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Saving money with your thermostat….and my puppy’s uh…triumphant moment

I’m always on the lookout for things that can save energy costs because if it doesn’t affect the quality of life, then its just wasting money. Todays top: turning down the thermostat. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not saying all the time. In fact I hate sitting around the house being cold…who doesn’t? But really, how about when you are sleeping? Sabra Westie puppy on The Penny SavedOr how about when you are at work during the day? In our case the dogs are still home, and they are definitely princesses, but they do have fur. Speaking of dogs, does anyone else have one that loves poop? Our puppy Sabra’s proudest moment was when she came in from outside, trotted up to me wagging her tail like crazy and triumphantly dropped a nice dried up frozen turd at my feet. Anyway back to finance….

According to the Rocky Mountain Institute, for every 1° you lower your thermostat, you save 2 percent in energy costs. So lets say you lower your thermostat for 8 hours while sleeping and 8 hours while at work. Thats 16 hours a day, exactly 2/3 of the day. 2/3 of 2 percent is 1 and 1/3 percent. Lets say you keep your house at 70 (a fairly common temperature). Here in Colorado heating a 2k square foot house with gas can cost up to $2000.00/yr. Lets say you were to lower your thermostat to 65 at night and during the workday:

Annual heating and cooling costs(before): $2000
Percent savings from adjusting thermostat: 6.67%
Annual savings: $133

Lets day you decide to turn it down to 60 while sleeping and away:

Annual heating and cooling costs(before): $2000
Percent savings from adjusting thermostat:13.33%
Annual savings: $266

Thermostat programmable goodMakes sense eh? If you go to the extreme you can save probably up to about 35% assuming a baseline of 70. Thats up to $700 in a year. Mind you I wouldn’t want to turn my own thermostat down that much. All of this becomes much MUCH easier if you have a programmable thermostat. My house doesn’t have one, and I will have to look at my girlfriends house to see if hers is (I think it is; she has a new house and I probably just made work for myself writing this article heh heh). They aren’t much to buy and will pay for themselves in less than a year. Now go!

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