Air Conditioning Repair, Tucson, AZ

Summer Cooling Tips for Tucson

From Linda Douglas at Tucson Electric Power

The hot, and rainy summer months of Tucson, AZ are rapidly approaching. Soon it will be 90 degrees outside – an obvious sign that summer has arrived in the Old Pueblo.  No doubt temperatures will continue to increase as the months go on. With the increase in temperature, you can also expect an increase in your summer electric bills!  You don’t want to suffer through even one day without adequate home cooling but you want to keep cool at the lowest possible cost. The following tips from Temco Air Environmental in Tucson, AZ will help you keep cool this summer and help to minimize monthly cooling costs.

 

Air Conditioning or Heat Pumps

Thermostat Setting: Begin by setting your thermostat at the highest temperature, and decrease as necessary to adjust.  Generally, indoor temperature between 76-78 degrees is comfortable and conservative.  The cooler the thermostat setting, the more you will pay to cool your home. Even though it feels good to be cooled in warm weather, excessive use of your air conditioner may not always be necessary.

Do not turn the air conditioning system off if you leave for the day.  It is a common misconception that keeping your air conditioner off during times of absence can increase its efficiency. However, during this period of inactivity, the temperature of interior surfaces (i.e. walls, floors, and furniture) increases tremendously and the cooling systems will run much longer when you get home to remove this excessive  heat.  A reasonable temperature modification of only 3 degrees is recommended during your absence. Give it a try, and see the difference in your monthly heating costs!

Ceiling Fans: A slight movement of air over your body will make you feel more comfortable at a higher air temperature. The movement of air over the skin helps cool it by forcing heat away from the body.   Ceiling fans cost less to operate than the fan on your central cooling system.  Use ceiling fans when you are in the room but turn them off when you leave.

Air Filters: It is critical that your home’s heating and air conditioning unit air filters be changed frequently (every 4 to 6 weeks) during the cooling season.  The system efficiency and resulting cost to operate the system rely on its ability to move the designed amount of air.  If left unattended for extended periods, dirty filters can also cause major and expensive equipment failure.  The more effort that is required to move air through a clogged filter, the more energy it takes to run the machine.

Annual Air Conditioning Maintenance: Schedule an annual check-up by a reputable heating, ventilating and air conditioning contractor (HVAC).  The team of experts here at Temco in Tucson, AZ have the knowledge and expertise to perform the absolute highest quality maintenance. Our air conditioning and heating technicians will check electrical connections, refrigerant levels, cleanliness of evaporator and condenser coils and system pressures.  If equipment problems are not identified, the system will not cool properly and operating costs can be significantly higher than normal.

Caulking and Weather-stripping: If you can see daylight around doorframes or can feel air entering closed windows and doors when the wind blows, then you need to replace caulking and weather-stripping in these areas.  The more air that you’re able to keep inside of your home, the less energy needs to be spent in re-adjusting the internal temperature.  Remember if daylight or air can get in, then air from your cooling system can get out.

Windows: Solar heat gain through windows may account for 30 percent or more of summer cooling requirements. The solution: Homes and buildings can block heat but not light by using either spectrally selective applied window film or window systems with spectrally selective glass. Spectrally selective refers to the film’s ability to block heat while transmitting normal levels of daylight.  Look for a Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) of .4 or lower.

Dual Cooling: Many people have both air conditioners and evaporative coolers in their home.  The use of evaporative cooling can reduce summer operating costs during mild temperatures when relative humidity outside is low.  This combination of equipment however can create high-energy bills if not maintained or used correctly.

  • Air conditioners remove humidity from inside the home and evaporative coolers add moisture.  Do not use both systems in the same day, week or preferably the same month.  Once you start using the air conditioner, keep using it until the relative humidity drops.
  • Check the evaporative cooler damper to make sure it is completely closed before turning on the air conditioner.
  • Close all windows and doors when using the air conditioner.

Home Design: High-energy bills and comfort complaints are not necessarily caused by the cooling system.  If there are inherent problems with the structure or the installation of equipment, even the most efficient air conditioner or heat pump will not provide comfortable conditions and operating costs may be uncontrollable.  The following complaints may help you identify a few of these items.

Bedrooms get too hot or too cold when doors are closed: Normally related to a home with one cooling system and one primary return air grille in the main body of the home.  When air is delivered to the bedrooms, the air cannot return back to the cooling system after the doors are closed.  The solution is to add a return-air path from the bedrooms to the main body of the home.  Call a reputable HVAC contractor.

The home is dusty even though I clean daily: Common causes are leaks in the supply air ducts that will cause the inside of the home to operate at a negative pressure.  The negative pressure inside will significantly increase air infiltration.  Air will enter from outside, from the attic, through the slab and from the garage.  When air enters the home it also carries with it anything that is in the air.  This may include dust, pollen, and pollutants or contaminants in the area. Duct leakage is a major problem and will create comfort problems, high-energy bills and indoor-air quality concerns.  Call a reputable HVAC contractor.

I can smell the chemicals I store in the garage when I’m in the house: The most common cause is leakage around the return-air platform (framed and finished box that the air handler and water heater sits on in the garage).  Return air leaks will draw air and any contaminant in the air from the area of the leak directly into your home.  Of particular concern is the return platform in the garage. The chemicals you can smell are bad enough for your health, but carbon monoxide produced every time you start the car is odorless and potentially deadly.

 

(A special note of appreciation to our friends at TEP, Linda Douglas and Kelly Hansen for responding so quickly and completely to my request for information on conserving energy through the Summer.)

If you would like more information on energy-saving tips please visit www.tucsonelectric.com.

 

As always, if you need our assistance in identifying and resolving issues with your Tucson air conditioning service this summer, don’t hesitate to call your Temco Air Environmental team at (520)622-2909.

 

We are here for all of your Tucson heating and cooling needs!

 

Temco Air Environmental

3136 E. Grant Rd.   Tucson, AZ  85716

Phone: (520) 622-2909    

 

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