Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Saving money around the house..

One of the quickest and easiest ways I've learned to save money are by doing small things in my house that end up both saving money and making us more green at the same time.  You'd be surprised at how often those two things go hand-in-hand.  We live in AZ and it's no secret it gets, crazy, obscenely, H.O.T. in the summer, so our A/C is running 24/7.  One simple thing we did to make it run just a little less is to install programmable thermostats in our house, they are programmed to cool the house down to 77 about an hour before we're due to be home, and while we're at work keep the house at 82.  Programmable thermostats run anywhere from $20 to $120 depending on the model, and don't forget to check to see if your power company is offering any rebates for installing one of these to offset the cost!

Keeping with the power saving theme, check to see if your power company has a time-of-use program like ours does that gives you a discount for off-peak usage but charges a premium for on-peak usage.  If you're diligent with this and make *sure* you only run your major appliances like the washer/dryer and dishwasher off-peak, you can save a lot of money with this program!
And one more thing we did to cut down on A/C usage in our house was installing sunscreens (aka sunshades) on our house.  For you non-Arizonans, these are just like regular screens on your windows except the mesh is tighter and thicker to block out more of the blaring sunlight and thusly keep the heat out,  SRP is offering these for $3 a sq foot thru the end of the year, definitely a worthwhile purchase, AND it increases your resale value :).

What do YOU do to reduce your energy usage and costs in your house?

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