Monday, July 16, 2012

To Sweat Or Not To Sweat

Phew, it sure has been hot lately.  We've been pushing 90 the last few days and that's in Wisconsin.  I'm sure it's even worse in most other places.  The other day this got me and a neighbor on the topic of air conditioning.  We compared thermostat settings with his being 73 and mine 80.  Note to self: bake some cookies so I have a reason to go sit in the coolness while waiting for a cup of sugar.  Although the oven would be countering my a/c, so edit note to self, lie about making cookies… Anyway, the thermostat comparisons got me wondering how much of a difference 7 degrees can have on the energy bill.  

After consulting the knower of all things good, bad and otherwise, the Internet, here's what I found.  The consumer energy center says you save 1%-3% for each degree (above 72) higher that you set your thermostat.  I pay around $30 per month more in the summer for my air conditioning.  Those numbers work out to about $1.10 of savings per degree above 72 degrees each month.  Which means I'm saving $7.70  monthly, compared to the neighbor, or around $30 over an entire cooling season.  It may not seem like much, but for the amount of effort required (pushing a button a few times on the thermostat), it's a pretty easy way to save a little cash.

What is your thermostat set at in the summer?  How many degrees are you willing to bump it up to get those dollars?  Our key is running our ceiling fans to circulate the air which allows for a higher thermostat setting while still feeling cool.

Note:  Make sure your thermostat is set at a temperature where you and who/what ever is living with you is comfortable.  For example, I tried setting my thermostat at 85 degrees, but Mrs. K was not comfortable.  A few dollars in air conditioning is cheaper than a few hours of couples counseling...just saying.

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