Should You Pre-Cool Your Home?

Now that the summer heat is here, it’s likely that your home’s air conditioner is struggling to maintain comfortable temperatures through the entire day and your electricity bill has already skyrocketed.  So, would it benefit you to pre-cool your home, meaning setting the thermostat to a cool temperature below 75 degrees in the early morning and afternoon hours of the day?  The answer really depends on your utility rate plan and how your AC system performs as a whole.

Electric utility companies such as APS and SRP, are always trying to incentivize customers to use less electricity during on-peak hours, the busiest hours of the day when most people are just arriving home from school or work.  It’s difficult to keep up with the energy demands of millions of customers during these times, but it is comparatively easier during off-peak hours, the hours when less residential electricity is being used because most people are not home such as between 8am-3pm.

You could benefit from significantly reduced rates per kilowatt hour if you can find ways to use less electricity on-peak.  Pre-cooling your home by running temperatures of 68-74 degrees before 3pm and using a time-of-use electricity rate plan can provide you with great savings.  Then, just set your thermostat to turn off or to 80 degrees or higher whenever there are on-peak hours for your rate plan.  Currently, APS' on-peak charges are from 3pm-8pm on weekdays, and SRPs are from 3pm-6pm.  The home should stay at a comfortable temperature because of the pre-cooling and then you can set the thermostat back to your desired temperature when the hours are off-peak again.  If you have a programmable thermostat, it will make it much easier to automatically keep track of these settings.

Visit APS' website to learn more on their residential rate plans.

Visit SRPs website to learn more on their residential rate plans.

Another issue to consider is how well your entire AC system is performing.  If you have duct leaks, an older less energy efficient AC unit, or insulation problems, any efforts to pre-cool your home may be wasted.  Consult with a professional, licensed contractor for an energy audit or AC checkup.
Contact ELA Home Repairs for all your home energy needs at 1800-368-PROS (7767).