Do you dread summer electrical bills? In Arizona, we can get away with bare-bones electrical bills in the winter since it is so nice here. But in the summer, it is an absolute nightmare trying to keeping your house cool during the 110+ degree days and 90 degree nights.
Energy companies have different plans to help keep your costs down, but there are certain games you have to play. Research your electrical company to see if they have time-of-day savings. Usually, the optimal plan charges higher rates for daytime usage and lower rates for the evening, nighttime, and morning usage. Supercooling is one way you can stay cool and not pay an arm and a leg staying cool over the summer!
Our Friend Marc Tried Supercooling. Here’s What Happened.
Our friend Marc sent us the following email detailing his strategy for supercooling and how much he saved in the first month of trying it. He said:
“Crunching the budget, and I found a kick A$$ way to save on the AC bill in the summer. I’m guessing you’ve probably already heard about this “supercooling” thing. You basically cold crash your home at night and then never run the AC during the day on peak hours. I heard about it last year, but I didn’t pull the trigger and go for it because it seemed too crazy for me. Here are the basics on how I did this.
- Changed my APS (electrical utility company) peak usage to 12 noon to 7 pm.
- Program your thermostats for the following:
- At 7 pm, we drop our temp to 75 degrees. My wife and I like to sleep a little cold, but any colder than that would probably wake the kids up or something, so we settled there. If you wanted to go colder you could.
- At 6 am, we drop our temp to 70 degrees and we keep it there until 11:55 am. (This sounds crazy considering we are not in the house at that time, however, the cold crash pays off). Some people will crank their temp down into the mid-60s around 3 or 4 am when the outside temp is at it’s coldest. We don’t because we don’t want to risk waking our kids up earlier than they already do get up. Also, it seems insane to wear layers of sweatshirts in the middle of the summer.
- At 11:55 am, we turn our AC up to 85 degrees. (The AC has never run on peak.) The highest our inside temp has ever gotten with this plan was 81, even on the 110+ degree days.
- We never run any major appliances during peak hours.
- So the dishwasher and laundry wait until 7 pm, or we run something before we leave for work. We have a gas range so that’s fine. The oven will warm the home up a little bit, but we’re usually making dinner around 6 so it’s not too bad and the AC kicks on at 7.
I was pushed to do this after our July bill hit $339.96. This included 10 days when we were out of state and had our inside air set at 88 degrees.
I will admit I was a major skeptic thinking the AC would run constantly with this idea. The thing is, before I went with this supercooling, when I was home this summer I observed my AC unit running constantly to keep the inside air at 82.
Here is a photo of Marc’s usage from 2016 vs. 2017.
He started supercooling in August 2017. Marc said August historically has been his highest AC bill. He managed to knock his bill down $81.41 from what he paid the previous month and was way below his August 2016 billing amount. So one month in, supercooling is definitely working for Marc!
We want to know
Have you tried this? Does it work? Would you be willing to try this? Let us know in the comments.
Want more tips and tricks for keeping your energy bills low? Check out our blog post on 29 ways to reduce your energy bill here.