5-Point Summer Energy Savings Tips

It’s no secret that air conditioning expenses here in Arizona make up a huge part of our monthly budget during the summer. It is amazing the difference you can make by making sure to stay on top of these simple rules:

  1. Programmable Thermostat – If you don’t have one, get one! It is amazing the difference you can make in energy consumption with a fine-tuned program running your temperature control. 

  2. Temperature Control Timing - Make sure your system is not cooling down your space too much while you’re not at home. Going to be gone for a few days?... don’t be afraid to turn it completely off except during the extremely hot months of summer, then just adjust up to 95. Also, a couple of degrees can make a world of difference. You might be surprised at the savings when you change the thermostat to 79 instead of 77.

  3. Air Filters - Keep air filters clean so your system doesn’t have to work so hard. Dirty filters are the number one cause of excessive system wear and ice build-up problems. Not only will clean filters reduce your energy bills… they will also reduce service and repair expenses.

  4. Sufficient Insulation – Make sure your property is properly insulated and there are no gaps or holes around doors and windows that allow air to escape. Fix any issues immediately!

  5. Strategic Shade – Shade can help a ton on the unit itself as well as the home. Window shade material and strategically placed trees and shrubs can really help reduce cooling expenses, especially on West-facing exposures.


There are many tips and tricks for reducing energy consumption and saving money each month. It’s one thing to try and conserve energy and reduce utility bills for a resident in a rental property. But how does that apply to you as a property manager or landlord?

I was having lunch with a friend the other day and overheard a conversation where one person was lamenting their broken air conditioning unit problem to their friend. They were obviously “put out” that their AC unit failed just as soon as the temperatures here in Phoenix started to rise. The friend asked, “ouch, I wonder how much that’s going to cost you?” The person immediately exclaimed, “Hey, it’s not my problem… it’s on the landlord… that’s why I love renting, I don’t have to worry about any of this stuff. Not even the pool!” 

It’s important to understand that most renters simply do not care about your expensive equipment and fixtures, they simply see the world in terms of fixed monthly expenses. When it comes to heating and cooling, property managers and landlords need to save money too. Here are a few tips that can help you reduce costly heating and cooling system related expenses:

  1. Make sure to have a qualified heating and cooling professional perform an annual system tune-up BEFORE the temperatures really start to climb. A qualified technician can make sure your system is clean and ready to go for the summer. This preventative maintenance will extend the life of your equipment and prevent “emergency” service calls

  2. Create a relationship with a trusted heating and cooling company. Using the same company for all your heating and cooling repair and/or installation needs is much more efficient. Once a technician knows your system and has a history of past service and maintenance records, they will spend less time diagnosing your problems and less time means less money.

  3. Put protocols in place to MAKE SURE that filters are getting changed on a regular basis, even if it means going into each unit and replacing the filters yourself. This is not only important to extend the life of your equipment by nearly double, but it will always reduce service calls as well. Dirty filters are the number one cause of ice problems and excessive strain on motors. *note: visiting each unit periodically to replace air filters is also a good way to monitor the way residents are treating your property.

  4. Keep accurate records of maintenance performed on each heating and air conditioning unit under your management. This will help you take advantage of warranties and make better decisions when faced with the “repair or replace” scenarios. This is another great reason to use the same service provider consistently as they will also maintain necessary records for warranty issues etc.

  5. When it makes more sense to upgrade or replace a failing unit, make sure to get the highest efficiency rating you can afford in a new air conditioning unit. Sure, this helps your residents too. But a unit that is more efficient, runs less and lasts longer. So high efficiency equipment is a win-win for you and your residents!

I also recommend sending each of your residents a list of things they can do to reduce their cooling energy expenses. Anything a resident does to reduce their expenses will always reduce repair and maintenance expenses for you too! Click here for a great 5-Point summer energy saving tips to pass on to your residents.

-Ike Tippetts, Rainforest Plumbing & Air