If you live in the south, as many as 2 out of every 5 dollars you spend on energy will be to keep your house cool in the long, hot summer season. Anything you can do to reduce such a big chunk of your energy use will end up saving money, especially if you do it consistently. Here are a couple of tips that may surprise you:
- Keep your thermostat set higher
OK, there’s nothing surprising about the idea that a higher setting means lower costs. But what might be surprising is just how much difference it makes. Did you know that for each degree you set your thermostat below 78, your system is using about 4% more energy? That means setting it at 72 ends up using 20-25% more energy than setting it at 78. Over time, that can be a lot of cash.
- Keep your system’s fan on
What may be more surprising is that keeping your fan setting to “on” instead of “auto” will actually make your system run more efficiently, even though it will be running constantly. That’s because the fan takes less energy to use than the cooling unit, so the increased circulation of the existing cool air uses less overall energy. It also tends to make it feel a little cooler, which means you may be able to get by with a temperature that’s a degree or two higher while still feeling just as cool and comfortable.
Even if it’s a very simple one, your thermostat is a critical way you can control your cooling costs—one that you can take advantage of right away.