Arizona is a deregulated energy state. Which means you’re able to choose your energy provider and shop around for the best price. This is supposed to keep things competitive, so that energy prices are cheap. But are they? Of course not. Rates start at around $0.14 per kilowatt, and only go up from there. And your energy bills just keep getting more expensive. So what can you do? Well, about the rates themselves, not much. But there are plenty of simple things you can do around the home to help you save on energy.
One great way is to seal up air leaks. There are places all over your house where air can leak in: around windows and doors, through cracks in walls, electrical outlets, recessed lighting fixtures, and more. This means that in the summer, when you’re trying to get cool, hot, humid outside air mixes with the cool A/C air, making it take longer to get your house to reach the temperature on the thermostat. And the same thing happens in the winter, with cold outdoor air counteracting the effects of your furnace.
Air leaks force your heating and cooling system to work harder and longer, driving up your energy bills and costing you money. In addition, it can put an extra strain on your system, causing it to wear out faster. You can hire a professional energy auditor to help you find your air leaks and save on energy. Seal up leaks with caulking or foam sealant.
Your doors and windows aren’t the only places where air leaks can occur. Just as bad air can leak in if your home isn’t airtight, good air can leak out if your ducts aren’t properly sealed. Leaky ducts can be responsible for energy losses of 20% or more in your home. The more air leaks out of your ducts, the less air is making it into your home, and the harder your system has to work to heat or cool it.
Examine your ducts for holes, or places where sections have become separated. Seal them up with metal tape or mastic sealant. Ironically, despite its reputation as an all-purpose fix-it solution, you should never use duct tape to seal your ducts. It loses its adhesiveness after a few years, allowing air to leak out underneath the tape.
Finally, insulating your home is one of the best ways to save on energy. Insulation slows the flow of heat. In the summer, it keeps heat from getting into your house, so you can depend less on your A/C to get cool. In the winter, it keeps heat inside, making you warmer without having to use the furnace. The best place for insulation is your attic. If your attic insulation doesn’t cover your floor joists, you need more.
These are just a few ways you can save on energy in spite of Valley Metro’s premium prices. With a little research and a little creativity, you can find plenty of other ways to save money and power as well. Just give Cooper Climate Control, your heating & cooling specialists if you have any further questions regarding energy savings.