Ask the Expert: Hot Weather Means Higher Bills
Hi Bernice, this is the age-old question, and is asked time and time again during the summer months as temperatures rise. It’s plain and simple – your air conditioning (A/C) is one of the largest energy users in your home and can account for more than half of your energy bill. So when your A/C runs longer, your energy bill is going to be higher.
There is a direct correlation between outdoor temperature and your energy usage. Your bill increases the hotter it gets outside because you’re consuming more energy – your A/C is running longer to keep your home cool. During the summer, your A/C runs twice as long as it does in cooler months to keep your home at the same temperature, which can result in a higher bill than usual.
For example, if the outside temperature is 80° F and you have your thermostat set to 78° F, your A/C will need to cool your home just 2° F. However, when it’s 90° F outside, your A/C will need to cool your home 12° F , running longer to keep the indoor temperature at 78° F.
Tips to make energy savings simple:
Here are some easy tips to help you keep your energy consumption under control and help you save:
- Keep your thermostat at 78° F or warmer with the fan on “auto” and raise the thermostat setting to 82° F while you’re away. For every degree you raise the temperature, you can save about 5% on your monthly cooling costs.
- Use a fan to cool the room you’re in, but turn it off when you leave.
- Close shades, blinds and drapes to keep the sun’s heat out.
- Grill outside instead of using the oven or stove to help keep your kitchen cool.
- Maintain proper airflow by keeping interior doors and vents open to help air circulate.
- Clean or replace your A/C filter regularly to help your unit run more efficiently.
- Consider buying a new high-efficiency A/C. You may qualify for a $150 rebate when you purchase your A/C system through a Participating Independent Contractor (PIC).
Thanks again Bernice and stay cool!