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Thread: saving money on utilitly bills?

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    L17 Officer spoofee123's Avatar
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    saving money on utilitly bills?

    I have a question - my roommate and I have been arguing about which saves more money - turning off the AC/heater if you're going to be gone for more than a week - or just leaving it on and/or turning it up. Who's right??? Answers would be much appreciated because I've searched online and haven't been able to find anything definitive!

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    ♪♫♪♫♪♫♪♫♪♫ K Ma's Avatar
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    If it is only for a week or so, turn it down - dont turn it off.
    The unit works harder when it is turned back on to get up to temperture. This is especially true for AC in the summer. When you have a maintained temperture, even if it is higher/lower than usual - it will take less time, less energy when you return to warm or cool your house.

    I know this is true because #1 I used to work for a national AC/Heating company and #2 I had to live thru it (not by my choice.)

    I used to work for a guy who would turn the air off everyday. In South Florida where it was nothing for it to get up in the humid 90's. Then the next day it would work all day trying to cool the place off. So the air was constantly blowing (freezing!) and eventually the unit froze up. Several hundred bucks later, the AC repair man told him the same thing we the employees told him and he still didnt listen!

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    ♪♫♪♫♪♫♪♫♪♫ K Ma's Avatar
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    I forgot to add: once when our employer went on vacation for two weeks, we left the air on, but just turned it up when we left for the day.
    I dont remember how much - but the bill was much lower that month - and it was only 2 weeks that we did this. Even though it was a big building the principle would still be true for a house.

    Hope this helps!

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    L17 Officer spoofee123's Avatar
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    Question thanks!

    Thanks Kadin's mama! But what if I'm going to be gone for, say, 3 or more weeks? Would it still save money over the winter to leave it on the whole time? Should I lower or raise the temperature to save even more money? I heard that 68 degrees is normal.

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    ♪♫♪♫♪♫♪♫♪♫ K Ma's Avatar
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    Lowering it between 65 and 68 is the best. (Warmer climates even down to 60 or 62) You dont want to heat the place while you are not there, but you want to maintain a temperture. You also have to factor in where you live....how cold will it get? You are really just regulating temp for the unit - have you ever started your car on a really cold day - it sputters and shakes the car because everything is so cold. Now think about a nice warm summer day - it doesnt do that right? Same thing with your heating unit.
    You also have to think about how hard your unit will have to run if you turn it completely off - and then turn it back on when you return. This is where the cost of energy comes in. It will run longer to heat the place back up (especially if it is really cold) than it would if it ran daily to maintain temp. Back to the car - on really cold days it takes your car some time to warm up, under the hood and in the car.
    If my memory serves me right to save money you would need to be gone for more than a couple of months to turn the unit off. And even then in some cases where it is really cold, you have to think about stuff freezing up (water lines, etc...) and you still wouldnt turn it off completely.

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    L20 Captain morriefisher's Avatar
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    We arent talking about 3 hours, but 3 weeks. Therefore, turning it off certainly saves the money. You also dont have to be concerned about wondering how its working.

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    ♪♫♪♫♪♫♪♫♪♫ K Ma's Avatar
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    Trust me Spoofee.....just turn it down, not off.

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    It's like déj- vu again spazntwitch's Avatar
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    A second thought, if it gets colder than freezing in your area, you'll definitely want to keep it down (but not off). Frozen pipes aren't fun for anyone to come home to.
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    L20 Captain morriefisher's Avatar
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    True, but I don't think that's the case as the OP mentioned AC....

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    ♪♫♪♫♪♫♪♫♪♫ K Ma's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kadin'sMama
    Lowering it between 65 and 68 is the best. (Warmer climates even down to 60 or 62) You dont want to heat the place while you are not there, but you want to maintain a temperture. You also have to factor in where you live....how cold will it get? You are really just regulating temp for the unit - have you ever started your car on a really cold day - it sputters and shakes the car because everything is so cold. Now think about a nice warm summer day - it doesnt do that right? Same thing with your heating unit.
    You also have to think about how hard your unit will have to run if you turn it completely off - and then turn it back on when you return. This is where the cost of energy comes in. It will run longer to heat the place back up (especially if it is really cold) than it would if it ran daily to maintain temp. Back to the car - on really cold days it takes your car some time to warm up, under the hood and in the car.
    If my memory serves me right to save money you would need to be gone for more than a couple of months to turn the unit off. And even then in some cases where it is really cold, you have to think about stuff freezing up (water lines, etc...) and you still wouldnt turn it off completely.

    A/C was a part of the original question - and you can save the info for next summer!

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    Goody 2 Shoes Goddess TY precocious's Avatar
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    We live in a cold climate during winter. A couple years ago my brother brought up a point....When you turn the thermostat down too far, not only does the room get cool but also all of it's furnishings, therefore, by keeping the room at a more tepid temperature, you're not spending the additional time and $$ to re-heat your furnishings.

    Now...your 'furnishings' will give a 'heating pad' (during Summer) or an 'ice pack' (during Winter) effect on your room if the room is not kept 'tepid'.

    I would follow that rule (per Kadin'sMama) for shorter periods of time...but for longer/extended periods of time I would turn off the heat/ac unless (as Spaz mentioned) you live in an area where the temperature dips below freezing.....then just keep it at a cooler temperature above freezing...

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    ♪♫♪♫♪♫♪♫♪♫ K Ma's Avatar
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    Good luck with your decision Spoofee123. Have a great holiday!




    I am done with this thread already!GEESH!

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    L17 Officer spoofee123's Avatar
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    Thanks for all of the helpful posts!!

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