3 Ways Your Thermostat Costs You $ Every Month

May 26, 2020

We know that saving money while staying cool is on everyone’s mind during the summer months, and your thermostat can have a big impact on how much you end up saving or losing. 

3 common energy-guzzling thermostat mistakes we see during the summer include:

  • Leaving your thermostat at the same temperature all the time

  • Turning your AC system on and off

  • Setting your thermostat to ON instead of AUTO 

Below, we’ll explain why each of these mistakes can cost you money. Plus, we’ll provide some tips on how to actually save money on your summer cooling bills.

Costly mistake #1: Leaving your thermostat at the same temperature all the time

One of the most common ways that homeowners increase their cooling bills is by leaving their thermostats at the same temperature all the time. We get it! You want your home to be cool and comfortable 24/7. But if no one is home to enjoy the cool air, you're technically wasting the money that goes into making your home comfortable.

On the flip side, you can actually save 10% on your cooling bills if you turn your thermostat up 7-10 degrees for 8 or more hours a day, according to the Department of Energy

For example, if your home is normally cooled to 77 degrees, turning your thermostat up to 85 degrees when you leave for work (and back down to 77 degrees when you return) could save you 10% a year. 

Sounds easy, right? Not for most of us!

Two reasons it's not easy/realistic to manually adjust your thermostat every day include:

  1. You probably want your home to be cool as soon as you get there, not an hour or so after you’ve already been home.

  2. During the rush of leaving for the day, turning your thermostat up can be very easy to forget.

We totally understand, and that’s why we recommend installing a smart thermostat. This type of thermostat will start cooling your home down before you get there, so your home will be the temperature you want as soon as you get there (without you having to manually do anything).

Sound like something you’d be interested in? You can install a smart thermostat yourself or if you don’t feel comfortable, you can reach out to a professional to help you. 

Costly mistake #2: Turning your AC system off and on

Another mistake we sometimes see is people turning their thermostat on and off to save on cooling bills.

For example, if you’re going on vacation and don’t want to pay to have your home cooled during that time, you may think that shutting the system off completely will save you money. 

However, shutting your thermostat off completely means that your AC has to work extremely hard when it’s turned back on to make up the temperature difference.

For example, If the temperature outside is 98 degrees and you come home from vacation and turn your thermostat to 78 degrees, your AC system now has to cool your home by 20 degrees, which is a huge amount of cool air your AC now needs to produce. 

Instead of doing this, we’d suggest you simply turn your thermostat up. Even if you turn your thermostat to 88 degrees, your AC system now only has to cool your home by 10 degrees, which is half of the temperature differential it would have to meet if you turned your thermostat off completely. 

Cost #3: Setting your thermostat to ON instead of AUTO

Your thermostat has two fan settings: ON and AUTO. Sometimes, people turn the fan to ON during the summer, thinking that the more often the fan blows, the cooler the house will be (but that's not exactly the case). 

When your fan is set to ON instead of AUTO, it runs all the time instead of only running when your AC has produced cool air, meaning it’s also circulating warm air around your house.

Our tip? Keep your thermostat fan set to AUTO to save money. The only time you should use the ON setting is when you're cleaning or dusting (the fan will suck in the extra dust/dirt in the air).

Want to know the best way to save money on cooling bills this summer? Invest in maintenance

Outside of the tips listed above, one of the best ways to save money on your monthly cooling bills is to invest in annual maintenance with a professional. 

During a maintenance check-up, a professional will ensure your system is running smoothly and efficiently and alert you to any larger issues so that you don’t spend an excessive amount of money running an inefficient or broken AC system that will rack up your monthly cooling bills. 

If you want maintenance done by professionals you can trust, check out our maintenance plan