Do you know the ideal thermostat setting for your home this summer? According to energy.gov, adjusting your thermostat 7-10 degrees from its normal setting for 8 hours a day can save an average of 10% a year on your energy bill! Even if you’re not used to your home being quite so warm, there are some simple steps you can take to feel cooler, without racking up the cost of air conditioning. Let’s first discuss the best settings for your AC unit and then we can get into some easy ways to feel cooler without cranking up your AC.
What’s the Right Temperature for My AC in Summer?
The recommended thermostat setting for summertime is 78 degrees while you’re at home. You can also raise the temperature a few when you leave for work, but it’s important not to shut off your system entirely because if your home becomes too warm, it takes your system more effort to get up and running again—leading to inefficient use of energy.
Try a Programmable Thermostat
We know that getting out the door in the morning can sometimes be a struggle, and it can be tough to remember to adjust your thermostat every time you leave the house. That’s where programmable thermostats come in handy. Many of these systems allow you to schedule temperature adjustments automatically, so you can focus on other things.
Make Sure Your AC Unit is Running Smoothly
Scheduling regular maintenance for your AC unit can greatly improve its efficiency. By replacing the filter every two to three months while in use, you can lower energy use by 5% – 15%.
Annual AC tune-ups are the best way to ensure that your unit is functioning as smoothly as possible. Having a professional assess the efficiency of your AC unit cuts down on operation costs through the summer. It also reduces the risk of getting stuck without climate control during the hottest days because a trained technician will be able to tell if any parts need to be fixed or replaced.
Ways to Feel Cooler Without Air Conditioning
If you do decide to raise the temperature of your home to cut down on costs, you don’t need to sacrifice comfort to do so. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when it comes to staying cool this summer:
Install a Ceiling Fan
Installing a ceiling fan can go a long way towards making you feel cooler without relying solely on air conditioning.
Be Strategic About Window Treatments
Closing your blinds during the day keeps sunlight (and heat) out of your home.
Use Landscaping to Your Advantage
Mature trees and shrubs provide shade from the sun and can greatly reduce the temperature of your home and property.
Limit the Use of Appliances that Produce Heat
If you can avoid using the oven during warm weather, you’ll avoid producing heat inside your home. Grilling is a great alternative to using cooking appliances inside your home—and cooking outdoors is always a fun summertime activity anyway!
Prevent Air Leaks in Your Home
If hot air can enter your home during the summer months, this can greatly impact the efficiency of your air conditioning. This is because your unit will have to work harder to maintain a constant temperature as cool air escapes. By addressing air leaks (with caulk or weatherstripping), you can keep cool air in and hot air out.
Don’t suffer through high electricity bills this summer. Don’t swelter either. Making just a small adjustment to your thermostat can make a big difference for your energy expenses. By establishing a few easy habits (like using fans and grilling), you can stay cool without the cost of running your AC.