Summer months in Arizona always present a challenge. While it’s tempting to turn the thermostat back to the January channel, it’s definitely dangerous to tempt the powers that be. Seriously. During Arizona’s harsh summers, air conditioning can account for more than 50 percent of your monthly electric bill. Best to avoid the seasonal sticker shock.
So when the outdoors feels like a blast furnace, how can you stay cool indoors without setting fire to your budget? Here are some helpful tips:
Keep your vents open - Avoid hot and cool spots. Open vents promote a more even flow of air from room to room. Too many closed vents will reduce the effectiveness of your cooling system.
Set your thermostat between 75 and 80 degrees – Turn it up a few degrees when you’re away from home. Every degree above 80 degrees will save you 2 to 3 percent on cooling costs. Programmable thermostats let you control the temperature from your Smartphone, so download an app and put all that cool technology to work for you.
Set your A/C fan to ‘Auto’ - This setting turns the fan motor off when the A/C is not actively cooling, and can save up $15-$25 per month off an average summer electric bill.
Heat rises – Be sure to set your ceiling fans to blow downward so that the cool air can circulate freely. (Hint: there’s a button or control that allows you to reverse airflow.) The more you know.
Do the laundry early in the morning or after dark - Simple chores like doing dishes, laundry or mopping the floor create more moisture in the air, so your A/C will have to work harder to cool things down. Take care of them during off-peak hours.
Throw Something on the Barby! Forget baking and pots bubbling and steaming on the stove. As the old saying goes, if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. Invite some friends or neighbors, get outside and grill up some delicious summer fare. Everything tastes yummier when it’s grilled, plus it’s a great way to meet new friends (and show off your grill skills).