Central AC Estimates in Phoenix
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Central AC Estimates in Phoenix

Settling in Phoenix, Arizona can make a person sweat when they think about the electricity bill for the summer times. The hot shining sun can drive up central air conditioning costs for a home owner that does not know a good estimate for the yearly cost of an energy saving system.

Phoenix, one of the hottest big cities in the U. S., gives its locals incentives to save energy costs by installing and using energy efficient air conditioning systems. Energy Star equipment can keep the electricity usage down. The city government uses the Energy Star systems for its own buildings.

Choosing the right central air conditioning system for a home is not difficult. The basic things that will make a system expensive or inexpensive are simple.

Choosing A Contractor

A cost estimate for a cooling system is a person's judgment. A contractor with experience in Phoenix can give yearly cost estimates that are realistic in the city that has high temperatures most the year. A system does not need to do more work than the least it can to keep the home cool in the place the home is in. A look around the outside to learn the air temperatures and air flow into the house helps a contractor figure out the right system to suggest. A good contractor will check the floor space and room sizes inside. Inspections they do throughout the inside can reveal places in the ducts that can get sealed to save air conditioning costs.

Equipment Size

In high temperature cities like Phoenix, using a big air conditioning system is a temptation. But, oversizing is one of the common problems. Energy Star gives out guidelines for sizing the systems. Phoenix is a big capacity town. But, there are still limits to the size. For a small place around 800 square feet, a two and half ton cooling equipment capacity is advised for Energy Star equipment. A larger place near 3,000 square feet needs a system with a 6 ton capacity.

EER, The Energy Efficiency Measure.

Moving cool air through all parts of the house using as little electricity as possible can also lower energy bills. Energy Star has an energy efficiency measure for fast developing areas in the hot climates of the southwest called, Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER). In technical terms, the EER is total cooling capacity (Btu/h) for a watt of electrical energy used. A ratio of at least 12 to 13 is suggested for central air conditioning.

The energy savings calculator put out by the U. S. EPA and the Department of Energy produces useful cost estimates. In Phoenix, Arizona, assuming an electricity cost of 11.3 cents per kilowatt hour, a 3 ton capacity Energy Star system with a programmable thermostat and a 14.5 EER will cost a home owner $523 dollars in a year. That amounts to a cost $165 less than a conventional system with a 13.0 rating and no programmable thermostat.

Fit for the Home

The system simply has to fit the home in the Phoenix neighborhood. If not, the estimate will be far off the right cost.

Sources:

Energy Star, Manufactures Home Cooling Equipment Sizing Guidelines (2005).

Consortium for Energy Efficiency, Comments and Recommendations on Energy Star Central Air Conditioning and Air Source Heat Pump Specifications (June 24, 2005).

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