Did you know that your thermostat plays an important role in energy efficiency? This knowledge can prove to be very useful during the summertime. Together with winter, this is the other season when you will really consumer the most energy to keep your home comfortable. If the winter requires a warmer home, the summer season demands you to cool it.
This means making your air conditioning unit work overtime. In most cases, the AC unit runs 24/7 to make sure you and your family are comfortable throughout the summer season. You can expect your energy costs to rise because of this.
While you do not want to put a price on the comfort of your family, that does not mean you cannot save money. There are ways to be cost-efficient without compromising the level of comfort in your home. It all lies in understanding how to use the thermostat of your AC unit.
Ideal thermostat during the summer
The Energy Star provided a guideline for homes seeking to be more energy-efficient despite the need to cool their homes. This is a federal program that is run by the US Department of Energy in partnership with the Environmental Protection Agency. They provide tips for households wanting to save energy costs without sacrificing the comfort level within their homes.
There are three ways you can set the thermostat to be energy efficient during the summertime.
Set the thermostat to 78°F when someone is at home
While someone is at home, the ideal setting should be 78°F. This is the perfect temperature that will not make you feel too hot. It will not be too cold either. If you feel like making it cooler, think about how much it will cost. For every degree that you change, it will affect your energy bills. If you lower the thermostat, it will make the AC unit work harder to cool your home up to the level you have set. This will consume more energy and make you pay more in your monthly utility bill. That means if you want to save money this summer, you need to raise the temperature at home.
78°F should be the perfect level at home. Of course, if you expect guests and there are more people, you might have to lower the settings to counter the added body heat in your house. Adjust it one degree at a time to gauge the right coolness in your home.
Set your thermostat to 85°F when nobody is at home
Some people think that turning off the thermostat when nobody is at home is the best way to save money. This is not always true. If you will be gone for a long time, then yes, this makes sense. But if you are only gone for the day (e.g. go to work or running errands outside), it will cost you less if you leave the AC unit running. When you turn it off, the temperature in your home will rise. Since it is enclosed, the heat level may be higher. If you turn on the AC, it has to work very hard to make it reach the ideal coolness that will make the inside feel comfortable.
This is why you need to leave the thermostat at 85°F every time you leave the house. This will not consume too much energy but it will not leave your AC unit working too hard to make the house cooler once you are home. If you have an automatic thermostat, you can set it to change to 78°F an hour or so before you get home. That way, the temperature will be perfect the moment you step inside the house.
82°F while you are sleeping
Finally, you can also save money if you raise the thermostat level to 82°F while you are sleeping. When you are lying down, your body heat will be at its lowest. There is no need to make your home very cold. If you expect the night time to be cool, you might want to just leave the windows open. Turn on the fan too to make things cooler. This will help lower energy consumption while you are all sleeping at home.
Avoid these thermostat mistakes during the summer
While the guidelines from Energy Star should be considered, it is also important to consider the location where you live as well. If you live in a very humid location, it makes sense to keep the thermostat high to avoid developing molds in your house.
What you can do is to experiment and observe what is the perfect temperature for your house. If humidity is a huge problem, you can also use a dehumidifier.
There are also a couple of mistakes that you should avoid while you are trying to cool your home during the summer season.
Cooling your home fast
Some people raise the thermostat low to cool their home faster. For instance, if you want to make your home temperature to 75°F, you set it to 72°F. This is a bad idea. It will make you consume energy unnecessarily and it will not cool your home faster. There is only one speed for your AC unit so it will not make any difference.
Using only one temperature
It is never a good idea to leave the thermostat in one setting only. This will make you waste money on your energy bills. If you are not home, raise the setting and just change it when you are on your way home. In case you have the manual thermostat, think about giving it an upgrade so it is automatic.
Changing the settings too much
While you should never leave the thermostat in one setting, it is also a bad idea to keep on changing it. If you have to change the setting, let it be for a couple of hours. If you will just step out of the house for an hour, you do not have to change the setting to raise the temperature at home. After a few minutes, it will have to change again and that will not make you save money.
Can’t get the right temperature in your home? Your thermostat might be broken. Contact us today to have it checked out and (maybe) replaced.