As temperatures soar, the air conditioning system becomes indispensable in maintaining a cool and comfortable indoor environment. However, for many homeowners, the arrival of monthly energy bills often brings an unwelcome surprise in the form of skyrocketing costs.
The EIA reported that space cooling accounted for approximately 17% of total electricity consumption in U.S. homes in 2019, making it one of the largest energy end-uses in residential buildings.
So, if you’ve found yourself baffled by unusually high energy bills, rest assured that you’re not alone. There are several common reasons for high heating and ac bills.
In this blog, we’ll delve into the most common problems with high AC bills, explore the impact of high ceilings on cooling costs, and offer practical solutions to help you regain control of your energy expenses/electricity bill. From conducting a home energy audit and sealing air leaks to adopting energy-efficient habits and considering renewable energy sources, these actionable strategies will help you achieve a more sustainable and cost-effective cooling solution.
So, let’s embark on this journey to a cooler, more energy-efficient home together!
What Are The Reasons For The High Energy Bills Problem With The Air Conditioning System?
Air conditioning is a must for those in hot climates, but running can be extremely expensive. There are many reasons why your air conditioner might be using more energy than you expect, leading to high electricity bills.
Here are some of the most common causes of high energy bills you should know:
Inefficient HVAC System
Your air conditioning system is inefficient when it’s not working properly to keep your home at a comfortable temperature. When your air conditioner struggles to do the job, it consumes more energy than necessary. This can raise your monthly energy bills and cause you to spend more money than you need to on cooling costs.
Improperly Sized Unit
The size of your air conditioning unit also plays an essential role in how much energy it uses. If you have a unit that’s too large for the space it needs to cool, it will have to work harder than necessary. This can increase its energy consumption, raise your utility bills, and lead to other equipment problems, like frequent breakdowns or expensive repairs down the road. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that improperly sized HVAC systems can increase energy consumption by up to 30%.
Poor insulation can lead to higher energy bills because it prevents the insulation from keeping heat out during the summer and cold in during the winter. It also allows dirt to get into the walls and ceiling cavities, which can cause problems down the line.
Air leaks are also responsible for higher energy bills because they allow hot or cold air to escape into your home at a faster rate than through properly sealed windows and doors. Having no seal around your windows and doors is just like having an open door—it lets in more cold or hot air than necessary!
One of the most common problems with high ac bills is that your thermostat settings are too high. If you’re not careful, you could run your AC all day long when it’s unnecessary. Try adjusting the temperature so that it’s slightly lower than usual, and see if that helps.
Lack of Zoning
Zoning is basically setting up multiple zones within your home (for example, one area where people are more likely to congregate versus another area where people sleep). This allows you to keep certain areas cooler than others so that everyone gets a little bit of relief from hot temperatures without breaking the bank by blasting the whole house with AC all day long (which wastes energy).
Dirty Filters and Coils
The air conditioning system filters out dirt and dust, but if they become dirty, they can reduce the amount of cold air that’s delivered. Dirty coils also cause problems because they don’t properly transfer heat inside and outside your home.
High Outdoor Temperatures
If the outdoor temperature is too high, then this can also cause problems for your AC unit. If the outdoor temperature is above 75 degrees Fahrenheit (24 degrees Celsius), then it’s likely that your air conditioner will not be able to keep up with cooling your home adequately without breaking down altogether!
Poor HVAC Maintenance Practices
If you’re still asking, “Why is my energy bill so high?” then the answer may be as simple as poor HVAC maintenance practices. If your air conditioning system is not properly maintained, it will not run at peak efficiency and consume more energy. In addition to that, it may also cause damage to other parts of your home, such as pipes or wiring.
Inadequate Shade or Improper Use Of Blinds/Curtains.
The sun can be very powerful, and if it’s not properly shaded, it’ll heat up your home very quickly and cause your AC to work harder than necessary, which results in higher energy bills. In addition, if curtains or blinds do not properly cover your windows, they could be letting in heat from outside, which would also cause your AC to work harder than necessary, which results in higher energy bills.
How Do High Ceilings Affect Air Conditioning Bills?
High ceilings are a common feature in most homes and can be beautiful. But did you know that high ceilings also affect your air conditioning bill?
You probably already know that increasing the size of your home’s windows will lower your monthly energy costs. But did you know that high ceilings also have an effect on the temperature of your home? It’s true!
