Waste Less Wednesday: Paying Attention to the Weather

Posted Wednesday, June 25, 2008 4:44 PM by Romo

The other day the ambient air temperature in Tallahassee dropped to a pleasant sub-80s in the middle of the day--did you catch that? Well, upon walking in to the house, I noticed that not only was it cooler outside than inside, but the a/c was running. I realized, likewise, that it is nearly always under 80 out by the time we go to bed at night, too, and yet we keep the windows and doors shut and leave the a/c on. Meanwhile, we occasionally bemoan the lack of fresh air circulating. Hence, my latest tip. Pay attention to the weather! If it's cooler outside than inside, consider shutting off the a/c and opening the windows! Simple! 

And, on the topic of cooling--we keep the thermostat set at a slightly warm 80 F while we're home, 84 while we're at work. This is per the power company's instructions on how much you can let it warm up over the work day and still see a net savings in electricity usage (taking into account the extra power it takes to reduce it to--as opposed to maintain it at--your desired temperature). I haven't seen enough summer time utility bills since I've lived here to corroborate this, but I have used the same premise for winter time heating in cold climates and it proved to save a good 10% on the heating bills. If you're serious about this method of using less power--for your budget or for the environment--it may pay off to invest in a digital programmable thermostat (in some areas, utility companies subsidize this--my old house was able to upgrade to one for about $50).

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