Everyone is always looking for ways to save money. Utility bills are one area we can take a closer look at. We have clients who hold out as long as they can when it comes to turning on their air conditioner in the spring/summer to pinch pennies. The same goes for the heat when fall rolls around. That’s not always the most ideal or comfortable solution. One question we often hear is “Should I turn my AC off when we aren’t home to save money?”

Let’s break this down a little, the HVAC world can get a little confusing.

Every time you turn your thermostat up a degree, you save about 1%. So, it seems silly not to increase the temperature a little when you aren’t there to enjoy it. We recommend not turning it up more than 10 degrees to your comfort level.

smart thermostatFor example, if you like your house set at 70 degrees while you are home/sleeping, try turning it up to 75-80 while you are away. The best way to do this is to invest in a programmable thermostat. We recommend a smart thermostat that you can control from your smartphone for easier use.

Take into consideration the timing of your automatic changes for when you arrive home, you want to give the house a little time to recover so it feels cooler when you arrive home. The timing of that depends on the shape of your house, insulation and AC unit abilities.

We don’t recommend turning your unit completely off during the day or overnight. The cost to cool the house back down to a comfortable level after you are home will probably end up being more because the unit has to work extra hard.

It might take some trial and error before you find the perfect time slots and degree changes. Again, a smart thermostat makes the process much easier because you can change things from your phone while you are away based on the temperatures outside.