We’ll be completely honest with you...if you live in the Phoenix area, there really is no “cheap” way to keep your home cool during the summer and early fall. That’s because when the temperature is high, there’s simply no way to properly cool your home without turning your AC on, which will never be “cheap.”
However, there are ways to cut down on how much you spend on AC bills.
A few ways to keep your AC bills under control include:
- Run your AC the right way
- Cook at the right time
- Replace outdated lights with energy-efficient bulbs
- Install awnings
- Focus on cooling yourself down
Below, we’ll walk through each of these tips, so you can keep your home cool without spending an excessive amount on cooling.
Cooling Tip #1: Run your AC the right way
We all want our homes to stay cool when it's pushing 100 degrees outside, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you need your AC on full blast throughout the day. In fact, the best way to keep your home cool without breaking the bank is to turn your AC up 7-10 degrees for 8 hours a day.
Don’t want to come back to a house that’s 7-10° hotter than what you prefer? Consider investing in a smart thermostat. Smart thermostats allow you to set a schedule, so your home will be back to whatever temperature you want by 5:30 p.m., or whenever it is you return home for the day.
Cooling Tip #2: Cook at the right time
When it’s hot out, a great (and completely free) way to keep extra heat out of your home is to use your stove and/or oven during cooler times of the day...early in the morning or later on in the evening.
This allows the heat that is generated from cooking to dissipate before the outside temperature heats up, allowing your home to cool down rather than retain heat from outside as well as the heat from your kitchen appliances.
Another way to reduce heat from your kitchen is to cook several meals at once, that way you are only heating up your oven or stove a few times a week as opposed to every single day.
Cooling Tip #3: Replace outdated lights with energy-efficient bulbs
According to energy.gov, 90% of the energy that incandescent lights use is given off as heat. Essentially this means that when these lights are on, they’re emitting heat into your home.
On the other hand, LED lighting does not create additional heat in a space, according to ENERGY STAR.
In addition to reducing the amount of heat emitted, LED lights are very energy-efficient compared to incandescent lighting. ENERGY STAR-qualified LED lights actually use 20-25% of the energy and last 15-25 times longer than traditional incandescent bulbs.
Over time, this means you’ll likely see a decrease in your monthly energy bills if you upgrade from incandescent bulbs to energy-efficient LED bulbs.
Cooling Tip #4: Install awnings
Awnings can reduce solar heat gain by 65% on windows facing south and 77% on windows facing west, according to the Department of Energy.
Considering that 76% of the sunlight that falls on your windows enters your home to become heat, awnings protect your windows (and ultimately your home) from a lot of heat gain, which can greatly reduce your overall cooling costs and lower the temperature of your home.
Cooling Tip #5: Focus on cooling yourself down
The cheapest way to cool off is to focus on cooling yourself down rather than your home. A few simple ways to cool off include:
- Drink something chilled or with ice in it
- Wrap a cool, wet towel around your neck
- Wear thin and light-colored clothing
- Take a cold shower
- Turn your fan on
- Avoid any heat-inducing activities like cooking or folding clothes out of a warm dryer
Still finding it hard to keep your home cool?
If you’ve followed all of these tips and are still having issues keeping your home cool without a ridiculously high energy bill, it might be time to call a professional. There could be an issue with your AC system. Or if you haven’t had your system maintained recently, it may just be struggling to run efficiently. Either way, our team of pros would be happy to check it out.