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Whats the Most Energy-Efficient AC Setting?

June 04, 2020

You shouldn’t have to sacrifice comfort or spend a lot to keep your residence at the right temp during summer weather.

But what is the right temperature, exactly? We discuss recommendations from energy professionals so you can find the best setting for your home.

Here’s what we recommend for the most energy-efficient setting for air conditioning in Plainfield.

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 inside and exterior temperatures, your electricity costs will be higher.

These are our recommendations based on the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and ENERGY STAR®.

While at home: 78 degrees. While that seems too high, there are ways you can keep your home cool without having the AC going all the time.

Keeping windows and window treatments closed during the day keeps chilled air where it belongs—within your home. Some window solutions, like honeycomb shades or plantation shutters, are designed to offer added insulation and improved energy efficiency.

If you have ceiling fans in your home, the DOE says you can move thermostat temps about 4 degrees warmer without compromising comfort. That’s because they freshen by a windchill effect. As they cool people, not spaces, turn them off when you exit a room.

If 78 degrees still feels too hot initially, try conducting a trial for a week or so. Begin by increasing your thermostat to 78 degrees while you’re at your residence. Then, steadily decrease it while following the suggestions above. You may be astonished at how comfortable you feel at a hotter temperature setting.

While away: 88 degrees. There’s no reason to keep the air conditioning working all day while your house is empty. Moving the temperature 7¬¬–10 degrees warmer can save you anywhere from 5–15% on your cooling costs, according to the DOE.

When you get home, don’t be tempted to put your thermostat under 78 to cool your house faster. This isn’t productive and often produces a more expensive cooling cost.

A programmable thermostat is a useful approach to keep your temp controlled, but you have to set programs. If you don’t use programs, you run the risk of forgetting to raise the set temperature when you go.

If you want a handy remedy, think about installing a smart thermostat. This thermostat works with with your phone, so it is aware when you’re at your residence and when you’re gone. Then it automatically changes temperature settings for the best savings. How much exactly? An estimated $180 each year on heating and cooling, according to ENERGY STAR.

Another advantage of installing a smart thermostat? You can use your phone to keep an eye on and adjust temperature settings from just about anywhere.

While sleeping: Around 70 degrees. While ENERGY STAR recommends 82 degrees, that may be unbearable for the majority of families. Most people sleep better when their sleeping area is chilly, so that’s why the National Sleep Foundation advises 60–67 degrees. But that could be too chilly, due to your PJ and blanket preference.

We recommend running a similar test over a week, moving your temperature higher and gradually decreasing it to determine the best temp for your residence. On mild nights, you may discover keeping windows open at night and relying on a ceiling fan is a better solution than operating the air conditioner.

More Approaches to Save Energy During Warm Weather

There are additional ways you can save money on utility bills throughout the summer.

  1. Buy an energy-efficient air conditioning system. Central air conditioners only work for about 12–15 years and become less efficient as they get older. An updated air conditioner can keep your residence cooler while keeping utility
  2. costs down.
  3. Set annual air conditioning service. Routine air conditioner maintenance keeps your unit running smoothly and could help it operate at greater efficiency. It may also help extend its life cycle, since it enables techs to uncover seemingly insignificant problems before they lead to a big meltdown.
  4. Replace air filters frequently. Use manufacturer instructions for replacing your air filter. A dirty filter can cause your system to short cycle, or run too often, and drive up your utility
  5. costs.
  6. Check attic insulation levels. Just about 90% of houses in the U.S. don’t have enough insulation, according to the Insulation Institute. Many southern climates require 13–14” of attic insulation, while northern climates should have 16–18”.
  7. Have your ductwork examined. Ductwork that has separated over time can let cold air into your attic, walls or crawl space. This can result in big comfort problems in your residence, including hot and cold spots.
  8. Seal cracks, doors and windows. Keep hot air in its place by sealing holes. You can also caulk or weather strip doors to seal more conditioned air inside.

Use Less Energy During Hot Weather with PWA Heating & Cooling Inc

If you are looking to use less energy during warm weather, our PWA Heating & Cooling Inc pros can assist you. Reach us at 815-410-1231 or contact us online for additional details about our energy-saving cooling options.