The sun will (almost) always shine in Arizona, which means your air conditioning will (almost) always be running. Being concerned that your AC unit is running too much or your electric bills are too high is normal. To boost your AC units efficiency, you need to be aware of different sources of heat gain. Below we explain a few areas to check outside and inside your home to ensure your AC runs as efficiently as possible.
Every home has windows, which are a main point of entry for sunlight. The more sunlight you are letting into your home, the hotter the interior temperature is going to be. To keep these rays out, shades and blinds should be closed when they are direct line of the sunlight. Thermal liners or solar screens can help reflect heat and reduce the amount of UV rays entering your home.
Additionally, poorly installed windows or ones with poor caulk seals can also be an entry point for sunlight or heat. Be sure to check the seals and caulk around your windows and doors for heat access.
Your landscape can play a large role in the temperature of your home. Having the right type of trees around your home can significantly decrease the amount of direct sunlight your home receives. If you want to keep your home cooler and your electric bills lower, a more natural option, such as trees, is a great option to shade your home. In Arizona, pick varieties that require less water, like mesquite, paloverde, palo brea, and desert willow. Also, planting these trees along the west and south sides of your home will work best and could cut your cooling costs up to 35%.
The exterior color of your home can play a large role in controlling the temperature of your home. Similar to wearing light colored clothes vs. dark clothes in the sun can either keep you cool or make you warm in the sun, the same goes for your home. Lighter colors reflect sunlight and heat away from your home. Darker colors soak up solar energy and make your home warmer. Not only the color of your home, but also your roof color can play a factor.
Large appliances can be a large producer of heat inside your home. Refrigerators and freezers generate heat as their cooling motor runs. Making sure these appliances are stocked can prevent the cooling motor from needing to run as much. Also, keeping the doors closed as much as possible will prevent thawing and the need for the appliances to produce more cold.
Clothes dryers are also a great producer of heat inside the home. An easy way to reduce the heat is to reduce the use of a dryer. If you are able, hang your clothes outside to dry your clothes. If not, clothes racks, shower curtain rods, or interior doorways are other areas to hang clothes so they can dry without forced heat.
Similar to a clothes dryer, dishwashers generate a lot of heat as they are in use. To cut down on the amount of heat production, you can either skip the dry cycle on your dishwasher unit or simply wash your dishes by hand. Both options will cut back on the amount of heat produced by the dishwasher.
By performing a simple inspection on these items and implementing the tips we have provided, you can be sure to decrease your AC run time. If you are still concerned your AC runs more than it should, contacting a professional to perform an inspection is recommended. 2C’s Cooling & Heating offers experienced technicians who can verify your AC system is the best for your home.