Temperatures exceeded record levels in several US states last summer, and this summer will likely be equally hot. As temperatures rise, the struggle with the heat can be tough, driving our cooling bill as our AC systems work overtime. According to the US Energy Information, 12% (or $265 on average) of the energy costs for all homes are attributable to air conditioning.
As summer quickly draws near, many renters and homeowners in Arlington, TX are curious to know how they can save money by minimizing the energy consumption of their AC systems. The good news is that there are many ways to keep your energy use down this coming summer. Among the most effective is setting your thermostat to an optimal temperature.
Other ways to save energy include weatherstripping your Arlington, TX, home, turning off the lights and spending less time showering. A simple adjustment to your thermostat, though, can make a huge difference in your energy bill. In this article, we discuss how to maximize the energy efficiency of your AC by configuring your thermostat the right way. We also provide a few other recommendations your AC repair company might give to help you cool your home affordably.
The Optimal Thermostat Setting for Summer
The US Department of Energy recommends the following technique for minimizing the utility costs associated with cooling your home in the summer. When you’re home, set the temperature on your thermostat as high as comfortably possible. Then, when nobody is home, set the temperature higher than usual.
Energy Star, a joint program by the US Department of Energy and the US Environmental Protection Agency, suggests keeping your home at 78 degrees F during the day when you’re at home. Furthermore, it suggests setting the thermostat at 82 degrees F at night and 85 degrees F when you’re not home to maximize efficiency. The response on social media was disbelief and derision.
If any thermostat setting above 80 sounds excessive, then your AC repair company may recommend setting it to 7–10 degrees above your preferred setting for about eight hours daily. Doing so saves you roughly 10% in your annual energy costs.
The Optimal Thermostat Setting for Winter
An AC repair company would recommend setting the temperature on your thermostat to 68 degrees F for a good part of the day during winter. You can maximize efficiency by keeping the temperature in your Arlington, TX, home between 7 and 10 degrees for eight hours a day. Again, doing so can save you up to 10% in energy costs every year.
The choice of whether to keep your home cooler during daytime or nighttime is largely a matter of your comfort preferences and daily routine. If you don’t mind colder conditions at night you snuggle under a blanket, you can adjust the thermostat to a lower setting while you sleep. In fact, there may be an association between nippier conditions and higher quality sleep.
Alternatively, keeping the temperatures low during the day might be preferable if you’re not at home at that time. When you come back home, you can increase the temperature to your preferred level.
Why Does It Matter To Set the Right Thermostat Temperature?
Contrary to the commonly held belief, setting your AC to a lower-than-normal temperature doesn’t increase the rate at which your home cools. In reality, the air conditioner cools your home to 15–20 degrees cooler than the outdoor temperature outside, no matter what setting you use.
So, not only does setting your lower-than-normal setting not cool your home faster, it unnecessarily increases your energy bill. Furthermore, the higher the temperature inside your home, the less heat that flows in from the outside. As a result, your AC system saves more energy.
You may wonder why 68 degrees F is the ideal temperature setting for your thermostat during the winter. After all, that temperature is on the lower end of what most people would consider comfortable indoor temperatures. Even so, your AC repair company may recommend keeping your home cooler during the cold season.
The lower the temperature in your home, the slower the rate at which it loses heat. Put differently, maintaining lower interior temperatures facilitates longer heat retention. As a result, your AC system uses less energy to keep your home cool and you end up making savings on your energy bill.
The Best Position To Place Your Thermostat To Maximize Efficiency
Besides setting your thermostat to the right temperature depending on the season, you can maximize the energy efficiency of your AC system by installing your thermostat at the optimal location. Avoid positioning it in drafty areas, such as windows, doors and vents, or in areas in the path of direct sunlight.
The temperature conditions of these areas can trigger your thermostat prematurely. For the best results, AC repair companies recommend positioning your thermostat on the interior wall of one of the frequently occupied areas of your home.
A Few More Things To Keep In Mind
Having to adjust your thermostat throughout the day can be inconvenient. So, consider having your AC repair company install a programmable thermostat or a smart thermostat that automates temperature adjustments based on your schedule and preferences.
The problem, though, is that some programmable and smart thermostats aren’t fully compatible with heat pumps, which are an alternative heating system to AC systems and furnaces. If you use a heat pump, ask your AC repair company to recommend a suitable thermostat for your system.
If you find your energy bills too high, you may want to consider lowering your heating and cooling system with solar power. Solar panels can further minimize your energy costs by augmenting your home’s power supply and reducing your reliance on the power grid. This environmentally friendly power source provides additional clean power for your home or business throughout the year.
Rely on a Superior AC Repair Company in Arlington
The thermostat lets you control the environment in your home, cooling it in the summer and warming it during the winter season. Setting the right temperature depending on the season can help you make substantial savings on your energy bill.
Follow your AC repair company‘s recommendations to keep your costs down as you maintain a cozy home environment. You also want to have a reputable AC repair company on call in case your heating and air conditioning system has any problems. Call One Hour Air Conditioning & Heating today for fast, high-quality heating and AC services.