Tired of those high summertime energy bills? We don't blame you! Homeowners across the country are looking for ways to save on their summer cooling bills. Unfortunately, air conditioning is a must during these months.
Fortunately, there is a way to save big. It's called supercooling, and yes—it's effective in both savings and energy. (Not to mention, keeping you and your family cool during those heat waves).
The concept of supercooling your house has been around for quite some time. Interestingly enough, not too many people know about it. They rely on the "set it and forget it" concept for their AC needs.
Well, it's time to ditch that old energy-eating method and save some money while you're at it. To find out more about supercooling, how it works, and how you'll save big during those summer months, keep on reading.
What is Supercooling?
In the HVAC world, supercooling (or pre-cooling) your house refers to the concept of running your air conditioner at certain times of the day to cool everything. And by everything we mean your floors, walls, furniture, and the contents of your cabinets and closets. And of course, yourself.
We know what you're thinking—isn't that what the AC does anyway? In a sense, yes. But the point of supercooling your house is to give your HVAC system a break and to cut down on your energy bill. This method can save you up to 25% or more on your energy bill during those summer months—when it really counts.
Energy companies usually have different plan options to help you keep your costs down. However, you really have to dig in and do some research to figure out your best options. Supercooling isn't exactly a plan that these companies offer, so you'll have to find out for yourself if your electrical company has specific time-of-day savings.
You'll probably find that your electrical company typically charges more for daytime use and less for the evening, nighttime and morning usage. This is where supercooling comes in handy.
How to Supercool (Pre-cool) Your Home
The idea with supercooling is to shift the cooling of your house to a time of the day when your energy rates are at their lowest. You're essentially buying power by the kilowatt per hour. During peak hours your electrical company may be charging you 24 cents per kilowatt per hour, and then as low as 4 cents during off-peak hours.
The real question is, why pay 24 cents when you can pay 4 cents? Running your air conditioning during off-peak house lets you run it for much longer—and cheaper. It may seem counterintuitive because the sun is out and heating everything up during the day. But we assure you, your home will remain pleasantly cool throughout the day.
We know what you're thinking right now—isn't blasting my AC for a longer period of time a waste of energy?
The answer is no. It's actually one of the greenest things you can do for your home! The thing is that electricity can't be stored. Once it's made it must be used. By supercooling your house, you're actually using up the peak afternoon energy that the power company can't do anything with.
This process is also easier on your HVAC system. Throughout the day, your AC cycles on and off to maintain a steady temperature. Having it run continuously saves it from the regular on-and-off wear and tear. This will save you from costly repairs in the long run by extending the life of your HVAC system.
The supercooling process isn't difficult, but there are a few things you need to have and do in order to start. And don't worry, your electric company wants you to take advantage of this new energy-saving trick.
Call Your Electric Company
First things first—call your electric company and figure out your energy consumption. They should have records of where and how you're using power. This will help you see where exactly your money is going (and possibly being wasted).
You'll also want to ask them about their different plans—preferably a time-of-use plan with the most advantageous off-peak rates. Based on your past patterns of usage, your electric company may advise you not to switch your plan. However, if you're supercooling your house then you don't have to worry about those high rates.
You'll Need a Programmable Thermostat
It's not an absolute necessity, but it makes life a whole lot easier. You can set your thermostat manually for this, but you'll have to do it twice each day. This may not be convenient if you have work or other obligations.
Here's how to begin the supercooling process:
1. Set your thermostat for as low as you can stand it. Aim for 68-74 degrees during your off-peak hours. This will cool your entire house down to the studs and beams. We're talking inside your walls, the clothes in your closets and drawers, your rugs and carpets. All of this cooling will be retained and last throughout your peak hours.
2. Set your thermostat for as high as you can stand it. Aim for 78-85 degrees during your peak hours. This is where the savings begin because this is what allows your AC to shut off and take a break—during the most expensive hours of the day. All of the coolness you built up during your off-peak hours should last you until it's time to crank the AC again.
The on-peak and off-peak hours are designated by your electrical company. But, they usually begin at 8 pm for off-peak hours and 6 am for the on-peak hours. Make sure you set your thermostat accordingly to your time-saving plan.
If you own a pool, you'll also need a timer for your pump. (Your pool pump can actually end up being the second-largest energy-guzzling item in your home). Just like your AC, your pool pump does not need to be drawing power at all times. Make sure to set your pump timer to run during off-peak hours.
Having your thermostat programmed to do switch the temperatures automatically at specific times will guarantee your cycle of savings. And the peace of mind.
Other Supercooling Tips and Tricks
When supercooling your house, you can't solely rely on your thermostat to make a difference. After all, your air conditioning isn't the only thing in your home that draws power and costs money.
During the peak hours, make sure you're not running other appliances. This means to limit any stovetop cooking as well as microwave or toaster oven use. And, hold off on doing any laundry or using the dishwasher. All of these things will generate heat within the home as well as use up those costly kilowatts.
Of course, you can use these appliances at night when the cost of your kilowatts per hour goes down. Scheduling the use of appliances can get a bit tricky when you have a family of three or more. Everyone in the house will have to come to an agreement on when the laundry and dishes will get done.
You'll also want to refrain from leaving open any doors or windows for too long. All of that overnight cooling was meant to keep your home comfortable during those hot days. You don't want to undo all of that by letting in any summer heat.
Lastly, you'll probably want to keep those winter comforters and sheets on your bed—and some sweaters and socks handy. Once the sun goes down and the supercooling begins, you and your family members may become considerably chilly. It may not be ideal to bundle up during summer nights, but once you see your energy savings you'll be more than happy to sleep in a pair of long johns.
Supercooling is Super Cool
The name of the game with supercooling is to buy as much off-peak power as possible. Many homeowners have been happy to report that they've purchased as much as 90 percent of their power during off-peak times.
It also doesn't hurt that supercooling saves you from future air conditioner repair. It's also a good and simple way to go green during the summer.
Of course, if supercooling doesn't work for your home it could mean that you need to look into air conditioner repair. It may also be time for a whole new HVAC system. If this is the case, you won't even have to look for an air conditioning service near me. You can just schedule your appointment with us today.
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