Tuesday, October 12, 2010

What’s the thermostat got to do with it?

A lot! Heating and cooling can make up as much as 50 percent or more of your annual energy bill. (http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=products.pr_pie). Because of this, it is important to understand how your thermostat setting impacts your bill.

The easiest way to take control of your heating costs is to monitor your thermostat setting. We recommend a setting of 68 degrees or lower in the winter. Each degree higher can significantly increase your heating costs during those long winter nights. If you currently keep your thermostat set higher than 68 degrees, try decreasing the thermostat setting a degree every few days to see if you are able to achieve a lower setting that’s comfortable.

A few other ideas that could help keep your heating costs in check:
  • Turn down the thermostat - If you plan to be away for several hours during the day, consider turning your thermostat down several degrees beyond 68. If you’re planning to be out of town for several days, set your thermostat a few degrees lower (62-65 degrees should be fine) than normal. If you have an electric heat pump, remember to warm the house slowly upon your return. Never raise the thermostat higher than needed. Bump your thermostat up one to two degrees at a time until your desired temperature is achieved; adjusting this setting by more than one to two degrees could activate your heat strips.

  • Open the drapes - Opening your drapes or blinds during the day will let the heat of the sun in to help heat your home.

  • Keep interior doors open - Open interior doors allow proper air flow. This can help your heating and cooling system run more efficiently and easily achieve a more comfortable temperature within your home.

As you can see, your thermostat setting has a lot to do with your monthly bill. Manage that thermostat and stay warm! For additional energy saving tips, visit our website at sceg.com/energywise.

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