If you've experienced an Arizona summer you know that this time of year brings more than triple digit temperatures - it also hits pocket books. Electricity and water bills go up, pool parts and air conditioners are more likely to fail under the stress, and repair bills can be higher. This year, we asked our partners, "If you had one tip to help our homeowners save this summer, what would it be?" The result is the collection of tips below.

Day & Night HVAC/Plumbing

Air Conditioning:

- If your AC is younger than 10 years old, be proactive!

- According to APS, a recent study found that more than 55% of existing AC units had issues causing them to waste electricity in summer and winter. That costs you money! Staying on top of maintenance improves your AC system’s performance by up to 10% and increases the life of your equipment with an advanced AC tune-up.

Plumbing:

- Water Heater Flush: removes sediment from the water heater and makes heating water much more efficient

- Check your water pressure! If it is more than 80 pounds, the pressure will wear on your water treatment units, your faucets, and more.

Scott Freymuller – OIB Consulting

Landscaping:

I have many ways to save energy with landscape and other simple home improvements.

-Upgrading sprinklers with WiFi Controllers that will monitor weather and adjust watering time based on temperature and humidity.  

-Using LED landscape lights with dimmable WiFi transformers.

-Changing out sprinkler heads to low-use water rotors for those of us that still have real grass. 

-Changing out sprinkler heads to low-use water rotors for those of us that still have real grass. 

-The largest investment would be to install synthetic lawn. This saves in so many ways - water, air/noise pollution from mowing, weed control/fertilizer and over time will save money for the homeowner. 

-Tinting windows in the home with a crystalline film reduces heat transfer by more than 60%, UV by 99%, and reduces glare, while at the same time adding security by making it more difficult to break windows. 

-Sealing doors and windows. 

-Using ceiling fans.

-Ideal Energy from APS will do an energy audit for $99.

-Updating appliances, especially high energy use products like Plasma TV's (Energy Star Rating). 

-Interior LED Lighting. 

-Efficient Pool Pumps.

-Service Air Conditioner. 

-Room Pressure Testing. 

FineMark Bank

The relaxed days of summer are a great time to revisit some personal and financial items you may have put on the back burner.

1. Find a financial advisor that can aggregate all your accounts to give you a complete picture of your financial situation. 

2. Create a financial plan to help you see the big picture and set short and long-term goals.

3. Review your trust and estate planning docs and sit down with a financial advisor to make sure they’re updated according to your wishes. 

a. If you don’t have these yet, talk to your financial advisor about finding an estate planning attorney to help you set up those documents.

4. Make sure you have a team in place who can help you reach those financial goals.

FineMark National Bank & Trust’s experienced professionals take a holistic approach to managing wealth. We place importance on getting to know you and your personal and financial goals. We also work closely with outside members of your financial team, like CPAs and Estate Attorneys, to make sure everyone is working toward a common goal.

Pure Insurance

One article that might be helpful as so many folks are leaving the Valley to escape the heat is our Nine Ways to Protect Your Home While You Are Away. Also, for any homeowners that rely on Nest to remotely check their thermostat, smoke alarms, and security cameras, we published an article about new Nest security measures.

Landscaping:

-Maintain an “ideal temperature” in your home. In warm weather climates, maintain an interior relative humidity at or below 40% to avoid mold.

-Maintain ideal conditions in your attic. 

-Conduct an energy audit to identify at-risk areas of your home.

-Install monitoring systems to detect and respond to leaks and frozen pipes before damage occurs.

-Install a back-up generator.

-Install a sump pump with a backup power source if you reside in a low-lying area.

-Enlist the help of a trusted caretaker or house sitter.

-Establish an emergency plan.

Additionally, Nest, manufacturer of smart home thermostats, smoke alarms and security cameras, has introduced a new layer of security to help protect their users’ account data. It involves two-step authentication, which prompts users to confirm their identity when logging in through a text-messaged verification code.

Get Your Move On

Tips to save time and money when you move:

-Pack everything up before moving day.

-Pack a survival kit (everything you’d need to survive for 72 hours): extra clothes; toothbrush, floss, and toothpaste; hairbrush, personal care items, and any accessories; medications; first-aid kit; cell phone and charger.

-Devise a loading plan for the moving truck.

-Buy or rent a shoulder dolly.

-Use blankets and pillows to protect furniture (better yet, let GYMO do the packing, and they do this).

-When hiring a moving company, get an on-site estimate.

-Peak moving times should be avoided (avoid moving on the last day or weekend of the month).

-Inform the IRS of your move.

Aquaman Pools, LLC

Most homeowners aren't aware, but after your air conditioner, the biggest power user in your home is your pool pump. Regular pool pumps work all the time at the same amount of power, wasting a lot of energy. In contrast, variable speed pool pumps intelligently use only the minimum amount of power necessary. This means dramatic savings on your electric bill (up to $50 a month or more), a longer life span, and less wear and tear on your other pool parts.