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Back to School Season? Save $180 on AC Bills By Doing This

Back to School Season? Save $180 on AC Bills By Doing This

Back to school season is right around the corner. And while that makes some Minnesota parents happy and some sad, it means one thing across the board: savings on heating and cooling bills.


Well for the typical Minnesota home, back to school season means that the house is empty for 8–10 hours a day, which means you can afford to use more energy-efficient temperatures throughout the day.

And according to Energy Star, using “set-back” temperatures for 10 hours a day can result in saving $180 a year in heating and cooling costs.

“Set back” temperatures for 10 hours a day—here’s what we mean

Follow these temperature guidelines to save up to $180 a year in heating and cooling bills:

  • In the summer, turn up your thermostat 7 degrees during the day (while you and the kids are away) and 4 degrees at night
  • In the winter, turn down your thermostat 8 degrees during the day and 8 degrees at night

As long as you keep these energy saving temperatures for 10 hours a day, you can expect optimal savings on your energy bills.

So, if you follow the guidelines above, your schedule for the remainder of the cooling season might look like:

  • 8 AM - Turn up the thermostat 7 degrees before leaving the house for the day.
  • 5 PM - Turn the thermostat back down 7 degrees (comfort level) when everyone gets back to the house for the night.
  • 10 PM - Turn up the thermostat 4 degrees before heading to bed.
  • 6 AM - Turn the thermostat back down 7 degrees (comfort level) when everyone wakes up and gets ready for school/work.

Want to automate your savings? Try a programmable thermostat

Want to save $180 this year on your heating and cooling bills but not sure you can keep up with the setback schedule above? Just get a programmable thermostat.

A programmable thermostat can automatically set back or turn up the temperature on your thermostat throughout the day, whether you’re home or not. These thermostats offer multiple pre-set temperature schedules for your home.

Depending on your schedule needs, you can choose a programmable thermostat that offers 7, 3 or 2 unique temperature schedules.

If you’re interested in investing in a programmable thermostat, make sure to check out our blog first: “3 Must Know Tips for Buying a Programmable Thermostat”.

Other ways to save on cooling bills

1. Check and change your filter regularly.

A clogged filter can force your AC to work harder and longer, resulting in higher energy bills. So, when your filter looks like the filter to the right in the pic below, replace it ASAP.

2. Use fans in occupied rooms

Fans help remove heat from your body, which means you can expect to turn up the thermostat 4 degrees without feeling uncomfortable.

But keep in mind that fans cool people, not rooms. Which means you should only run fans in rooms that are occupied. Otherwise you’re just wasting energy.

3. Keep curtains closed

Keeping blinds and curtains closed prevents heat from coming into your home via the windows, meaning less work for your AC.

Want a bonus tip? Change out dark colored drapes for light or medium colored ones to reduce your home’s heat gain by 33%.

For more tips on saving energy, check out our blog, “5 Effortless Ways to Keep Your Summer Utility Bills Low”.

4. Want more advice on AC savings? Ask a MN tech

If you’re interested in slashing your AC bills, just contact us.

We can inspect your home to see ways that you’re wasting money every month and offer energy-saving solutions.

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