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Keeping Your Energy Bill Down in Summer, Part Three: Thermostat Settings
In this series, we’re looking at the many ways you can reduce your energy bills during our long, hot Tennessee Valley summers. Today, we’ll look specifically at how small adjustments to your thermostat settings can add up to big savings.
- Every Degree Counts:
It’s pretty easy to understand that increasing the temperature setting of your thermostat will decrease how much your air conditioner has to run. But you may think that you’d have to change the temperature by five degrees or more to make a noticeable difference. That is not necessarily the case.
In fact, according to the Air Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration News, a one-degree increase in the temperature setting can save you an average of 10% on your cooling costs! (The exact amount varies depending on a few factors, including how big the difference is between the outside temperature and your desired temperature.) For example, ACHR News estimated that, for an average home in Atlanta, changing the summer thermostat setting from 72 to 75 degrees would decrease the amount of energy used for cooling by 34%.
- Every Hour Counts, Too:
Not only can small temperature changes make a big difference in energy use, they can have an impact even if you only change the temperature for a few hours a day. That’s what’s known as a thermostat “setback.” For instance, in the summer many people choose to set back their thermostat during the day while they’re at work. According to the US Department of Energy, turning your thermostat up 7-10 degrees for just eight hours a day during the summer will save you 10% on your cooling energy bill.
- Get Smart:
A smart thermostat, that is. You can automate your setback schedule using a smart thermostat, like an ecobee or Nest. It’ll save you from forgetting to turn up the thermostat before you leave for work in the morning, and it can even begin cooling your house back down to your preferred evening setting before you get home. Plus, most smart thermostats can be controlled remotely using an app on your smartphone. So if you decide to come home early or work late, you can adjust your thermostat to maximize both your comfort and savings.