Phoenix is home to some of America’s most extreme weather conditions. As a result, the cost of electricity often spikes throughout the year, forcing families to adjust their budgets or live in discomfort. Fortunately, there are a few ways homeowners can save money on electricity during the summer months with a little bit of work and planning.
1. Seal Up Your House
The first thing you need to do is ensure that the cool air from your air conditioner is not escaping outside. This means closing and locking all windows, then shutting blinds and drapes to further deter heat transfer. Next, checking your fireplaces to ensure that air is not escaping through a chimney flue. You can even buy home efficiency kits that help you seal up your doors and windows even better!
2. Turn Up the Temp Slightly
Keeping your thermostat at 82ºF may not sound cool enough, but when the temperature outside is over 110, coming inside to an 80º room still feels plenty cool. Due to the extreme temperatures during a Phoenix summer, your air conditioning unit is already working overtime, and it fights for every single degree below 80. It is estimated that you could save 2-3% on your power bill for each degree you turn the temperature up in your house above 80º. That means even going to 83º could save you nearly 10% each month.
3. Change Your Laundry Settings
Heating up water for laundry actually consumes a huge amount of energy throughout the year. Whenever possible, wash your laundry in cool or cold water and save yourself the power bill.
4. Avoid the Kitchen During the Hottest Parts of the Day
Kitchen appliances are notoriously inefficient and add a lot of heat to your home. Even the dishwasher gives off heat and humidity as it runs. When you are using your kitchen during the day, your air conditioner has to work harder to keep your home cool. This is even truer if you are baking. The best thing to do is to keep your cooking light during the hottest times of the day.
5. Turn Your AC Fan to Auto
If you have your thermostat set to the ON position, it could be running your fan even when it isn’t necessary. With the auto function, the unit is able to self-regulate and prevent waste. This has been shown to reduce electricity costs significantly by instantly cutting down on the amount of time the motor is running.
6. Invest in a Programmable Thermostat
If you haven’t already had one installed, a programmable thermostat can greatly improve the efficiency of your home. It can control the temperature throughout the day to save the most energy while you are away at work. Then it will cool the house down just in time for you to come home. With a one-time setup, you won’t have to worry about it ever again.
7. Install Energy Star Ceiling Fans
Ceiling fans help circulate the cool air from your air conditioner throughout the house and can help your unit work more effectively. There are a number of Energy Star rated products that will not add to your electricity bill significantly and can cut the time it takes for your unit to cool the whole home. They can be shut off when you leave the room to save even more.
8. Make Sure Your Thermostat and Vents are Clear
In order for your air conditioning system to work correctly, there must be plenty of space for air to flow uninterrupted through the system. Blocked off vents or clutter around the thermostat could be trapping in heat and causing your AC to work harder and harder. The system needs to be able to breathe freely in order for it to determine how much cooling is needed and when.
These are just a few ways to save on your electric bill in summer here in Phoenix. When all else fails, there are a number of budget-billing programs available that are designed to level out your payments throughout the year so you won’t take major hits during the summer. However, the best practice is always to reduce your energy usage as much as possible to prevent those big bills from coming in the first place. With a little bit of preparation around the house, you can save hundreds each year.
For more help improving the efficiency of your air conditioner in Phoenix, or troubleshooting a unit that isn’t cooling properly, call your local HVAC contractor at Day & Night Air. Our team can show you how to lower your power bill in the summer with simple and effective steps.