Here are a few ways high ceilings affect air conditioning bills:
Larger volume to cool
A larger volume means there’s more air to cool—and because each cubic foot of air has a fixed amount of heat it can absorb (the “latent heat” capacity), it will take longer for that heat to be transferred into the surrounding environment if there’s more space to cool down. This means it’ll take longer for your AC unit to reach its target temperature—and longer before it can shut off again!
In rooms with high ceilings, heat naturally rises and accumulates near the ceiling, while cooler air settles near the floor. This phenomenon is called heat stratification. During hot weather, the upper parts of the room can become significantly warmer than the lower areas. As a result, the air conditioner may struggle to cool the entire room evenly, leading to increased energy use.
Inefficient use of conditioned air
If your home has high ceilings, you may not use as much conditioned air as possible. Because of this, you’ll be wasting money on inefficient cooling and heating systems.
Longer cooling cycles
The higher the ceiling is in a room, the longer it takes to cool down or warm up that room using an air conditioner or heater. This means you will pay more for energy than necessary if your home has high ceilings.
Air circulation challenges
High ceilings can make it more challenging to maintain good air circulation throughout the room. This can result in areas with poor airflow, leading to pockets of warmer air and potential discomfort for occupants.
What to Do with Your High Energy Bills?
Energy bills are a hassle. They’re expensive, they’re confusing, and they feel like they can never be lower than what you’re paying right now.
So, how do people run their AC but not have high bills?
Here’s how you can also save money on electricity bills:
Check Your Energy Usage.
The easiest way to cut back on your energy bill is by making sure you’re using less of it in the first place. The best way to do this is by checking your current usage and seeing where you might be able to trim back. You can do this by checking out your utility bill online or through an app and seeing exactly how much of each resource (like electricity) you’re using every month, or you can hire a load calculation specialist in Phoenix, AZ, for reliable and accurate numbers. Once you have a baseline for what’s normal for your home, it becomes easier to see where adjustments can be made.
Audit Your Home Energy Usage.
Once you’ve checked your usage, conduct a home energy audit or hire an energy audit professional to assess your home’s energy efficiency. Take a look at how much energy each room in your house is using and whether or not there are any obvious leaks or inefficient appliances that need replacing or repairing.
Inspect your HVAC System.
If it’s been a while since your air conditioner was checked out, now might be the time. If there are any problems with the system that need to be repaired or replaced (like a broken capacitor), then this is a great way to start saving money on energy bills.
Adjust the Thermostat Settings.
Even small adjustments in temperature settings can greatly impact how much energy you use. For example, turning up the heat by just one degree can save 10% on heating costs!
Insulation is one of the most important parts of your home’s heating and cooling system. It helps keep your home’s temperature comfortable and reduces the energy needed to maintain that temperature. The more insulation you have in your home, the less heat will escape through walls, floors, and ceilings. A good rule of thumb is to have at least R-19 insulation in your attic and R-13 in your walls.
Seal Air Leaks.
Drafts are holes in your house that let cold and warm air out. They can be small and difficult to find, but they’ll cause major damage if left unaddressed—and they make it impossible for you not to feel like every dollar spent on utilities goes right out the window! But sealing air leaks is easy: all you have to do is check around any windows or doors for gaps where air can escape. If there’s a gap bigger than a nickel or quarter-sized hole, then seal it up with caulk or weatherstripping before those drafts start stealing money from your wallet!
Use Energy-Efficient Appliances.
If your appliances are old and inefficient, they’re costing you money. You can tell if an appliance is energy-efficient by looking at its Energy Star label. If it has one, then you’re good to go! Just make sure that when you replace those old appliances with new ones, they’ve got the same label, so they’ll keep saving you money long after they arrive on your doorstep.
Unplug Devices When Not in Use.
It’s easy to forget that many small electronics still draw power even when not in use. Unplugging these devices will help you reduce your overall electricity usage and lower your bills at the same time. If you have a lot of electronics that are always plugged into outlets throughout your home or office building, then consider installing an automatic timer switch to make it easier for everyone to remember when they should unplug their devices before leaving home or work for the day!
Use Energy-saving Features.
Many appliances come with features that help them use less electricity and water, but many people aren’t aware of these features or don’t know how to use them effectively. If you have an appliance that has a setting for energy efficiency, try setting it to maximum efficiency and see if it makes any difference in your bill. You might be surprised at what happens!
Consider Renewable Energy Sources.
