As mild spring weather gives way to hot summer days, it won’t be long until you turn on your air conditioner. While you want to stay comfortable, you also want to keep your cooling bills down. Experiment with different thermostat settings until you achieve a comfortable temperature that doesn’t cost too much to maintain. Follow these tips to help you determine what temperature you should set your thermostat in the summer.
Start at 78 Degrees
The US Department of Energy recommends setting your thermostat to 78 degrees when you’re home in the summer. Even if this doesn’t end up being the temperature you choose long-term, it’s a great place to start experimenting.
Run a Ceiling Fan and Dehumidifier
If 78 degrees feels too warm, make a couple of adjustments before touching the thermostat. First, turn on the ceiling fan (or box fan or oscillating fan—anything to get the air moving). Doing so creates a wind-chill effect, making the room feel about 4 degrees cooler. Suddenly, that 78-degree room feels like 74 degrees while hardly raising your energy costs. Just remember to turn off the fan when you leave the room to optimize your energy savings.
Next, look into getting a dehumidifier. If you have ever adjusted the thermostat because the air felt muggy, this investment could be right for you. Dehumidifiers remove moisture from the air, making it feel more comfortable without running the air conditioner. On mild days, dehumidification may be enough to keep you comfortable, even if the indoor temperature creeps above 78 degrees.
Crank Up the Temperature While You’re Away
Do you spend eight hours or more away from home each day? There’s no need to air condition a vacant house. Set the temperature back 7 to 10 degrees while everyone is at work or school, and you’ll save up to 10 percent on your cooling costs. Just avoid shutting the air conditioner off to prevent potentially hazardous indoor temperatures.
Consider a Comfortable Sleeping Temperature
78 degrees is fine when you’re home and awake, but it’s not ideal for sleeping. You may find that you need to lower the temperature a few degrees to sleep comfortably in the summer. 70 degrees is ideal for many people, but by using the ceiling fan trick, you can set your thermostat to 74 degrees and feel just as comfortable without hiking up your cooling bills.
Install and Use a Programmable Thermostat Correctly
Remembering when and how to adjust your thermostat every day can be tricky. Plus, who wants to be greeted by an 85-degree house? The solution to these dilemmas is to install a programmable thermostat. This affordable upgrade allows you to set it and forget it, choosing times and temperatures for Wake, Away, Home, and Sleep that fit with your family’s preferences and schedule each day of the week.
To make the most of your programmable thermostat, follow these operating tips:
- Override preprogrammed settings sparingly: You have the freedom to override any setting, but each time you do, you negate energy savings. Try changing your clothes or turning on a fan before touching the thermostat to address your discomfort more cost-effectively.
- Use the correct hold setting: Use the temporary hold to override programs from day to day. This resumes the regularly scheduled program when the time comes. Then, use the permanent/vacation hold for extended absences. This cancels all future programs until you instruct the thermostat otherwise. You can enjoy great energy savings while on family vacation by using the permanent hold feature.
- Change the temperature by just a degree or two: It’s tempting to crank the temperature down by 10 degrees when you’re uncomfortably hot. However, this doesn’t cool your home any faster and could result in excessive cooling, energy waste, and unnecessary expense. Instead, try altering the temperature by one or two degrees. You’ll be surprised what a difference it makes.
Take Some Strain Off Your Air Conditioner
In addition to setting your thermostat wisely this summer, promote further energy savings by making your home naturally cooler. Here are some budget-friendly tips:
- Close the curtains on south- and west-facing windows in the afternoon to keep direct sunlight out.
- Open the windows at night when it’s below 70 degrees outside. Then, close the windows in the morning to trap the cool air inside.
- Replace the weatherstripping on windows and doors to prevent hot, humid air from leaking into your home.
- Avoid using heat-generating appliances until the evening, including the oven, cooktop, dishwasher, and clothes dryer.
Get More Air Conditioning Tips
Are you looking for other ways to cool your home efficiently? Maybe you’re ready to install central air conditioning for the first time. Either way, Allen Service can help. Over the past six decades, we have built a reputation for providing quality work, affordable prices, and unbeatable customer service. We can educate you about your air conditioning options and help you optimize performance for the best comfort and efficiency possible. Call us today at 970-484-4841 or contact us online to schedule AC services in Fort Collins.