As soon as the temperature starts getting into the 80’s and 90’s, we receive calls from customers wondering why their bills are higher. The simple answer is that air conditioners must work longer, using more electricity, to maintain the indoor temperature setting on the thermostat.
Many customers tell us that they have not touched their thermostat setting, so how could their unit be using more electricity. As the outdoor temperature goes up, it warms the walls and roof of the house, which continually affects the indoor temperature throughout the day. So the air conditioner has to work longer to cool the house, even though the thermostat setting remains the same.
We can’t do anything to control the summer temperatures, but there are some easy things to do to help your cooling system operate more efficiently, keep you cool, and keep your energy costs down.
- Set your thermostat at the highest comfortable setting.
- Keep air conditioner filters clean; Dirty filters can decrease the efficiency of your cooling system.
- Clear the area around your outdoor cooling unit to allow it to expel heat.
- It’s a good idea to have your system professionally serviced once a year.
- Close draperies or adjust mini-blinds to deflect the sunlight (and heat) out of the house interior.
- Use ceiling fans to circulate indoor air. Just a little air movement can make it feel much cooler.
- When cooking, try to avoid using the oven. Use a microwave or toaster oven instead.
- Take advantage of cooler hours of the day for strenuous activity or household chores.
HES/Energynet offers customers the ability to view their daily electricity using an app called Myusage. This app shows your daily electricity usage with an overlay for the outdoor high and low temp of the day. This shows the correlation between outdoor temperature and electricity usage. For more information about Myusage and to sign up, click here.