If it’s possible for you to install solar panels on your home or office building, this can be a great way to reduce the amount of money spent on utilities each month! You may even be able to sell excess power back to the grid at times when it’s needed most (such as during peak demand times). This will help keep costs down for yourself and others who rely on electricity from traditional sources like coal or natural gas because less fossil fuel will need to be burned off into our atmosphere, which causes global warming pollution!
Educate Your Household.
It may seem like a no-brainer, but the most important thing you need to do is ensure everyone in your household knows how much energy costs. The average American family spends $2,000 per year on electricity alone—and this number doesn’t include heating or cooling costs! The more informed everyone is about how much they’re spending, the better equipped they’ll be when it comes time to make changes.
What is the best way to save money on a high energy bill?
The best way to save money on high air conditioning bills is to make sure that your air conditioning system is working properly. If you have an old air conditioner, it probably needs to be replaced. You can also check for leaks in your ducts, replace any worn-out filters, and keep the unit clean so that it’s working at peak performance.
If I leave my AC on all day, will it be cheaper than keeping it off?
Not necessarily! It depends on how much electricity your AC uses when you leave it on all day and how much power costs in your area. In some places, keeping your AC running all day can result in higher energy bills than turning it off at night and turning it back on in the morning.
What temperature should I set my thermostat to for optimal energy savings?
Setting the thermostat to around 78°F (25°C) during the summer is recommended for optimal energy savings. Each degree lower can increase energy consumption by about 3-5%.
Are there any government incentives or rebates for energy-efficient AC upgrades?
Yes, many governments offer incentives and rebates for energy-efficient home improvements, including AC upgrades. Check with your local energy utility or government website for available programs.
Why do my energy bills in Phoenix spike at night?
If you have an electric water heater, turning off the power switch at night will prevent unnecessary use of electricity and save money on your electric bill.
Is your AC unit old, leading to high apartment bills?
If you are wondering, “my ac unit is old, apartment bills are high,” then you are right. Old AC could lead to high apartment bills. Here’s how: older AC units don’t use as much energy as newer models, so they don’t keep your apartment as cool as it should be. That means more energy is being used to keep the apartment at an optimal temperature.
My AC unit is old, and I want to upgrade. How much will it cost?
It depends on the size of your apartment, how big/old your current AC unit is, and what features you’re looking for in a new unit. If you’re planning on replacing an older model, you’ll probably want to budget between $800-$1,000 for a new one. If your current unit is relatively new but not energy-efficient, you may only need to spend around $500-$600 on a replacement. Of course, if you’re looking to go all out with lots of bells and whistles (like air purifiers or wifi-enabled thermostats), that could drive up the price considerably. But Ideal Air Conditioning and Insulation team can help you figure out what’s right for your needs!
Get Expert Guidance For Optimal Cooling Efficiency – Contact Our Load Calculation Specialists In Phoenix, AZ, Now!
You’re not alone in feeling overwhelmed by the task of cooling your Phoenix home. It’s a big job, but we’ve got you covered.
If you’re trying to keep your office comfortable all year long, knowing exactly how much cooling power you need can be difficult. That’s why Ideal Air Conditioning and Insulation offers homeowners and businesses complete Load Calculations and Energy Audits in Phoenix to help them calculate the right amount of cooling power for their buildings. We’ve been helping Phoenix-area homeowners like you save money on their energy bills for years, and we’d love to share our expertise with you.
By availing of our Load Calculation and Energy Audit service, you’ll gain a plethora of benefits:
- Optimal cooling efficiency
- Maximum energy savings
- Reduced maintenance costs
- A thorough analysis of your energy usage, including heating and cooling
- An actionable plan that will help you save money on your utility bills
- An energy audit that will help us create a customized solution for your business
- A detailed report on our findings and recommendations
- A recommendation for home performance improvements
- An estimated cost for the project, including equipment and labor
- Peace of mind that your AC is running properly
Our HVAC specialists have years of experience helping our customers get their homes cooled down to just the right temperature. We’ll help you choose the ideal air conditioning system for your home and budget, then we’ll install it quickly and efficiently.
We also offer insulation services that will keep your home comfortable year-round. Our insulation experts can evaluate your current insulation and suggest the best approach to improving it, whether that means adding more material or installing a new insulation. We’ll work with you at each stage to find the right solution for your home’s needs. From load calculation to energy audit and insulation, we’ve got everything you need under one roof!
So, if you’re looking for expert guidance on how to keep your Phoenix home cool this summer, contact us today at 480-839-0082!