How to stay cool while saving money during an Arizona summer

Posted at 6:10 PM, Jun 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-16 21:10:44-04

Out of sight, out of mind is absolutely the wrong approach when it comes to your air conditioning unit. But, many of us try and push away any thought of a 120-degree day.

Well, that day is definitely in sight now — whether we like it or not.

That also means your AC is going into overdrive. Technicians compare your unit to a vehicle. The better you take care of it, like getting oil changes, the longer and better it will run. The same goes for your unit.

"Whenever you do go out to a house... the biggest thing that you see is people haven't changed their filter; which is the simplest thing to do," Dereck Ball with Isley's Home Services, Inc. explained.

Ball said he sees plenty of filters absolutely caked in debris, along with coils that are in desperate need of cleaning.

"Something that simple can cause your system to break down and have a failure... in the middle of 120-degree weather," Ball said.

And while Ball said they would work fast to get to your home, they often have a lot of calls during the summer and it could be hours before they get to your house.

Aside from maintence, ABC15 is taking action to try and save you money when it comes to cooling.

"Just talking to our customers about our price programs is a big thing," Bryanna McHenry with Salt River Project explained. "Making sure they're shifting their usage."

By watching when you turn on those bigger appliances, like your AC, can keep your bill from going up with the temperatures.

APS and SRP offers similar plans. One of SRP's programs is called a "Time of Use" price plan.

"So, the 'on peak' time frame is 1 p.m. to 8 p.m.," McHenry explained. "Those are the times that you kind of want to watch your usage as well."

There are also plenty of myths out there to beat the heat.

"The foil on the windows," McHenry said. "Because they're wanting to block the sun from entering their windows."

But that ends up baking your home like a cookie sheet instead and when it comes to this excessive heat, there is no time for anything but facts.

So, we took some questions to the experts. First up, should you keep your ceiling fans running, even when you are not there?

"The [ceiling fans] don't necessarily cool the room," McHenry explained. "They cool you and so you want to make sure that when you leave the room, you do turn the ceiling van off."

Next up: vents. Does closing some of them help direct the cool air to the room you want?

"By closing off the vent, you're actually causing more restrictions," explained Ball with Isley's Home Services, Inc.,"And sometimes causing your air conditioner to work harder."

The same also goes with your inside doors; for example to your bedroom. You should leave them open while you sleep so the cool air can move freely, instead of any hot air getting trapped in one area.