Your thermostat is the key to your comfort. Yet, there’s a fine line between keeping your house comfortable in the summer and running up your electric bill. However, if you know how to set your AC unit’s thermostat to the best temperature, you can keep your house comfortable while saving money at the same time.
Remember the rule of thumb with most air conditioners – they’re designed to lower the temperature inside your home up to 20 degrees from the temperature outside. So if it’s 100 outside, the ideal temperature to set your thermostat is 80.
Set it to a ‘Livable’ Temperature
We realize that’s not always feasible, however. First, you have to determine what you can live with as far as how cool or warm it is in the house. The U.S. Department of Energy recommends you leave your thermostat set to 78 degrees while you’re home. Try setting your thermostat to this temperature for a few days to see if it is livable for you. If you know people are coming over, consider turning it down a few degrees – since more people means more body heat. Also, if you plan on working around the house, you’ll need to adjust the temperature, as well.
What if 78 Degrees is Too High?
Since 78 degrees may seem like a high number, consider leaving all interior doors in the house open to create a better airflow design. Open doors allow cool air to cycle through the home, keeping your air conditioner from kicking on and off as much, which saves you money. If 78 degrees just isn’t working for you, turn the thermostat down notch by notch until you find a temperature you can live in. Keep in mind, the lower you turn the thermostat, the higher your bill is going to be. You can also use ceiling fans to push cold air down by setting them to spin the opposite direction.
When You’re Not at Home
The recommended thermostat setting, when you’re not home, is 10 degrees above what you normally have it set at – so 88 degrees, if you’re following the U.S. Department of Energy’s recommendation. Turning it up higher while you’re gone will give your more leeway for temperature when you’re home.
How Much Are You Saving?
Keeping your thermostat at 78 degrees while you’re home and 88 degrees while you’re away can save you as much as 10% on your energy bill, according to the Department of Energy. Other techniques to keep your home cool and retain temperature is placing window treatment blinds on the windows to prevent the house from absorbing heat. Also, consider replacing old weather strips around doors and windows.
If you’re following the suggestions above but aren’t seeing any improvement on your energy bill, call Star Mechanical for an AC checkup to ensure your system is operating properly and efficiently.