As extreme heat becomes increasingly common across the country, having a properly functioning AC unit is a must. If you're like most homeowners, you rely heavily on your air conditioner to maintain a cool climate in your home. However, like any other appliance, running your AC is expensive. Your air conditioner can use a lot of energy if you leave it on for too long. Not only does this harm the environment, but it can also considerably drive up your utility costs.
Fortunately, you can minimize the energy your AC unit expends by simply adjusting the temperature. Once you learn the best AC temperature for energy savings, you'll notice a decrease in your monthly utility bill and an increase in your peace of mind. Keeping your energy usage to a minimum can also help reduce your carbon footprint, which means you'll do your part in decreasing your environmental impact.
To save even more on energy costs, schedule an AC tune-up as soon as possible. Keeping your air conditioner in good shape year-round is crucial to preventing costly breakdowns.
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The Best AC Temperature for Energy Savings
You can optimize your energy savings by easily adjusting your thermostat's settings. If you own a programmable thermostat, all you have to do is make some quick modifications to your pre-set schedule. Most programmable thermostats are designed to store multiple daily settings and adjust them as needed without affecting any other stored settings.
Energy Saver recommends adjusting the temperature to at least 7-10 degrees below its normal setting for at least 8 hours a day. As a rule of thumb, the closer the indoor temperature is to the outdoor temperature, the more money you'll save on your energy bill. In the winter, set your thermostat to 68-70 degrees during your waking hours and lower the temperature while sleeping or away from home. Try to keep your home a little warmer than usual while out of the house in the summer. This strategy will help ensure you stay comfortable while saving money.
Other Ways to Save on Energy Costs
Adjusting your thermostat isn't the only way to keep your monthly utility bill low. Here are other tips for saving energy costs while enjoying a comfortable climate at home.
Get an Annual Tune-Up
Like any other appliance, your heating and cooling system needs routine checkups to work at its best. Be sure to contact a professional HVAC contractor to schedule a tune-up regularly. For most furnaces and AC units, it is recommended to schedule maintenance at least once a year. You might want to book more frequent appointments if you've been experiencing problems more often than usual.
Regular professional maintenance is crucial to detecting issues early on before they become more serious. By inspecting your unit and addressing problem areas, an HVAC technician will also boost the overall efficiency of your heat and air system. A more efficient unit requires less energy to operate, which can end up saving you a significant amount of money in energy costs.
Invest in a Smart Thermostat
Smart thermostats are high-tech devices that offer a wide range of benefits. These devices learn your daily routine and automatically adjust your schedule. This way, you'll only use your heater or AC unit when you need it. You won't need to lift a finger because your smart thermostat does all the heavy lifting.
Another major benefit of smart thermostats is they intuitively know the best AC temperature for energy savings. Your thermostat is constantly working to optimize the temperature of your home based on your preferences, the outdoor temperature, the amount of time it takes to heat or cool your home, and other relevant factors.
Use Ceiling Fans and Window Coverings
To decrease your reliance on your air conditioning unit, try running your ceiling fan for a little while every day. Switching to your fan for just an hour or two each day can significantly affect your overall energy usage. Additionally, running your ceiling fan will help reduce the indoor temperature, so your air conditioner won't need to work as hard to cool down your home.
Window coverings are another invaluable tool to have at your disposal. You might not be able to see it, but outdoor air is silently leaking through your windows throughout the day, creating an unwanted draft. This forces your HVAC system to work harder than usual to cool down or heat your home. Investing in window coverings can help keep drafts at bay and increase your HVAC system's efficiency.
Utilize Zone Control Systems
A zone control system connects your home's thermostats to a central control panel. The panel activates your ductwork by opening or closing the dampers to block or release hot or cold air. By adjusting the temperature on each thermostat, you can control the temperature of every zone in your house. This system allows you to optimize your indoor comfort.
Because you're only running your HVAC system in the rooms you use most, you save considerable energy with zone control systems. These systems also allow you to personalize your home's temperature according to your and your family's preferences, creating more convenience and comfort.