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Dog Days of Summer: Fighting High Utility Bills


ACKK!!! I opened my utility bill and just about had a heart attack. You would think after all of these years of living in the desert it wouldn’t cause such palpitations, but even knowing that my bill will soar in direct proportion to the temperature, I still go through a moment of shock each summer. So this year I decided to implement some of those great tips that you see each summer.  Here is a list of energy saving tips that I found pretty practical. (taken from

  1. Set your air conditioner thermostat as high as comfortable – we recommend 78ºF or higher when you’re at home, and 85ºF when you’re gone. Keep inside air vents clear from furniture and other objects.
  2. Have your central air conditioner tuned up and clean or replace filters monthly for more efficient operation.
  3. Minimize indoor heat: run the dryer and dishwasher at night on hot days and let your dishes air dry. Avoid heat-generating incandescent lighting and use a microwave, toaster oven or outdoor grill instead of the oven. It’s best to avoid the use of major appliances between 2 and 8 p.m.
  4. Set your water heater to 120ºF.
  5. Keep the blinds and windows closed during the day and open at night. This is a no-cost way to keep your home a little cooler.
  6. Window, ceiling and whole-house fans are also low-cost ways to keep your home a little cooler.
  7. Wash clothes in cold water and clean the lint filter in the dryer after every use.
  8. Eliminate, or deactivate, extra freezers or refrigerators if you can, especially if they spend the summer outdoors or in a garage. Better yet, have your old refrigerator or freezer picked up for proper recycling and earn a cash incentive.
  9. Unplug appliances and electronics when not in use. Plug home electronics, such as TVs, DVD players and computers into power strips and turn off the power strips when the equipment is not in use.
  10. If you have a pool: consider slowly reducing pool filtration time by 30 minute increments daily. Keep on reducing the time as long as the water appears clean. You may find you only need to run your pool filter six hours a day. Install a timer to control the length of time that the pool pump cycles on.


The only tip I have to modify is #5. Here in our HOT, HOT DESERT, we rarely get the luxury of opening the windows at night, at least not in the full heat of the summer. I walked out at 4:45 a.m. last week and met a wall of hot air—the price we pay for fantastic spring, winter, and fall seasons.

Let us help you find the right home to spend the dog days of summer in—maybe one with a pool!


Chris at 435-313-3966


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