We’ve found that installing insulation in your home, along with finding and filling air leaks can save Arizona homeowners as much as 10% on their cooling costs in the summer. Johnny D has a list of contractors who can help you with insulation, drywall, windows, and other home improvements that Isley’s Home Service doesn’t service. Our HVAC TLC Maintenance Plan includes twice-yearly heating and cooling system inspections and tune-ups so your home is operating at maximum efficiency. The following items will help you lower A/C costs this summer.
Home Upgrades and Air Conditioner Maintenance can lower A/C costs
In addition to insulating your home and having your air conditioning and heating serviced biannually, this DIY checklist will help you get the most from your home’s HVAC system:
- Install energy efficient ENERGY STAR heating and cooling equipment when it’s time to replace your entire system.
- Change or clean air and/or furnace filters monthly or as often as your Isley’s Home Service technician advises. Set reminders so you don’t forget.
- Check your home’s insulation. The recommendation from the Department of Energy for Arizona is at least an R-38 (10-15 inches) in the attic.
- Install a programmable thermostat that can be adjusted according to your air conditioning and heating needs.
- Consider installing double pane windows, reflective film or retractable awnings that will reduce heat gain.
- Check seals and weather stripping around windows and doors for drafts. Use the wet-hand test on a windy day in front of the suspected air leak; if you feel a draft, you’ve got a leak.
- Keep your outdoor ground unit clear from brush and debris.
- If you notice your unit is running longer than normal or making unusual noises it’s best to call for service.
Tips to Maximize Air Conditioning Dollars Every Day
Did you know that ceiling fans don’t cool rooms? That’s not to say you can’t use them – they do cool people, but when a room is empty, turn off the fan. Not only does a fan running in an empty room waste energy, but it also gives off heat from its motor. Here are a few other tips:
- Shut your heating and cooling system off before opening windows and doors during nice Phoenix weather.
- Set your thermostat at 80° or higher. You can save 2-3% on your electric bill for every degree warmer.
- Keep blinds and drapes closed on the sunny side of house to keep heat out.
- When painting your home or replacing the roof, use light colors to reflect heat.
- Close fireplace dampers when not in use. This will help prevent cool air from escaping and hot air from entering through the chimney.
- Plant shade trees on the west and south sides of your home to reduce heat from Phoenix’s hot sun.
- Make sure lamps, electronics and appliances are not near your thermostat. Heat from these items can cause your AC to run longer than necessary.
- Use exhaust fans to remove heat from your kitchen and bathroom.
- Vent the dryer outside to reduce heat and moisture in your home. Line dry clothes as much as possible.
- Check attic ventilation. Areas under poorly vented attics are much hotter.
- Don’t set your thermostat at a colder-than-normal setting when you turn on your air conditioning. It will not cool your home any faster and could result in excessive cooling and unwanted expenses.
- Use your main oven less by using toaster ovens, microwaves, crock-pots and grills to reduce the amount of heat generated.
- Also using the air-dry setting on your dishwasher to produce less heat.