you can reduce your energy bill this summer.

Debbie Hernandez with The Home Depot says caulking under your doors and around your windows is the fastest way to watch your energy bill shrink.

You can also make your own sun screens for your windows for less than $10 each. Shades and screens will allow less heat into your home and keep your home cooler.

Hernandez also recommends solar shields, weather stripping, attic fans and a radiant barrier to keep your home cool. A radiant barrier is something you paint inside your attic to keep the temperature of your house down. She says an attic fan can also cool your house by 20 degrees in the summer.

It's a good idea to get a tune-up for your air-conditioning unit, too.

Mike Donley of Donley Service Center says change your filters about once a month. He also recommends closing your blinds and drapes during the daytime hours and limiting your use of your oven and stove. The less you heat up your kitchen with those appliances, the less your air conditioning bill will be.

Ceiling fans are great for cooling the body, but they do not technically cool the room, so don't forget to turn them off when you leave the room.

Donley also suggests using a programmable thermostat to change the temperature when you're home and away. He recommends not fluctuating more than four degrees in order to keep things cool while saving money.