Whats the Most Energy-Efficient AC Setting?

You shouldn’t be forced to sacrifice comfort or spend a lot to keep your home at a refreshing temp during hot days.

But what is the best temperature, exactly? We review recommendations from energy specialists so you can choose the best temperature for your family.

Here’s what we suggest for the most energy-efficient setting for air conditioning in the Bay Area.

Recommended Thermostat Settings for Summer

Most families find placing the thermostat at 72-73 degrees provides ideal comfort. However, if there’s a major difference between your interior and exterior temps, your cooling bills will be larger.

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

While at home: 78 degrees. While that sounds hot, there are methods you can keep your house cool without having the air conditioning going constantly.

Keeping windows and window treatments shut during the day keeps cold air where it belongs—inside. Some window treatments, including honeycomb shades or plantation shutters, are designed to deliver added insulation and enhanced energy savings.

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

If 78 degrees still feels too hot initially, try doing an experiment for about a week. Begin by upping your thermostat to 78 degrees while you’re at your residence. Then, progressively decrease it while following the advice above. You may be shocked at how refreshed you feel at a hotter temperature setting.

While away: 88 degrees. There’s no need to keep the air conditioning running all day while your home is vacant. Moving the setting 7¬¬–10 degrees hotter can save you an estimated 5–15% on your air conditioning bills, according to the DOE.

When you get home, don’t be tempted to set your thermostat under 78 to cool your residence more rapidly. This isn’t productive and typically results in a more expensive cooling bills.

A programmable thermostat is a useful way to keep your settings in check, 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 hassle-free resolution, think about installing a smart thermostat. This thermostat works with with your phone, so it realizes when you’re at your residence and when you’re gone. Then it instinctively adjusts temperature settings for the biggest savings. How much exactly? Typically $180 yearly on heating and cooling, according to ENERGY STAR.

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

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

We suggest using an equivalent test over a week, setting your temperature higher and steadily turning it down to determine the ideal temperature for your house. On mild nights, you may learn keeping windows open at night and using a ceiling fan is a preferable solution than operating the AC.

More Ways to Use Less Energy During Hot Weather

There are additional ways you can conserve money on cooling bills throughout warm weather.

  1. Get an energy-efficient air conditioning system. Central air conditioners only work for about 12–15 years and get less efficient as they become older. A new air conditioner can keep your residence cooler while keeping energy
  2. costs down.
  3. Book regular AC tune-ups. Regular air conditioner maintenance keeps your equipment working like it should and could help it operate at better efficiency. It might also help prolong its life span, since it allows professionals to discover small troubles before they create a major meltdown.
  4. Put in new air filters often. 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. bills.
  6. Check attic insulation levels. Just about 90% of houses in the USA don’t have enough insulation, according to the Insulation Institute. Most southern climates require 13–14” of attic insulation, while northern climates need 16–18”.
  7. Have your ductwork inspected. Ductwork that has loosened as it’s aged can let cold air into your attic, walls or crawl space. This can create major comfort problems in your home, including hot and cold spots.
  8. Seal openings, doors and windows. Keep hot air where it should be by sealing holes. You can also caulk or weather strip doors to trap more cool air within your home.

Use Less Energy This Summer with Contra Costa Heating & AC

If you want to conserve more energy during warm weather, our Contra Costa Heating & AC experts can assist you. Get in touch with us at 510-343-9841 or contact us online for additional info about our energy-saving cooling solutions.

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