There’s no avoiding air conditioning bills this summer, but there are other ways to save money. From dishwashers to toilets, the experts at Donley AC & Plumbing have simple suggestions to help cut your household expenses.
1. Let the machine do the work.
Washing dishes by hand might sound cheaper than running the dishwasher but consider this: the typical faucet releases two gallons of water per minute while a dishwasher averages six gallons for an entire cycle. When you think about how many dishes fit into the washer, you can easily see how more efficient the machine is.
Make sure the load is full before you run and avoid pre-rinsing. According to Consumer Reports, unnecessary rinsing wastes nearly 20 gallons per load. That adds up to 6,500 gallons per household annually. To save even more, turn off heat during the drying cycle. You can even open the door after the rinse cycle so dishes air dry.
2. Check your fridge’s fitness.
For a more efficient refrigerator, dust the coils. They’re located behind the fridge or under a panel in the front. Position the fridge so it’s at least one inch away from the wall with the temperature set between 30 and 42 degrees. You can improve door seals by placing Vaseline along the rubber. To use less energy, keep your freezer and fridge full. Filling empty milk gallons with water is an easy way to fill the space.
3. Let there be strategic light.
Use CFLs (compact fluorescent light bulbs) for maximum energy efficiency. Consider replacing your most-used light fixtures with ENERGY STAR products. Use motion detectors for outdoor lighting to save energy.
4. Avoid flushing money down the toilet.
Small leaks that go unnoticed can waste 10,000 gallons a year. Check for leaks by adding a few drops of food coloring in the tank. Wait 15 minutes. If the color appears in the bowl, you have a leak. A worn-out flapper is the most common culprit. The inexpensive rubber parts can be quickly and easily replaced.
5. Turn down the heat
The U.S. Department of Energy says water heating is the second biggest energy expense in your home (after cooling and heating) and accounts for about 18% of your utility bill. The Department says for every 10 degrees you lower the temperature you can save 3 to 5% on water heating costs. During the summer, you can easily reduce your water heater from 140 degrees to 120 and feel no difference. If you’re leaving for a few days, use the vacation setting or consider turning off the heater.
About Donley AC & Plumbing
Since 1976, Jim and Mike Donley and their employees have been providing honest, caring service to Arizonans. Family-owned Donley AC & Plumbing has twice been honored with the Better Business Bureau’s Ethics Award. Donley technicians receive ongoing training to provide the most comprehensive service for air conditioning, plumbing, heating, sewer repair, maintenance management and solar hot water. www.donleyservice.com