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Why You Should Start Precooling Your A/C

Person precooling their home

As the weather continues to get warmer southern California and energy costs are on the rise, you may want to consider precooling your home or business.

Precooling is a clever strategy to save you energy and money while also providing relief to the already overloaded California power grids. This approach is both financially and environmentally responsible without having to sacrifice your own comfort.

Today, we will discuss exactly how to precool your home most effectively as well as the fiscal and environmental benefits it offers. If you are able to successfully adopt this strategy, your wallet, your conscience and your planet will thank you!

What Is Precooling?

As you may have already guessed based on the name, precooling involves turning on your A/C BEFORE you actually need it so that you are starting from a lower base temperature. You may be thinking, “how can using my A/C longer possibly save me money?” Allow us to explain.

The key to precooling is lowering the temperature in your home before peak hours so that you will require less energy in the evening hours when we collectively use the most. 

Depending on where you live and the time of year, peak hours typically begin at 3-4pm and end around 7-9m because this is when most of us are arriving home and using our electronics, appliances, etc. You may want to contact your electric company if you want to know the exact times in your region.

To precool your home, you will need a thermostat with a timer in order to activate the A/C when you aren’t home. Set the timer so that it turns the A/C on at your desired temperature 1-3 hours before the start of peak hours.

Your individual precooling strategy will vary depending on when it was built (how energy-efficient it is) and the square footage. Older and larger homes will take a bit longer to precool and will allow of the cool air to escape more quickly. 

Start with a shorter precooling period and increase the time if it still isn’t cool enough in your home by peak hours. It may take you a few attempts to calibrate your strategy to perfection.

For the duration of peak hours, set your A/C to 78 degrees or higher so that you are not using as much energy when it is most expensive, but can still maintain your cool. Once peak hours are over, you can then change the thermostat back to your desired temperature.

Brilliant, right? Furthermore, this strategy can also be adapted to the colder months in order to save on the cost of heating (better yet, preheating) your home. 

What Are The Benefits Of Precooling?

We’ve already alluded to some reasons why precooling is beneficial. On top of being able to walk in after a hard day’s work to a nice, cool home, you’ll also be saving yourself some money and being a responsible member of society.

It’s Good For The Environment

First and foremost, precooling helps the environment by reducing the amount of energy our air conditioners use during peak hours. Power plants emit pollution and the harder they have to work, the more pollution they produce. 

In a place like California, where we already struggle with pollution issues, every little bit of conscientious energy use counts. Every time you precool your home, you are helping cut back on greenhouse gas emissions and doing your part to protect our air quality.

It Saves You Money

Precooling will also benefit you directly by lowering your energy bills because you are using far less energy during peak hours, when it is at its most expensive rate.

Energy providers charge consumers more money during hours which its coverage area uses the most energy because it requires more investment on their end to have the plants operating at such high capacity.

Strategically avoiding energy consumption during this specific period will have a significant impact on your electric bill. If you can consistently adopt the precooling strategy, you will notice the difference in cost as soon as your next bill arrives.

It Spares The Electrical Grid In Southern California

The electrical grid in southern California is already strained, particularly during the summer months when most of us escape indoors to seek the comfort of our air-conditioned homes. We experience occasional, yet consistent blackouts in this part of the state because the antiquated infrastructure simply can’t handle the high demand for electricity. 

These blackouts most often coincide with heat waves because this is when the demand for energy to keep us cool is at its highest. Precooling, especially in anticipation of a heat wave, can help us all avoid overloading the grid and causing a blackout.

Blackouts cause energy costs to skyrocket because the supply cannot meet the demand and ultimately end up costing Californians incredible amounts of money because so much of our economy relies on electricity.

Some experts estimated that the October 2019 blackout that cut power to three dozen counties in California ended up costing the region around $2 billion. If we are not conscientious about our energy usage and the capacity of our electrical grid, we will continue to make careless decisions that end up affecting us all.

Precool Your Home This Summer

We hope you learned from and enjoyed this brief discussion on the value of precooling. As experienced HVAC professionals, we consider it part of our job to inform our customers on how to make their homes as energy-efficient as possible. Stay tuned to our blog for more articles on HVAC-related topics.

If you are looking for more ways to make your home more energy-efficient, reach out the the Global Green Solutions team for a free consultation. You can call us at (888) 860-4826, fill out our form here, or email us at [email protected].