Every homeowner wants to achieve the maximum amount of energy efficiency for their home and property. They may try to accomplish this by installing new appliances, windows, doors, and other accouterments that promise to seal up the house nice and tight. At the end of the day, most of them probably realize that their HVAC system is playing the largest factor in their monthly heating and cooling costs.
The problem is that they simply can’t figure out how to help reduce their air conditioner’s workload long enough to make an impact on their electric costs.
Fortunately, there are a few simple ways that you can improve the energy efficiency of your air conditioning unit and your furnace. They require very little effort on your part and only a small initial investment if you have to make one at all. The secret to improving your energy efficiency and lowering your monthly heating and cooling costs could be as simple as the push of a button.
Your thermostat is the deciding factor in how often your HVAC appliances are required to turn on and off throughout the day. Some homeowners prefer to keep their house warm and humid throughout the summer months while others prefer to keep it feeling arctic. This is the reason why your bill can fluctuate so wildly compared to your neighbor’s HVAC bill.
The real question is always rather simple, but the answer has several parts. What’s the best temperature for my thermostat? If you’re ready to lower your heating and cooling costs, take a look at what your thermostat should be set for.
What’s the ideal temperature?
Finding out what the recommended temperature is for your home is a tricky endeavor. You probably encounter a lot of information, some of which may claim a specific number is best. Others could give you a range of temperatures, but none of them seem to lower your electric bill at the end of a long and uncomfortable month.
The reason it’s difficult to find this information is that your home should actually be set at three different temperatures throughout the day.
You can select whatever base temperature you would like for the times where you will be home and around the house. Some people prefer their home to be in the mid-seventies while others need it in the sixties to feel comfortable. Remember that a higher temperature in the summer will save you more money, just like a lower temperature will save you more in winter.
This base temperature is the number you will need to work off of to reach the full capacity of your HVAC unit’s energy efficiency. From here, you can split your day into multiple parts: the times when you are home, the times when you’re at work, and the times when you’re sleeping.
Most people spend at least eight hours at work every day throughout the week. This is a time where no one is in your house to enjoy the benefits of your ice-cold air conditioning. It doesn’t make sense to request that the unit work so hard only for no real gain. This can lead to overworking your air conditioning unit that means more repairs or wear and tear in the long run. Instead, you should put the thermostat up by seven degrees in the summertime during these hours.
When you return home, you can set the temperature back to your optimal base setting. This allows you to move through the home comfortably and enjoy the air conditioning until it’s time to go to sleep. Similar to changing the thermostat for work, you aren’t going to be conscious in the middle of the night to reap the benefits of modern climate control. You can give your system yet another break by setting the thermostat up four degrees while you slumber.
Winter should look a little different than the ideal temperatures you set for the summer. Your furnace will need just as much of a break as your air conditioning unit, and you would probably like a break from your electric or gas bill. The good news is that the concept for winter is very similar to what you will do during the summer months.
Work hours should indicate a lower temperature than your base setting during the winter. You can turn the thermostat down roughly eight degrees to keep from heating the home as much while you’re away for eight to ten hours.
At night, your body isn’t likely to notice a drop in the temperature nearly as much as it would when you’re awake. Go ahead and add a few extra blankets to the bed before setting your thermostat back by another eight degrees.
What Will You Save?
Living this way may sound ridiculous to some people, but others are more curious about the logistics behind the temperature shifts. Is the hassle really worth the annual savings on your heating and cooling costs?
If you change the temperature for ten hours each day while you’re at work and eight hours while you sleep at night, Energy Star estimates that you could save $180 per year in a normal single-family residence. This could make a huge difference in your monthly expenditures, allowing you to put that money to work elsewhere in your life.
The trick to sticking with these temperature changes day after day is to install the proper equipment. You aren’t likely to remember to change the thermostat multiple times throughout the day, which is where programmable thermostats tend to come in handy. A programmable thermostat allows you to set multiple temperatures and time changes to occur automatically throughout the day. This allows you to make the changes without a second thought to whether you remembered to change the temperature before you went to work.
You may also want to consider installing a smart thermostat that can connect to your smartphone through an app. This would allow you to make temperature changes from wherever you are, whether you’re down the street at the office or on the other side of the country on vacation. These minor changes could come in handy on occasion, particularly if you want to check in to see how your HVAC system is doing during the day.
No matter which option you choose to go with, you’re bound to save some money on your current heating and cooling costs. The amount you save will ultimately depend on your diligence and commitment to switching the temperatures back and forth throughout the day.
If you’re ready to take your home’s energy efficiency to the next level, be sure to give Classic Air Conditioning and Heating a call today. You’ll be glad you did.