Saving Energy – One Programmable Air Conditioner At a Time

As this article on Wikipedia mentions , space conditioning, that is heating and cooling is responsible for almost half the energy consumed by homes in USA.

On an average a home in USA is about 2330 sq feet. Usually the house is 12-15 feet tall. So we are talking about heating of more than 25000 cubic feet of air. If people are in home, we certainly need to heat or cool it. But what if people aren’t?

If your monthly electricity bill in summer is about $400, then it means you are consuming approximately 4000 KWH energy per month (@10 c/KWH). Out of that you are spending almost $200 on heating and cooling. That averages to about $7 per day of heating or cooling.

If you just locked your house to go to office in the morning and suddenly realized that you left the air conditioner on and if you think you don’t have time to turn back and switch it off, ask yourself one question. Is your one minute worth 7 $? Because it is the daytime your air conditioner runs the most.

If your utility bill is $800, then your one minute has to be worth more than $14 and your conscience has to be so weak that it will allow 200 lbs of CO2 to escape in air for no reason (@1.35 lb/KWH as presented in this report)

Rather than relying on conscience and self discipline, it is best to let a machine do the job. For les than $100, you can get a programmable controller which you can fix yourself and time it. This will switch the a/c off or make it run less in the time there is nobody at home. If you are paying a utility bill around 400-500$, then you should see payback in about one or two months because it usually cuts down the space conditioning costs by 20-25%, thus reducing the electricity bill by about 10-15%.

If you use such a controller over a period of 5 years, which is the average time a US home turns hands, you would have saved about … guess how much?

At $400.00 average electricity bill, you would have saved $2500. If your average electricity bill is higher, raise this figure proportionately. This is after tax money in your pocket. So actually you are saving more than $3000 over a period of 5 years. If yoour electricity bill is of order of $800 per month, you are getting bonus or pay raise of a little over $1000 per year.

If you some simple tips like insulating your house properly, cleaning filters in time and running air conditioner a couple degrees closer to ambient temperature, you could see your savings increase by 50% more, or even in some case double.

Probably at this time you are really worried about what to do with extra 1000$ or so per year. Indeed it’s a very serious question. Well, so let’s not talk about the 30,000-40,000 lbs of CO2 you saved from escaping into atmosphere (in addition to its nasty brothers Carbon Monoxide, Sulpher Dioxide and Hydrogen Sulphide) and helped keep the it clean and green and fresh. Let’s not talk about how you helped the clear blue sky remain clear blue.

And Let’s not talk at all about the fact that you behaved like a good citizen of nature and helped stop global warming.

Here are a few links that contain neat tips to cut down the power consumption.


~ by Kedar on January 26, 2007.

7 Responses to “Saving Energy – One Programmable Air Conditioner At a Time”

  1. Programmable controllers work great–I had one in one of the houses I rented–before moving to an apartment. It saved alot of money, especial when we were using Natural Gas.

  2. We have a programmable controller that turns on the heat 30 minutes before we get out of bed and shuts down when we are at the office. During weekends we have to go back to manual but for us its perfect and now I am realizing how much $$$ we have probably saved over the years…..Great post…Di

  3. Hi Kedar,
    I came across your blog recently as I was doing research on Heating and Cooling. I had a few questions and was wondering if you’d mind answering a few of them?


  4. Here is another nice post on similar topic.

  5. Most home energy usage and waste definitely stems from the cooling and heating usage. Everyone should convert to a programmable unit. Another thing is to make sure insulation is good in walls and also with door and window treatments.

  6. Energy can only be saved if your Air Conditioner is working on its regular servicing. Maintenance is very necessary for that work.Air Conditioning Repair Cypress

  7. Dampers are attached to the heating and cooling ducts in your home, and conditioned air is then distributed to different parts of the house as needed. This system is perfect for homes that have large open areas either in the floor plan or near the ceiling, such as a loft or atrium. It can be very expensive to heat or cool these large areas at all times, so having a system to switch off heating or cooling in these areas can save you money on your energy bill.
    If you’re interested in determining whether a zoning system would be right for your San Antonio home, contact Chahat Enterprises Air Conditioning Repairing Services.

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