Homeowners are constantly searching for ways to cut their utility bills, and we’re pleased to tell you that one of the most powerful cost-cutting tools available is already in your home. With just a few minor adjustments, this powerful device can save you money every month, and if you do it right, you’ll hardly notice the difference in your quality of life.

We’re talking about your thermostat. Change the setting by one degree, and you’ll lower your air conditioner’s energy usage by 7 percent. It’s that easy.

Here’s how to take control of your thermostat settings and lower your cooling costs.

Set It High

Again, every degree of difference changes your air conditioner’s energy usage by 7 percent. That means it’s in your interests to keep your house as warm as you can stand during the cooling season. For most people, that’s somewhere between 76 and 79 degrees, so experiment and find the right spot for your family.

Use Ceiling Fans

There are multiple benefits to using a ceiling fan to complement your air conditioning. In addition to improving energy efficiency directly by breaking up the hot air that tends to collect at the top of the room, fans create a cool breeze in the house that makes everyone more comfortable. The upshot is that you can keep the home at a warmer temperature without sacrificing comfort, lowering your air conditioning prices in the process.

To really maximize energy efficiency, look for an Energy Star rated fan with a reverse setting. That way, you’ll be able to use it during the heating season, as well.

Programmable Technology

Keeping your home cool when everyone is at work or school in the middle of the day is a waste of energy, and manually changing the temperature settings when you leave and get home is time-consuming and easy to forget. Why not invest in a programmable control system? You can pre-set your air conditioner to stop cooling the house as soon as you leave and start up again just before you return. Modern air conditioners take only a few minutes to cool your home down, so if you time it properly, you’ll never notice the difference.

Of course, everyone’s schedule sometimes changes unexpectedly during the day, and pre-programmed settings can’t adapt to that. However, high-end thermostats now allow for remote access from a mobile device. Just send a signal when you’re on your way home, and the house will be nice and cool by the time you arrive.

At Commonwealth Cooling & Heating, we’ve been helping Alexandria, VA, residents keep cool while lowering their utility bills for many years. Give us a call to learn more about ways to take control of your cooling systems and save money.