Setting your Thermostat to your Priorities… Cost vs. Comfort

Staying comfortable in your home while remaining energy efficient is one of the quintessential offerings of this blog. Oftentimes, cost savings and environmental friendliness are key motivators. Comfort, on the other hand, is something the average homeowner is not willing to sacrifice. This post quantifies the cost to cool a residential home, making it easy to decide whether dialing down that extra degree is worth it or not.

The Cost to Cool

Ecobee 75 There are, of course, many variables to consider when calculating the cost to cool your home. Generally speaking, the difference between the outdoor and indoor air temperature is the largest factor. This is known as the cooling load. If it’s a 95 degree day and the thermostat is set to 70 degrees then the cooling load is 25 degrees, which is substantial (read: costly!). It’s during these days that the cost of comfort is especially high. The first few degree changes can add up to an 8-10% savings on your energy bill!

Take, for example, a household that normally costs $90 to cool in the month of August with the thermostat set to 73 degrees. Consider the following potential savings of 9% for the first three degrees of change:

If set at 74 degrees, the cost is estimated to be $81.90 = Savings of $9.10

If set at 75 degrees, the cost is estimated to be $74.53 = Savings of $15.47

If set at 76 degrees, the cost is estimated to be $63.77 = Savings of $26.23

Estimated savings is for demonstration purposes only and not meant to be a guarantee of savings. Exact savings for your home is dependent on a number of factors, including thermostat settings.

So comfort comes at a cost. Conversely, if you can find ways to tolerate a few extra degrees then the cost savings can be significant. See our past post called More Energy Tips for the Summer to get some good tips to stay comfortable in your home while remaining energy efficient.