Improve Your Energy Efficiency Without Sacrificing Your Comfort
In the height of summer, it is not uncommon for Denver-area residents to see the thermometer reach triple digits. We rely on our air conditioners more than ever with such intense heat. However, many homeowners are looking for ways to economize and reduce their monthly expenses due to rising energy costs. But how do you go about doing this without sacrificing your comfort? Additionally, if you let your home overheat, you, your family, and your pets may be at risk of heat stroke.
While it may seem futile, there are things you can do to combat the heat while remaining energy conscious. And, when it comes to this goal, your thermostat is your best friend. Keep reading for three of our top thermostat tips for the summer.
Tip #1: Set Your Thermostat Higher Than You Think You Need
When it’s hot outside, sometimes all we can think about is getting inside where it’s cool. This often causes us to crank our thermostat way down. However, doing so not only causes your AC to use more energy in the moment, but it is also causing greater energy consumption over time, also leading to more wear and tear on your system.
There is a common misconception that by setting your thermostat lower, your home will cool down faster. This is not the case. Instead, your AC will run longer as it tries to get down to the low temperature you set. Instead, we recommend you set your AC a little warmer than you think you need. For example, if you’re regularly setting your AC in the 68°-70° range, we recommend trying 72°-74°. If it’s 100° outside, this is still around 25° cooler than outside, and it is likely all you need to feel comfortable.
The less dramatic the disparity between outside and inside temperatures, the better. Your cooling system won’t work as hard, and the heat flow into your home will be slowed. Consequently, the higher you can set your thermostat in the summer, the less energy you will use to keep your home comfortable, saving you money.
Tip #2: Utilize Your Smart Thermostat’s Intuitive Features
Today, many homeowners have smart thermostats. These devices are great and make keeping your home comfortable easy. However, most people aren’t using their smart thermostats to their full potential. In particular, a smart thermostat’s learning and intuitive features can make a huge difference in balancing comfort with energy savings. Similarly, turning on your home-away assistant can help your thermostat automatically adjust to eco-friendly temperatures when it senses that you are not at home. This keeps your home at a stable temperature but not quite as cool as you like when you are home, saving you energy.
If your smart thermostat has an auto-schedule mode, you should consider turning it on. This mode identifies your habits and cooling preferences and automatically creates a schedule around those preferences. When using this feature, homeowners often use their air conditioners less as they are less likely to experience large swings in their home’s temperature, sending them to the thermostat to turn the AC on manually.
Another great energy-saving feature of many smart thermostats is a sunblock feature that detects when the thermostat is in direct sunlight, which can cause inaccurate interior temperature readings. When your thermostat misreads the internal temperature in your home, the AC may kick on when it’s not actually needed.
Three common smart thermostat features that you should also consider using include:
- Scheduling features
- Vacation mode
Understanding how you use your air conditioner can help you identify areas where you can improve your energy efficiency and gain insight into how your habits impact your energy bill. Therefore, reviewing your smart thermostat’s energy history every so often is also a good idea. This will tell you how long your AC ran for each day and which days were the most energy efficient. Your energy history is also a great resource for times when your energy bill has unexpectedly increased, and you are trying to find out why.
To learn more about smart thermostats, review our blog, “Three Things You Didn’t Know a Modern Smart Thermostat Can Do.”
Tip #3: Consider Raising Your Nightime Temperature
Finally, we recommend that people reassess their preferred nighttime temperature. Many people sleep better when their rooms are cool and dark. In general, we tend to prefer much cooler temperatures at night than we do during the day. For example, 75° may be a very comfortable daytime temperature, but at night we find it stifling and prefer 65°. However, setting your air conditioner to 65° in the middle of the summer, even at nighttime, puts a great strain on your system and your wallet.
Instead of setting your AC so low, consider setting it in the 68°-70° range. This may be cool enough for you to get to sleep without putting such a burden on your system. You can also try keeping your bedroom as dark as possible during the day using blackout curtains and utilizing fans to keep a constant airflow, both of which can help your room feel cooler.
You should also pay attention to outside temperatures at night. If the nighttime temperature drops below 68°, consider turning off your air conditioner and opening your windows. This will not only bring fresh air in, but by also using fans, you can reduce the overall temperature throughout your home, giving your AC a rest. If the outside nighttime temperature is consistently cool, use your thermostat’s scheduling feature to turn the AC off at bedtime or when you usually open your windows. Doing so will help you avoid forgetting to turn it off and allowing conditioned air to escape through your open windows.
Need more help getting the most out of your smart thermostat this summer? Call AAA Service Plumbing, Heating & Electric. We can answer all your questions and are ready to provide repair and installation services for smart thermostats to residents across the Denver area.