These 3 Thermostat Habits are Costing You Money

Did your energy bills this summer make you want to cry? We get it…it’s extremely hot outside and you want to have a nicely cooled home, especially while you’re sleeping. Did you know that you may have some thermostat habits that are costing you money with no desired results? So if you are looking for ways to cut your energy use, making changes to your thermostat usage is a good place to start, considering that your HVAC usage makes up a good chunk of your monthly energy costs. If the following don’t apply to you, you made need AC service from your trusted experts here at Mainline Heating and Air in Birmingham, AL.But first, here are the 3 most common bad habits to break:


Habit 1: Attempting to cool your home “faster”

Setting the thermostat at 70° to get the temperature from 78° to your preferred 74° is surprisingly a bad idea, since it doesn’t actually speed up the cooling process like you’re expecting it to. Unless you have a two-stage unit, your AC only works at one set speed. Setting it lower to get to your desired temperature faster will only make the unit run longer at the same speed to reach the lower temperature setting. And when the AC runs longer…it’s going to cost you more money. So if you want it at 74° as soon as possible, just go ahead and set it to that. It’ll get there just as fast and save you money when compared to what you were doing!


Habit 2: Keeping your thermostat set at the same temperature 24/7

Setting the thermostat at a specific temperature and never touching it

Is the most energy-efficient way to do it, right? Actually, no. According to ENERGY STAR, you could be wasting as much as $180/year! Instead, you should change your thermostat setting whenever you leave

your home for 8 hours or longer, which is a normal work day for many. Essentially, you’re wasting money by cooling an empty house. Now, that’s  When your home will be empty for 8 hours or longer, set your thermostat

5°-8° higher in the summer. Then you can set the thermostat back to your comfortable setting when you get home. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, this can save you 5-15% on your yearly energy costs! 


What if you can’t remember to do that everyday? Or want to come home to a cool, comfortable home without waiting for your preferred temperature? Consider a programmable thermostat that can be controlled by an app or smart home device. You can set it back to something more comfortable on your way home from work, or the ball field, or wherever you’ve been. We would love to discuss these options with you! It could really help save some money on your energy bill and save you from potential frustration. 


Habitat 3: Adjusting the thermostat too much

Doesn’t this seem to go against the previous bad habit? You might be thinking, “So I need to adjust my thermostat daily, but not adjust it too often? Give me a break!” Adjusting it once in the morning as you’re heading out the door and then again after you get home is a good thing. Constantly adjusting it to get the optimal comfort is not ideal for your energy costs. Constantly changing the set temperature on your thermostat causes your

air conditioner to stop and start constantly, which causes them to run

inefficiently. Your AC should be running for longer, steadier times instead

of a constant “stop and go”. Think of it like your car- do you get

better gas mileage on streets with lots of stop lights or on the interstate?


So remember these 3 things to help you save money on your energy bills:

Don’t crank your thermostat way up or way down to heat or cool your home faster. Change your thermostat temperature setting when you’re away from home for 8+ hours. Ideally, 5°-8° higher in the summer. Don’t constantly change the thermostat setting when you’re home.


If you have good thermostat habits, but your home just isn’t getting cool (or that power bill isn’t getting any better), contact the AC professionals at Mainline Heating and Air Conditioning. We can evaluate your situation and devise the best solution. We want you to be comfortably cool for the rest of the summer and we’re available and able to help with your AC service needs in and around the Birmingham, AL area.


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