Whats the Most Energy-Efficient AC Setting?

June 04, 2020

You shouldn’t need to give up comfort or empty your wallet to keep your home at the right temperature during warm days.

But what is the ideal temp, exactly? We discuss suggestions from energy pros so you can determine the best temperature for your family.

Here’s what we suggest for the most energy-efficient setting for air conditioning in Auburn and Opelika.

Recommended Thermostat Settings for Summer

Most families find placing the thermostat at 72-73 degrees is most comfortable. However, if there’s a major difference between your indoor and outdoor temperatures, your utility expenses will be greater.

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

While at home: 78 degrees. While that appears hot, there are methods you can keep your home cool without having the AC going all the time.

Keeping windows and curtains closed during the day keeps cold air where it needs to be—indoors. Some window treatments, such as honeycomb shades or plantation shutters, are made to provide more insulation and improved energy savings.

If you have ceiling fans in your home, the DOE says you can increase thermostat temps about 4 degrees hotter without giving up comfort. That’s because they cool with a windchill effect. As they cool people, not spaces, shut them off when you move from a room.

If 78 degrees still appears too uncomfortable at first glance, try doing a trial for a week or so. Start by raising your setting to 78 degrees while you’re home. Then, progressively decrease it while following the suggestions above. You may be amazed at how cool you feel at a hotter temperature setting.

While away: 88 degrees. There’s no reason to keep the air conditioning going all day while your house is unoccupied. Moving the temp 7¬¬–10 degrees warmer can save you an estimated 5–15% on your electrical expenses, according to the DOE.

When you arrive home, don’t be tempted to set your thermostat below 78 to cool your home more rapidly. This isn’t productive and usually leads to a higher electricity cost.

A programmable thermostat is a useful way to keep your temp under control, but it requires setting programs. If you don’t set programs, you risk forgetting to raise the set temperature when you leave.

If you’re looking for a convenient solution, consider installing a smart thermostat. This thermostat works with with your phone, so it realizes when you’re at home and when you’re gone. Then it instinctively adjusts temperature settings for the best savings. How much exactly? Typically $180 annually on heating and cooling, according to ENERGY STAR.

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

While sleeping: Around 70 degrees. While ENERGY STAR recommends 82 degrees, that may be unbearable for most families. Most people sleep better when their bedroom is chilled, so that’s why the National Sleep Foundation advises 60–67 degrees. But that may be too chilly, due to your pajama and blanket preference.

We recommend trying a comparable test over a week, setting your temp higher and gradually turning it down to find the best temp for your residence. On mild nights, you might find keeping windows open at night and relying on a ceiling fan is a superior option than operating the air conditioner.

More Ways to Use Less Energy This Summer

There are extra approaches you can save money on AC bills throughout warm weather.

  1. Buy an energy-efficient air conditioning system. Central air conditioners only are effective for about 12–15 years and become less efficient as they get older. An upgraded air conditioner can keep your house comfier while keeping AC
  2. bills low.
  3. Schedule annual AC tune-ups. Annual air conditioner maintenance keeps your equipment operating like it should and could help it run at better efficiency. It can also help extend its life expectancy, since it enables techs to spot small troubles before they lead to an expensive meltdown.
  4. Switch air filters often. Follow manufacturer instructions for switching your air filter. A clogged filter can lead to your system short cycling, or turn on and off too frequently, and raise your electrical
  5. bills.
  6. Measure attic insulation levels. Almost 90% of houses in the U.S. don’t have adequate insulation, according to the Insulation Institute. Many southern climates should have 13–14” of attic insulation, while northern climates should have 16–18”.
  7. Have your ductwork inspected. Ductwork that has come apart over the years can seep conditioned air into your attic, walls or crawl space. This can result in major comfort problems in your home, such as hot and cold spots.
  8. Seal holes, doors and windows. Keep humid air where it should be by plugging holes. You can also caulk or weather strip doors to seal more cool air within your home.

Conserve More Energy During Hot Weather with Farnell Mechanical, Inc.

If you are looking to save more energy during hot weather, our Farnell Mechanical, Inc. experts can help. Get in touch with us at 334-524-2458 or contact us online for more details about our energy-efficient cooling solutions.