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It is hot in Mexico, and electric bills can run high if you are not careful. There is a significant focus on being energy efficient these days, and for a good reason, reducing energy consumption means fewer emissions of greenhouse gases; meanwhile, we save money on utility bills.
We have some tips to save energy and significantly reduce your electric bill.
- The refrigerator is one of the highest energy-consuming appliances in the home.
- When you design your kitchen, place the fridge away from the oven, and out of direct sunlight, make sure the back of the refrigerator is well ventilated and kept clean.
- If you are purchasing a new fridge, make sure there is an energy-efficient sticker stating that it complies with the Official Mexican Standard on energy-efficient appliances.
- Ensure the door seals properly and never put hot food into the fridge.
- Added features such as a built-in ice machine or auto-defrost consume more energy.
- Consider solar panels; they are environmentally and financially beneficial; installing solar panels will almost eliminate your electric bill.
- Check your meter, unplug all electric devices and turn off all lights to confirm the meter stops running; if not, there may be a leak, or you are paying for someone else’s electricity.
- If it is not in use unplug it, electronics on standby are still consuming energy. Phone charges, video games, computers, TVs, and music players are wasting electricity.
- Air conditioners – learn how to use it effectively and make sure you have it serviced every year, a dirty air conditioner is bad for your health and your wallet.
- Install windows where you can take advantage of natural light and paint the interior of your home light colors so you will use less lighting.
- Paint the outside of your home light colors to reflect the sun rather than absorb it.
- Think about landscaping; planting trees and shrubs provide a fresh environment and shade for your home, keeping it cool naturally.
- Consider awnings or shutters over your windows.
- Close blackout curtains or blinds to keep direct sunshine from heating your house.
- Install a close line and hang laundry to dry; a dryer is not necessary in this weather. Line dried laundry is fresh without using chemical dryer sheets and gentler on fabric.
Speak with your architect about building techniques, materials, and other options that make your project energy-efficient and eco-friendly.