Air conditioning is the single biggest reason your electric bills go up in the summer. What if you could save as much as 10 percent on your cooling bills without sacrificing comfort? The trick is to install a programmable thermostat and set it correctly to achieve the perfect balance of comfort and energy savings.
Ideal Summer Thermostat Settings
Follow these temperature recommendations from Energy Star for the best results.
Whether you have a programmable thermostat installed or not, you should set the daytime temperature no lower than 78 degrees F (26 degrees C). This can save you 12 percent compared to setting your thermostat to 74 degrees F (23 degrees C).
If you’re afraid 78 degrees is a little too warm, remember to dress for the season. Then turn on the ceiling fan to create a wind chill effect that makes your 78-degree room feel like a 74-degree room while using only about 3 percent of the electricity your air conditioner consumes.
Daytime Setback Temperature
If you stay at home during the day, maintain a 78-degree interior all day. However, if everyone’s at work or school all day, your absence is a great opportunity to save. Turn the thermostat up 7 to 10 degrees for eight hours every day and you can save up to 10 percent on your cooling bill. The longer the setback time is, the more you save.
The genius of a programmable thermostat is that you can program a comfortable 78 degrees to resume before you return home in the evening. If your schedule is unpredictable, a Wi-Fi thermostat lets you adjust the temperature from anywhere so you never arrive to a sweltering house.
Energy Star recommends turning the temperature up 4 degrees while you sleep, but many people find it difficult to sleep in a hot room. To combat this, open the windows at night if you live in a cool climate, or keep the temperature set to 78 degrees all night long.
Other Thermostat Setting Tips
Follow these additional guidelines from Energy Star to help you beat the heat.
- Override programmed settings as little as possible: Overrides are an option so you can turn down the thermostat if you feel uncomfortable. However, if you consistently override the settings, your energy savings will decrease. Try turning on a fan to cool off before you turn down the thermostat.
- Use the correct hold feature: The temporary hold is for day-to-day overrides, since the override only lasts until the next scheduled temperature change. However, the permanent/vacation hold setting is what you should use if your family is gone for days at a time. This hold setting maintains the override temperature until you manually canceled it.
- Don’t make drastic override temperature changes: When you must override a setting, change the temperature by no more than a degree or two. Your home will cool off just as quickly and you avoid the energy waste that comes from cranking the temperature way down past your comfort zone.
- Change the batteries: Most programmable thermostats run on batteries. Make it a habit to change them once every year at a time that’s easy to remember, such as at the start of the new year or when the kids go back to school every fall.
If you want to beat the heat while saving money with a programmable thermostat, please contact Aire Serv®. We can provide more useful tips and install the thermostat you need to start saving money on heating and cooling bills all year round.
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