In case you haven’t heard, an excessive heat warning is in effect for the coming weekend in the Phoenix area. With temperatures expected to rise to a scorching 120 degrees by Monday, your air conditioning unit is likely to be put to some heavy use. During the summer, air conditioning can account for 50%, if not more of your total electric bill. So how do you keep you, your family and pets cool without busting your budget?
Follow these simple tips to use energy efficiently, and save money:
- Set the thermostat between 78 to 80 degrees when you are home and up to 85 degrees when you are away. For every degree you set your thermostat above 80 degrees, you can save about 2 to 3% on cooling costs.
- Install a programmable thermostat. Set it to allow the temperature in your home to increase by 5-10 degrees while you’re away and to return to a comfortable level an hour before you return. If you are on an SRP Time-of-Day Price Plan, set the thermostat to return to a comfortable level during off-peak hours.
- Turn your air conditioning fan to “Auto.” Many people don’t realize. but the auto setting turns the fan motor off when the unit is not cooling. That can save you $15 to $25 each month on your energy costs.
Pets at home
If you’re like many people who’re away at work all day, you may be thinking, can I leave my pets at home with the thermostat set to 85 degrees? Yes, you can. >Pets are OK indoors at that temperature.
Some tips to keep your furry friends cool while you’re out of the house:
- Close curtains and drapes during the day to keep the heat outside.
- Make sure your pets have plenty of water, and add ice when you can.
- Don’t depend on fans. Ceiling fans are a great way to cool people in the summer, but they don’t cool off pets (or empty rooms) in the same way.
- Check out these tips from the Humane Society.
And please remember to never leave your children or pets behind in the car. Stay safe and cool, everyone!