Are you a cool customer? When the delightful, shirt sleeves weather of spring gives way to the blistering heatwaves of summer, do you get a little hot under the collar? Does steam come out your ears when you review your utility bill? Air conditioning makes the summer months bearable in the greater Phoenix area. However, paying those electric bills can be a prickly matter, about as much fun as a jumping cholla.
Arizonans love their air conditioning and are happy to share with you their personal tips. How they use it, when they use it, where they set their thermostat, what kind of thermostat they choose to use are all very personal choices. There’s a familiar phrase in the Lone Star State – “Don’t mess with Texas”. In AZ, it’s “Don’t you dare touch my AC.” Here are some ways to raise your AC IQ and a few cost-cutting air conditioning tips to lower your utility bill.
Reduce You Air Conditioning Bill
If you think of yourself as the CEO of your home, then you know you are constantly making decisions to allocate family resources for one thing or another. Unless you have an unlimited budget, every choice you make has a ramification, and this is especially true with your air conditioning. As soon as you lower the temperature setting, you’re going to raise your electric bill. The average Phoenix electric bill is five percent higher than in other regions of the United States, and air conditioning accounts for half the cost. Lowering your bill a few percent could mean extra money for other family priorities, like a family vacation! What steps can you take to allow you to live in comfort and not see red at the end of the month?
Combat the Rays
Keep the drapes and blinds closed and make sure the fireplace damper is shut. You don’t want cool air going up the chimney. Install ceiling fans in every room. Kids often need frequent reminders to keep the doors closed and to not play with the thermostat.
Tips on Thermostats
Setting the thermostat at or above 78 degrees and well above 80 degrees when you aren’t home will help cut costs. Set your fan to AUTO, and do not run the fan motor all day as this will use a lot of power.
Consider installing a new programmable thermostat which will increase your ability to control your environment and allow you to make changes through the app on your phone, whether you are home or not. Products such as Nest provide you with helpful data about your home cooling system, so you are better able to track what’s working for you.
Schedule an AC Home Inspection with a Professional
In spring, while the temperatures are cool, schedule a pre-summer air conditioning inspection to check the outdoor unit and your entire AC system. What happens during an AC maintenance check?
- Remove debris and leaves (twigs, branches and leaves can be a fire hazard)
- Make sure there’s no damage from winter storms
- Check for animals and nests
- Inspect the wires and electrical hookups (squirrels and mice have been known to chew through wires)
- Checkout the air ducts and vents
- Replace the air filters (make a notation of the date replaced)
Working with an HVAC professional will help you to save money in the long run. Air conditioning units work extremely hard in Arizona, and it’s important that they receive professional care and maintenance.