Did you know? Arizonans spend four times more on air-conditioning than residents in other states. That’s according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Thankfully, there are ways to ensure your electric bill doesn’t skyrocket right along with valley temperatures.
Here are just seven ways to reduce summer cooling costs.
Turn on Your Fans
Ceiling, table, and floor fans allow you to raise the thermostat by four degrees with no reduction in comfort, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Position or install a fan in each room that needs to be cooled. You can purchase fans in a range of sizes online and in stores. There are even smart ceiling fans that can turn on and off at scheduled times.
Set it to AUTO
Most thermostats have two fan settings: ON and AUTO. When set to ON, the blower works continuously, even after the thermostat reaches your temperature setting. When set to AUTO, however, the fan only runs when you need to cool the air. To reduce summer cooling costs, prevent mechanical breakdowns, and extend your unit’s lifespan, choose the AUTO setting.
Close the Blinds
During the hottest times of day – 9 a.m. to noon and again from 6 to 8 p.m. – it’s a good idea to close your blinds to keep the sun out. The sun’s rays can raise the temperature and cause the air conditioner to kick on more frequently than it should. You may also want to consider hanging blackout curtains.
Reduce Heat Sources
Instead of eating out during the summer, or sacrificing your comfort to use the oven, consider a more efficient appliance. There is no shortage of recipes online for meals in the Instant Pot or air fryer. These inexpensive appliances can cook meals in a fraction of the time and won’t heat your home in the process.
Raise the Temperature
The U.S. Department of Energy recommends setting your thermostat to 78˚F only when you’re at home and awake. You should set it higher when you’re at work or asleep. Match your cooling needs to your schedule by installing a smart or programmable thermostat. It’s equally important to replace HVAC filters routinely; usually once every three months depending on filter type and quality.
Programmable is the Way to Go
Programmable or smart thermostats, when set up and used correctly, are incredibly energy efficient. Smart thermostats learn your schedule and preferences, usually in as little as two weeks, helping you conserve energy and save money. The Nest Thermostat estimates you’ll save 15% on summer cooling costs per year. Smart thermostats, much like the Nest, also allows you to control the unit remotely.
Air Seal and Insulate Your Attic
Energy Star recommends air sealing and insulating for optimal energy efficiency, utility savings, and home comfort. These projects, when professionally completed, can help reduce summer cooling costs. While there are several insulation types, an essential factor to consider is the R-value, which is a measure of thermal performance. Higher values are significantly better. A professional insulation contractor can help you make an informed purchasing decision.
Banker Insulation is a full-service insulation and energy conservation contractor serving the greater Phoenix metro area. In business since 1977, we provide residential and commercial insulation, sound control, and other valuable services such as home energy audits. Contact us today at (602) 273-1261 or at one of these other locations for more information on how to reduce summer cooling costs.