As temperatures rise, so, too, does our energy usage. Our first impulse when the mercury nudges upwards is to race for the thermostat to keep our house at a comfortable chill. Unfortunately, this can also lead to a rise in frustration when the energy bills hit our inbox.
There’s a balance between comfort and energy efficiency that takes a bit of patience to find. With the right tools and a few deep breaths, you can locate the way to keep both your temperature and your energy bills low.
Energy Efficiency While You Are at Home
The United States Department of Energy recommends you should keep the thermostat set at a modest 78 degrees while you are at home. This temperature provides comfort from hot days without driving your bills into the sky. Yet for polar bears and others who enjoy being cooler (whether for health reasons or simply because they run hot), this may not offer the relief they had hoped for.
What can you do to cool down without your bills going up? Try some of these tips:
- A dehumidifier can pull moisture out of the air, which helps your body’s natural heat dispersion work with more efficiency. This can help supplement your air conditioner at a less expensive rate.
- Ceiling fans, desk fans, and other air movers keep the breezes blowing. This can help keep you cool.
- Window treatments designed to block sunlight help keep the heat from outside where it belongs.
- Consider fresh caulking and weatherstripping to prevent warm air leaks into your home.
- Appliances can generate heat and warm your home. Try to refrain from using appliances such as the stove and oven before 8 PM. Outdoor grilling is both fun and good for your energy bill!
- If your HVAC unit has aged, replace it with a more energy-efficient model.
Try this experiment: Set your thermostat to 81 degrees while your family is home and see how it affects comfort over several hours. If they consider it too warm, drop the temperature by two degrees the next day. Do this until you have found their point of comfort. It may be warmer than you expect!
Energy Efficiency While You Are Away
If you have an empty house during the day, there’s no reason to keep the air conditioner at full throttle. Try setting your air conditioner to around 88 degrees if no one will be home. This allows you to cool it quickly and efficiently when you return without wasting energy while you are gone.
The easiest and most energy-conscious way to do this is with a smart thermostat. These clever devices can be set to automatically adjust your thermostat at certain times of day. This way, you return home to a cool house, even if the home has been much warmer while you were gone.
Some of these devices learn patterns automatically and make adjustments based on optimal energy usage. Others can be set with your smartphone, allowing you to do the adjusting from wherever you are. Going to be gone longer than usual? Tell your thermostat not to cool the house down for another hour, and save money!
Snyder Heating & Air Conditioning Can Help You Keep Your Cool
Energy bills high enough that you’re hot under the collar? Contact Snyder Heating & Air Conditioning today! We can help you optimize your summer cooling game with smart thermostats and upgrades that are an investment you can feel good about.