MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Air conditioning systems across the metro are on full blast this week. The extreme heat means many are pumping in the cool air.

Melissa Moore is a south Minneapolis homeowner and professional trainer.

“So when I come home after a workout, I’m like, ‘Ugh.’ It’s nice to have it cooler,” Moore said.

And it’s ESPECIALLY important for her roommate, a Great Dane mix named Apollo.

“He overheats very easily, so sometimes I have it cooler for him,” Moore said.

WCCO-TV connected Moore with the Center for Energy and Environment. They do home consultations as partners of CenterPoint and Xcel. Moore’s programmable thermostat got a close inspection by energy counselor Sam Wagner.

“A programmable thermostat is very effective at saving if you use it properly,” Wagner said.

Wagner says smart thermostats, which can be operated by a cellphone, are most efficient, but if properly programmed, programmable models aren’t far behind.

Wagner suggests keeping any kind of thermostat at a base temperature of 72-78 degrees. If you have a programmable one, adjust accordingly by raising the temperature.

“A good standard is one degree per hour that you are gone from the house, so if that’s six hours, you can change it six degrees. If you only work four hours, have it changed four degrees. Eight hours is kind of where we are at,” Wagner said.

Another quick way to save money through a manual thermostat is to switch it from on to auto.

You can request an energy counselor from the Center for Energy and Environment to come to your home. The price ranges from free to $100 depending on income.

Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield