The extreme Arizona summers can make it almost impossible for you to keep cool. Your AC or heat pump will also need to run much more when the temperatures rise into the triple digits, and this can lead to extremely high energy costs. Today we’re going to discuss a few simple HVAC tips that will work to help ensure your home stays cool and also keep your energy bills from rising too high.
Schedule an AC Tune-Up
The best thing you can do to ensure your home stays cool and comfortable all summer long is to schedule an annual AC tune-up service each spring. Central AC units and heat pumps require regular maintenance to keep functioning efficiently and effectively. The fact is that the performance of any cooling system will always decrease without regular maintenance. As the performance decreases, it will lead to the system running for longer periods and using more energy. This also leads to greater wear and tear and could cause the system to break down and need expensive repairs. Having your air conditioning system professionally maintained every year will always save you money in the long run while also ensuring the system functions effectively and keeps your home cool on even the hottest days.
Keep Your AC On and Windows Closed at Night
Sleeping with the windows open can definitely be pleasant. Many people also open their windows at night and shut off their air conditioning as a way to try and save some money. The issue is that the nighttime temperatures in Arizona are still typically in the upper 70s to 80s throughout most of the summer. If you open your windows at night when the temperatures are this high, all you’re doing is allowing lots of heat inside. As a result, your AC system will need to run for longer when you turn it back on the next day, and this can almost completely offset any energy savings from shutting the AC off at night.
When you leave your AC on constantly, it will normally only need to run for a short period each time since the temperature inside your home will typically never rise more than 1 or 2 degrees above the thermostat setting. If you shut off your AC at night and open the windows, the system could have to run for a full hour or two once you turn it back on.
The other thing you should understand is that your AC typically uses very little energy overnight, as it won’t need to run much. In most cases, somewhere between two-thirds and three-quarters of an AC system’s total energy consumption occurs between noon and midnight. This means that shutting your AC off at night will typically only save you maybe a few dollars a month, and it will also result in your home usually feeling overly hot at night and in the mornings. For this reason, we would always recommend leaving your windows closed throughout the entire summer and your AC on auto.
Change Your AC Air Filter Regularly
During the milder parts of the year when your HVAC system doesn’t run all that much, you are usually fine to just replace or wash the air filter every two or three months. However, you should definitely consider replacing or washing your air filter monthly during the hottest parts of the year. Any time your air conditioning runs for more hours in a day, the air filter will get dirty and start to clog more quickly. This is especially true in arid climates since the air tends to be dusty.
A clogged air filter can greatly reduce the effectiveness of your air conditioning and drastically reduce the rate at which it cools. When the filter is overly dirty, it limits how much warm air the blower can draw into the system. The less warm air there is coming in, the slower the system will cool and the longer it will need to run. This issue can also lead to your AC running almost constantly as it will often not be able to cool quickly enough to keep the temperature inside your home from continuing to rise.
A clogged air filter can also lead to your AC freezing up or experiencing a variety of other issues and potentially breaking down. If you don’t change the air filter regularly, your energy bills will also quickly start to increase. By checking your air filter every month and replacing as needed, you can help to keep your home more comfortable and ensure that your air conditioning functions more effectively throughout the summer.
Close Your Window Coverings During the Day
Windows are generally the biggest source of heat gain in most homes. This is especially the case if your home has lots of west- and north-facing windows since these will allow the most sunlight and thus heat in during the hottest parts of the day. If you leave all of your curtains and blinds open during the day, the heat gain from the sunlight streaming in through the windows can quickly cause the temperature to increase so much that your AC may not be able to keep up.
Keeping your curtains and blinds closed during the day is one of the easiest ways to keep your home cooler and will greatly reduce how much heat gain the building gets from the sun. It will also help to lower your energy costs and decrease the wear and tear on your AC system since it won’t need to run as often. This is why it’s always a good idea to close all of your window coverings in the morning before going to work and leave them closed until the sun starts to go down in the evening.
Upgrade to a Smart Thermostat
Any type of programmable thermostat can help to lower your cooling costs since it allows you to program different temperature settings for different parts of the day. However, a smart thermostat will not only save you money but can also improve your comfort. Smart thermostats can use algorithms to learn about your behavior and automatically adjust their settings to lower energy costs. These units can also monitor weather patterns and adjust accordingly to ensure your home stays cooler. Another huge advantage is that it will allow you to turn the AC on and off or adjust the temperature from your phone. This makes it easy to ensure your home is fully cool whenever you get back from work.
Turn On Your Ceiling Fans
Ceiling fans are also great for both reducing cooling costs and staying cool. When the fans spin counterclockwise, they will push air downwards to produce a breeze that will help you feel cooler. If you have ceiling fans in most rooms, this breeze can allow you to turn your thermostat setting up by a few degrees without any noticeable effect on your comfort. This means that your AC won’t need to run quite as often, and you’ll still be able to feel cool and comfortable.
At A/C Doctors, we can help if your cooling system needs to be maintained or has any issues that need repairing. We work on all models and brands of air conditioners, heat pumps and mini-splits, and we also specialize in a full range of heating, indoor air quality and commercial HVAC services. To schedule an AC tune-up or any other service in Gilbert or the Phoenix Metro area, contact A/C Doctors today.