Save With the Thermostat You Already Have
- Set the thermostat for your central air conditioning system at the highest comfortable setting (78-80 degrees F is recommended). If you normally set it at 72 degrees F, raising it to 78 degrees F should save between 12 and 47 percent in cooling costs, depending on the climate where you live. Be reasonable, if you are willing to pay for comfort, set it where you are comfortable. Keep it up at 76 during the day and lower at night if that is what it takes to keep you healthy and rested. If you want to save every penny, sell the air conditioner. Pick a setting that you can live with and leave it alone.
- Don't set your thermostat at a colder setting than normal when you turn on your air conditioner. It will NOT cool faster. It WILL cool to a lower temperature than you need and use more energy. Dialing it down will waste your money. The machine will remove heat just as fast as it can and no faster.
- If you have a heat pump, pick a temperature you can live with and do not change it. Heat pumps are very efficient, but they respond to changes very slowly. Leave the thermostat alone once you settle on a temperature you can enjoy. Do not dial it down for the night.
- Do not position heat-producing appliances, such as televisions or lamps, near the thermostat that controls your air conditioner. The heat they produce "fools" the thermostat and causes the air conditioner to run longer than necessary.
Save by Keeping the Heat Out
- Turn off unnecessary lights and use energy-efficient lights, especially when you have the air conditioner running. Lights generate a significant amount of heat. At least 90% of the electricity that you bringing into the house ends up as heat that the air conditioner must remove to maintain the temperature where you want it. Read more about it in this old article SAVE ON AIR CONDITIONING BY REPLACING OLD LIGHT BULBS
- In the cooling season, draw draperies, blinds, and shades indoors to keep out direct sunlight. For more on this read FIGHT SOLAR HEATING TO CUT YOUR AIR CONDITIONING BILL
- Close doors and vents of unused rooms to avoid cooling these areas.
- Use your storm windows to keep the heat out in hot weather.
- Avoid using electric appliances in hot weather. Cook outdoors if you can. Call me to sample the food from your barbecue. If you must cook indoors, use a microwave oven.
Use Fans or Natural Ventilation When You Can
- Under appropriate weather conditions in the cooling season, use window fans mounted in windows to exhaust hot air that accumulates indoors during the day and, reversed at night, to pull in cooler outdoor air. Blowing the hot air out of an upstairs window will help cool the whole house. Check the wind direction and have your fans move air in the same direction.
- When possible, use fans to keep cool instead of an air conditioner. Fans consume only a small fraction of the energy of an air conditioner. For more on saving with fans read this SAVE YOUR MONEY WITH FANS AND AIR CONDITIONING
- If your ceiling fans are reversible, be sure to reverse the direction at the start of the cooling season so that the blades turn to create a downdraft. Read this so you will know how to run your ceiling fan to save your money WHICH WAY SHOULD MY CEILING FAN RUN?
- To operate your air conditioner unit more efficiently, turn on your ceiling fans. These fans create air movement across the skin, lowering skin temperature through evaporation. The homeowner can raise the A/C thermostat setting up 4 degrees F without any decrease in comfort. Each degree you raise the thermostat up will save about 7-8 percent on your electric bill. The hotter the weather gets the faster the fans should run.
- If you plan to leave for a few minutes or more, turn the ceiling fans off. Letting a fan run wastes energy and does nothing to cool the room. In fact, the heat from the fan motor actually warms the room a little. The fan only helps when there is someone in the room to enjoy it.
Save with “Do It Yourself” Maintenance
- Clean or replace filters regularly on air conditioners; keep outside units free from leaves or debris that may clog vents.
- Clean the outside condenser coils of your heat pump or central air conditioner. It is OK to hose off the outdoor part of your air conditioner or heat pump, even while it is running.
Save with the Way You Operate Your Air Conditioner
- Set the fan speed of your air conditioner on high, except in very humid weather. When it's humid, set the speed on low; you will get slower cooling but more moisture will be removed from the air. Dryer air will make you feel cooler.
- Turn off your air conditioner when you leave home for an hour or longer. Read this to find out why SAVE MONEY; SHUT OFF THE AIR CONDITIONER WHEN YOU ARE GONE. Leave your heat pump running unless you will be gone for more than a day.
by Birney Summers – 2009 All Rights Reserved