Whats the Most Energy-Efficient AC Setting?

You shouldn’t be forced to sacrifice comfort or drain your wallet to keep your home at a refreshing temp during the summer.

But what is the best setting, exactly? We review advice from energy experts so you can determine the best temperature for your home.

Here’s what we advise for the most energy-efficient setting for air conditioning in Greater Richmond.

Recommended Thermostat Settings for Summer

Most households find setting the thermostat at 72-73 degrees is most comfortable. However, if there’s a sizeable difference between your interior and exterior temps, your utility expenses will be bigger.

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

While at home: 78 degrees. While that appears too high, there are approaches you can keep your residence cool without having the air conditioning running all the time.

Keeping windows and curtains shut during the day keeps cool air where it belongs—within your home. Some window solutions, like honeycomb shades or plantation shutters, are made to offer more insulation and better energy efficiency.

If you have ceiling fans in your residence, the DOE says you can move thermostat settings about 4 degrees warmer without compromising comfort. That’s due to the fact they refresh by a windchill effect. As they cool people, not rooms, turn them off when you move from a room.

If 78 degrees still appears too hot initially, try conducting a trial for a week or so. Begin by upping your temperature to 78 degrees while you’re home. Then, steadily lower it while following the advice above. You may be surprised at how cool you feel at a warmer temperature setting.

While away: 88 degrees. There’s no need to keep the air conditioner working all day while your home is empty. Switching the temperature 7¬¬–10 degrees higher 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 put your thermostat below 78 to cool your home more quickly. This isn’t effective and often results in a more expensive air conditioner cost.

A programmable thermostat is a good approach to keep your temp in check, but it requires setting programs. If you don’t utilize programs, you risk forgetting to raise the set temperature when you go.

If you need a handy solution, consider getting a smart thermostat. This thermostat links with your phone, so it knows when you’re at home and when you’re gone. Then it automatically adjusts temperature settings for the best savings. How much exactly? Typically $180 each year on heating and cooling, according to ENERGY STAR.

Another perk of getting a smart thermostat? You can use your phone to watch and adjust temperature settings from almost anywhere.

While sleeping: Around 70 degrees. While ENERGY STAR suggests 82 degrees, that might be too uncomfortable for the majority of families. Many people sleep better when their bedroom is cold, so that’s why the National Sleep Foundation advises 60–67 degrees. But that could be too cool, depending on your clothing and blanket preference.

We suggest using a similar test over a week, moving your temperature higher and steadily lowering it to determine the ideal temp for your family. On cool nights, you might learn keeping windows open at night and running a ceiling fan is a superior solution than running the AC.

More Ways to Use Less Energy During Hot Weather

There are added ways you can conserve money on utility bills throughout warm weather.

  1. Install an energy-efficient AC system. Central air conditioners only last about 12–15 years and lose efficiency as they become older. An updated air conditioner can keep your home more comfortable while keeping utility
  2. expenses low.
  3. Set yearly air conditioning service. Annual air conditioner maintenance keeps your system working properly and might help it operate at greater efficiency. It may also help lengthen its life cycle, since it enables techs to spot seemingly insignificant issues before they create a major meltdown.
  4. Put in new air filters frequently. Use manufacturer instructions for switching your air filter. A clogged filter can cause your system to short cycle, or turn on and off too often, and increase your energy
  5. bills.
  6. Inspect attic insulation levels. Just about 90% of homes in the United States don’t have adequate insulation, according to the Insulation Institute. The majority of southern climates require 13–14” of attic insulation, while northern climates need 16–18”.
  7. Have your ductwork examined. Ductwork that has loosened over time can leak cool air into your attic, walls or crawl space. This can result in big comfort troubles in your residence, including hot and cold spots.
  8. Seal holes, doors and windows. Keep hot air where it belongs by closing openings. You can also caulk or weather strip doors to keep more cold air indoors.

Conserve More Energy During Hot Weather with Herman Allen Plumbing, Heating & Cooling

If you need to use less energy during warm weather, our Herman Allen Plumbing, Heating & Cooling pros can assist you. Reach us at 804-302-6657 or contact us online for additional info about our energy-conserving cooling products.

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