It’s a question I’ve heard asked about a thousand times in many different ways, “The electric bill is killing me during the air conditioning season. Please tell me how I can save money?” The most important device when it comes to saving a great deal of money in your home is the thermostat. Before you say, “Duh…really Zak,” let me explain myself.
Kotz Heating, Cooling & Plumbing knows it’s easy to fall into a trap. When you’re hot and sweaty from doing yard work it feels really good to walk into your nice cool Waterford, MI home. But does it really need to be THAT cool? Many people set the thermostat at 72℉ or 73℉ and even lower. No matter how good you think it feels, it’s simply not cost effective.
Small changes matter
For each degree above 72℉ on the thermostat, you will save from one to three percent on your energy bill. Your goal, according to the energy saving experts, should be a summertime setting of 78℉. What, you say I’m crazy? Well, when the heat index in Waterford, MI is 95℉, I guarantee you 78 is going to feel pretty darn comfortable. The key is to change the thermostat setting gradually, one or two degrees at a time. The small changes are barely noticeable, but you will notice a big difference on the electric bill.
Everything works together
While the thermostat holds the key to cost effective air conditioning, there are several ways to keep the house comfortable while turning up the temperature at the same time.
- Use a Fan
A ceiling fan is a great cost-effective way to make you feel cooler. The air movement can make it feel three to eight degrees cooler which means you might be able to turn the thermostat up another degree or two and maintain the same comfort level. If you don’t have ceiling fans, table and box fans can give the same cooling effect.
- Consider spot cooling
In some homes it’s not necessary to cool the entire house. If it’s just the two of you, does it make any sense to cool the spare bedrooms or other rooms where you don’t spend any time? Adding a ductless mini split or even a window air conditioner to cool a specific room or area may allow you to drastically reduce use of the central air conditioner.
- Drapes & blinds
Keeping the summer sun from shining into a room drastically reduces radiant heating, meaning your air conditioner won’t have to work as hard to reach the desired temperature. Your Waterford, MI home may not feel as bright and cheery without sunshine streaming through the windows, but you will thank yourself when you open the electric bill.
If you don’t already have one, now is the time to get one. It allows you to set a cost-effective cooling schedule based on when you work and when you sleep. There’s no sense in keeping the house cool when it’s empty. Set the programmable thermostat to allow the temperature to rise eight or ten degrees while you’re gone. Program it to start cooling the house back to a comfortable before you arrive home.
Let’s cut those bills down to size
If you have any more questions about the best ways to save money on your air conditioning bill, Kotz Heating, Cooling & Plumbing is here to help. For more great home comfort advice be sure to like and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.