Who enjoys sweltering in the summer heat? You want to be comfortable this summer without spending a lot of money on air conditioning? While maintenance tasks such as changing the air conditioner filter and hiring a professional to tune up the AC unit make a difference, something as simple as the temperature setting plays a huge part in how much you pay to air condition your home. Follow these tips to achieve the perfect balance between energy savings and home comfort.
Tips for energy savings and home comfort:
Daytime Air Conditioning Temperature - While you ultimately must decide what temperature you feel comfortable at, the US Department of Energy recommends setting the thermostat to 78 degrees on summer days. At this temperature, you can feel completely comfortable if you dress for the season and run the ceiling fan to create a wind chill effect. When air moves quickly over your skin, it makes you feel up to 4 degrees cooler, meaning a 78-degree room with a fan running feels as comfortable as a 74-degree room with no airflow. When you’re gone all day, you have the potential to save even more if you set the temperature 7 to 10 degrees higher. The DOE estimates that keeping your home at 85 degrees for eight hours a day during peak cooling times can save you 5 to 15 percent on your cooling bills.
Night-time Air Conditioning Temperature - Setting your thermostat at night during the summer is a bit trickier. If you can sleep soundly in a warm room, Energy Star recommends setting the temperature 4 degrees higher than your daytime setting. However, many people prefer sleeping in a cool room, which may result in turning the thermostat down rather than up at night. Opening the windows while you sleep is a good solution if you live in a cool climate. Then, closing the windows in the morning before it gets hot traps cool air inside and gives your air conditioner a head start.
Programmable Thermostat and Zoning - To prevent arriving at a hot house when you get off work, install a programmable thermostat and set it correctly. An automatic setback when you leave each morning prevents you from forgetting to turn the temperature up, and automatic recovery 30 minutes before you arrive home allows you to enjoy energy savings without sacrificing comfort. Zoning is also useful for keeping the bedrooms in your home cool at night without cooling the entire house. With zoning, you control the temperature in individual areas of your home with multiple thermostats. When you zone the bedrooms separately from the living area, you ensure you stay cool and comfortable while keeping your energy bills low. Thermostat settings aren’t the only things that need attention when preparing your air conditioner for summer, now is also the time to replace the AC filter for more efficient air conditioning.
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