(WAFB) - Utility bills typically shoot up in the summer as homeowners crank up their central air conditioning.
According to ConsumerReports.org, there are certain temperatures you can keep your unit on to keep costs down.
Energy Star, a joint federal program run by the DOE and the EPA, recommends you keep your thermostat on 78° F while you’re at home and awake.
ConsumerReports.org recommends you keep your AC on the following settings:
- 78° F when you’re home
- 85° F when you’re at work or away
- 82° F when you’re sleeping
They also recommend adjusting your thermostat 1° F at a time to see how it affects your comfort and your budget. Each degree could save you 3% on your utility bill. If your house is too hot, lower the temperature 1° F at a time instead of ratcheting it down.
WAFB spoke with a local expert to see whether this report is accurate.
“I mean, sometimes it’s 85 when we get to the house, because their AC’s out, but that’s usually why we get the phone call,” said Trey Annison, owner of Annison Heating and Air Conditioning.
With the excessive summer heat in south Louisiana, he knows people are running their AC units on full blast.
“It’s completely personal preference, but just know that every degree is typically about 30 bucks,” said Annison.
"Nobody around here's going to do it," said Annison.
“They’re going to burn up. Not in Louisiana, let’s put it like that, that’s not the numbers,” said Melvin Anthony-Cox, a Denham Springs resident.
“I think they lost their mind and they don’t live in south Louisiana, that’s what I think, especially, I mean, it’s hot, it’s really hot,” said Kimberly Applewhite, another Denham Springs resident.
Annison recommends not changing your thermostat more than three or four degrees at a time because when you’re trying to cool your home, it’ll take more electricity to get it down.
"So when it's 72 when you're home, put it at 75 or 76 when you're going and I probably wouldn't go any higher than that," said Annison.
“During the day, we keep it on 72 and at night I turn it down to like 65,” said Michelle Grimmer, another Denham resident.
“72 is the number,” said Anthony-Cox.
“In the evenings I’m called a polar bear. I keep it on 68 and during the day I try to keep it around 72,” said Applewhite.
Of course, it’s all about personal preference, but we think it’s safe to say no one in Louisiana is putting their thermostat on 85 degrees anytime soon.
AC experts suggest changing filters once a month, using blinds and drapes, and keeping the outside unit clean to save money and make sure the AC is running in tip top shape.