You shouldn’t need to give up comfort or spend a lot to keep your home at a refreshing setting during summer weather.
But what is the best setting, exactly? We review suggestions from energy pros so you can choose the best setting for your residence.
Here’s what we recommend for the most energy-efficient setting for air conditioning in Erie.
Recommended Thermostat Settings for Summer
Most families find using the thermostat at 72-73 degrees is ideal. However, if there’s a big difference between your interior and exterior temperatures, your electricity expenses will be greater.
These are our suggestions based on the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and ENERGY STAR®.
While at home: 78 degrees. While that seems warm, there are approaches you can keep your residence cool without having the AC on frequently.
Keeping windows and curtains shut during the day keeps chilled air where it needs to be—inside. Some window coverings, such as honeycomb shades or plantation shutters, are made to give extra insulation and improved energy efficiency.
If you have ceiling fans in your residence, the DOE says you can increase thermostat temps about 4 degrees higher without compromising comfort. That’s because they cool through a windchill effect. Since they cool people, not spaces, turn them off when you leave a room.
If 78 degrees still appears too hot initially, try conducting an experiment for about a week. Start by raising your thermostat to 78 degrees while you’re at your house. Then, progressively lower it while adhering to the ideas above. You could be shocked at how comfortable you feel at a hotter temperature setting.
While away: 88 degrees. There’s no rationale for keeping the AC going all day while your house is vacant. Turning the temp 7–10 degrees higher can save you anywhere from 5–15% on your electrical costs, according to the DOE.
When you get home, don’t be tempted to set your thermostat below 78 to cool your home more quickly. This isn’t useful and typically produces a bigger electricity bill.
A programmable thermostat is a good approach to keep your temp in check, but you have to set programs. If you don’t utilize programs, you run the risk of forgetting to increase the set temperature when you leave.
If you want a hassle-free solution, think about buying a smart thermostat. This thermostat works with with your phone, so it realizes when you’re at home and when you’re out. Then it intuitively modifies temperature settings for the best savings. How much exactly? Typically $180 annually on heating and cooling, according to ENERGY STAR.
Another advantage of having a smart thermostat? You can use your phone to watch and regulate temperature settings from nearly anywhere.
While sleeping: Around 70 degrees. While ENERGY STAR advises 82 degrees, that could be unbearable for many families. The majority of people sleep better when their bedroom is chilly, so that’s why the National Sleep Foundation advises 60–67 degrees. But that could be too cool, based on your pajama and blanket preference.
We suggest following a comparable test over a week, setting your temp higher and gradually turning it down to determine the best setting for your house. On mild nights, you may learn keeping windows open at night and relying on a ceiling fan is a better idea than running the air conditioner.
More Ways to Use Less Energy During Hot Weather
There are additional approaches you can conserve money on cooling bills throughout the summer.
- Upgrade to an energy-efficient cooling system. Central air conditioners only work for about 12–15 years and become less efficient as they get older. A new air conditioner can keep your house cooler while keeping energy costs down.
- Schedule annual air conditioner tune-ups. Regular air conditioner maintenance keeps your equipment operating properly and may help it work more efficiently. It might also help extend its life cycle, since it helps pros to discover small problems before they lead to a major meltdown.
- Put in new air filters regularly. Follow manufacturer instructions for replacing your air filter. A dusty filter can lead to your system short cycling, or turn on and off too much, and drive up your utility.
- Inspect attic insulation levels. Almost 90% of homes in the USA don’t have adequate insulation, according to the Insulation Institute. Most southern climates should have 13–14” of attic insulation, while northern climates require 16–18”.
- Have your ductwork checked. Ductwork that has come apart over time can seep cold air into your attic, walls or crawl space. This can result in big comfort problems in your home, like hot and cold spots.
- Seal holes, doors and windows. Keep muggy air where it belongs by closing cracks. You can also caulk or weather strip doors to seal more cool air inside.
Conserve More Energy During Warm Weather with Patterson & Stirling
If you are looking to save more energy this summer, our Patterson & Stirling professionals can provide assistance. Reach us at 814-308-0416 or contact us online for additional information about our energy-saving cooling products.