We’ve all been there: raising and lowering the thermostat dial to try and stay comfortable during the dog days of summer. Yet, each time we lower our thermostat a degree, we raise the amount of money we’ll be paying on our electric bill. So how do you keep your energy bills down without compromising comfort? The answer lies within the setting on your thermostat.
Okay, so what’s the best temperature for my thermostat to be set at?
If you were to ask what is the best temperature for your A/C to be set at, and that’s it, then we would simply answer: set it to whatever you feel is most comfortable for you. However, we know that this question, more often than not, implies the ending… “to save on energy costs”. So, if your question is more in line with how to save on energy costs, then we can help.
Below, we break it down:
According to the experts at EnergyStar, the most effective and efficient temperature to set your thermostat at is 78º, and that’s while you’re at home. Considering most Americans set theirs around 72ºF, and that for every degree you raise your thermostat you save approximately 3% in energy costs, this is quite a jump. While you are away or sleeping, EnergyStar recommends setting it between 82ºF and 85ºF. Keep in mind this is the ideal temperature for maximum energy savings. If you have an aversion to heat and/or prefer a much cooler temperature in your home, then set it at the recommended 78ºF and adjust down one degree at a time, trying not to go below 75ºF. Again, for each degree you increase your thermostat setting, you save 3% on your energy bill—that will really add up at the end of summer!
Other Energy Saving Strategies
- Despite what temperature setting you ultimately arrive at, you’ll want to make sure that you’re keeping your conditioned air inside your home—and prevent the hot outdoor air from creeping in. This is easily done by making sure that all cracks and holes around your home are sealed off from the outdoor air. Check for drafts around windows, doors, and attic entryways and replace worn weather-stripping and caulking as needed. Also, make sure that your home has proper insulation, especially in the attic area, where cooled air can easily escape and hot air can build up, making it much harder to cool your home.
- Consider investing in a programmable thermostat. Even if you can’t bear the thought of having your thermostat set to 78ºF while you’re home, if you have a programmable thermostat, you can easily set the temperature to 80ºF while you’re away, and have it drop back down to a cooler temperature 30 minutes prior to your return. This will at least cut back on some energy and save you a little on your home energy bill.
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