It's a dilemma that everyone who lives in a warm region is all too familiar with – how do you balance cost savings from your air conditioning system with maintaining a comfortable indoor environment? There's nothing like some sweet, cooling air conditioning on a humid summer day, but run the AC too much and you'll end up paying for it big time when the electricity bill comes. A recent survey by HVAC equipment manufacturer Lennox sheds some light on how Americans handle the tradeoffs.
The Air Conditioning vs. Underwear Debate
A strong majority – 68 percent – of respondents said that spending their money for sufficient AC was worth it, as opposed to sitting around in their underwear to beat the heat. That's not to say respondents simply turned the air conditioning system up and left it at that, however. The survey reported that people paid attention to their thermostat and adjusted it during certain behaviors, including when “sleeping (61 percent), entertaining (43 percent), cooking (19 percent), exercising (16 percent) and 'making whoopee' (13 percent).”
Some respondents clearly fell on the money-saving side of the equation. According to the survey, a full 30 percent said they would rather strip down to their skivvies than pay more to keep the house cool. Money is a big motivator for nearly everyone – 69 percent said their main motivation to conserve was to save money, as opposed to helping the environment.
Mitigate the Tradeoffs with Efficiency Measures
There's always a price to pay for dropping the thermostat down a notch or two, but the tradeoff between cost and comfort doesn't have to be as stark as it seems. Instead, homeowners can look for other ways to increase their efficiency so they get the most out of every air conditioning system dollar.
"Saving energy does not have to be a daunting task," Lennox energy efficiency expert Kyle Golden said in a press release. "There are simple maintenance tasks and improvements homeowners can put into action around the house that can make a big impact on energy bills. All energy savings efforts count, but while changing the air filter in a heating and cooling system and routine maintenance on your system are important, making bigger changes, such as installing a smart thermostat, can yield even more savings over time."
Combine Comfort and Savings Together
Most homeowners gave themselves passing grades when it came to their efficiency behavior. Forty-five percent of respondents gave themselves a B, while another 31 percent weighed in with a C for their behaviors related to air conditioning system maintenance and other energy efficiency measures. Only 18 percent graded themselves at an A level. That means there's a lot of room to improve, and homeowners know it.
If you want to improve your efficiency measures, you don't have to go at it alone. For any maintenance or repairs for your air conditioning system, or advice on how to otherwise keep your cooling costs to a minimum, contact an expert HVAC technician today.