Ah, summer! No matter who you are, there’s plenty to love about the balmy months of summer. It’s a time for friends, food, and fun, a season that calls to mind sandy beaches, road trips, ice-cold lemonade. But those same long, hot days that make for good fun in the sun can make you wish for fall when the energy bill comes. So, what temperature should you set your thermostat in the summer, anyway? Don’t let the heat put a hurt on your wallet – check out our tips for keeping your home air conditioning cool, comfortable, and cost-efficient all season long.
Choose the right temperature
To keep your home running at its most efficient in the warmer months, the US Department of Energy recommends keeping your thermostat set to a temperature of 78 degrees F. For the majority of Americans who are accustomed to colder indoor air, a temperature such as this may be somewhat uncomfortable to maintain. One possible solution may be to adjust your thermostat throughout the day as needed to reduce the overall burden on your system. When leaving your home empty for more than an hour or two, raise the temperature on your thermostat by 5 to 10 degrees. You can also raise the thermostat at night, when a lack of sun will naturally bring temperatures down, or when going on vacation.
Invest in smart technology
If you’re serious about optimizing your home for the maximum energy efficiency, consider outfitting your central air conditioning unit with a programmable or smart thermostat. A programmable thermostat allows you to adjust your home’s temperature based on certain times of day—for example, you may wish to automatically raise temperatures between 9 AM and 5 PM, when you’re at work. You can then adjust to a lower temperature after 5 PM to ensure you’ll always be entering a cool house. Programmed settings can be manually overridden as needed, so you’re free to make adjustments based on your own comfort or changes in your schedule.
For those wanting the ultimate in control over their energy usage, a smart thermostat takes things a step further. Smart thermostats are powered by an internal computer that “learns” your habits over time and adjusts temperatures accordingly. Certain models can, for example, direct air flow to only cool occupied rooms, maintain comfortable bedroom temperatures while you sleep, and even receive commands from your computer or smartphone. Check out the Ecobee4 Smart Thermostat:
While these types of thermostats may cost more upfront than a traditional unit, the return in energy savings will have you saving money before long. Consider your habits and your typical energy usage when comparing models to help you decide which is best for your home.
(For homes and businesses that do not have ductwork, ask about our ductless mini-split systems. These systems are efficient and can be installed in individual rooms for ideal temperature control!)
More cool tips for hot homes
Dialing down the thermostat isn’t the only way to keep things cozy indoors. A few adjustments to your day-to-day habits could add up to a big boost in comfort—and big savings on your next bill.
Consider replacing your existing window treatments with energy-efficient coverings, such as blackout curtains. These help to block out sun during the day and prevent cooled indoor air from quickly escaping.
If your home is outfitted with ceiling fans, turn them on. Ceiling fans help to circulate air within a room, keeping occupants comfortable even at higher temperatures. Ensure that fan blades are set to rotate in a counter-clockwise direction—the opposite direction will help to warm your rooms in the winter months!
Make sure that rooms that generate heat and/or humidity, such as bathrooms and laundry rooms, are properly vented outdoors. Oven use during the summer months can raise your kitchen’s temperature considerably—avoid it wherever possible. Try preparing meals with more energy-efficient appliances, such as microwave ovens, electric cookers, or slow cookers.
With these smart strategies in place, you’ll be well on your way to a more cool, cost-efficient, and comfortable home.
If you are concerned about the efficiency of your air conditioning system, live in the Glens Falls, Queensbury, Lake George, Saratoga Springs region, contact Northern Heating and Air for more information. We provide air conditioning installation, repair, and maintenance for home and office. Call us today at (518) 745-0401 or contact us online for more information.