Super-Cooling to Reduce A/C Bills – Fact or Myth?

What is Super-Cooling?

Air conditioning is a necessity for those of us that live in the Phoenix valley. As temperatures rise, even homeowners in the northern regions of the state of Arizona need the cool relief only an HVAC system can provide. Even though the technology has been around for many decades, there are many myths surrounding the best way to maximize energy efficiencies to get the most out of your air conditioning system. “super-cooling” may have many different definitions, but our use of the term is based on the idea that when you run your AC, you actually cool EVERYTHING in your home as well as yourself. Your furniture, walls, flooring and much more will get cooled off at the same time. If run the AC long enough & cold enough during the right times, you can save quite a bit of money on your monthly energy bill.

How Does it Work?

First, you should call either SRP or APS and ask about their respective time advantage plan where it’s cheaper per kilowatt hour during certain times of the day. Next, you need to have a programmable thermostat. Often times, the savings of super cooling a few months in the summer will more than pay for your new thermostat if you don’t already have one. If you already have a programmable thermostat then you’ll need to check the instructions on how best to program it.

Once your plan starts, you should set the temperature on your thermostat the hours when your off-peak lower rates are available. This setting should be between 68 and 73 degrees and must run at that temperature throughout the off-peak times. That’s when you can also run your other high energy appliances cheaply, such as the oven, dishwasher and dryer.

During the cooling period, some people may be more sensitive to the temperature and may need to wear sweaters or pajamas. Put extra heavy comforters on the bed at night and if you work at it, you can make adjustments very easily. Some people may worry about running their AC continuously for extended periods of time, but it actually puts less strain on your cooling equipment than when an A/C unit constantly turns on and off during the hottest hours of the summer. When you reach the hour of the high cost, on peak prices, adjust the thermostat to the warmest bearable temperature. The one you usually use during the summer. For most people in Phoenix, this will most likely be between 78 and 80 degrees. At this point, the air conditioner will most likely not switch on for a while. The chilly walls, furniture, rugs and even flooring will help make the house feel cool. You will be very comfortable during this time and will also be saving money!

The ultimate goal of supercooling will be to buy as much off-peak power as possible. Many homeowners have reported that they’ve purchased 90 percent or more of their total power during off-peak times. Some have cut their power bills from 25 to 50 percent compared to previous Phoenix summers. At the very least, you will want to obtain 80 percent power off-peak with the rest being on-peak. Of course, your results may vary and depend upon other appliance use in your home as well as what your home is made of (stucco vs. brick). Also keep in mind that leaky exterior doors or single pane windows will decrease the effectiveness of supercooling, so keep those upgrades in mind if you don’t achieve the savings that others have. If all else fails, you may be in need of a newer, more efficient air conditioning unit. In that case, give us a call and we’ll help you determine what the best plan of action is at a reasonable cost!