For Florida homeowners, the Summer season is all about conserving energy. Do you keep the temperature the same throughout the day to keep things consistent? Or, should you change the thermostat to maximize comfort while you are home and change it when you’re away?
It can be difficult to decide which route is best. We’re here to debunk the myths and give you helpful tips to ensure that your thermostat is being used for good.
The Thermostat and Your HVAC Unit
Your thermostat needs to have a healthy relationship with your AC unit. When they work harmoniously together, your comfort is maximized and your energy bills stay low. When your thermostat is set on the correct temperature, your unit works less and you stay cool in the hottest temperatures.
Busting the “One Temperature All the Time” Myth
Some people swear by the “one temperature all the time” methodology when it comes to their thermostat. The belief is that consistency will keep your energy bills down because you aren’t changing the settings. While this might be great in theory, the reality is that this practice is inefficient. Depending on the temperature you are setting your thermostat at, you are either sacrificing your comfort for consistency or you are causing considerable amounts of energy waste.
At one temperature, you may feel comfortable (or not if you are trying to save on energy costs), but you are actually causing energy to leak. It takes a whole lot more energy to maintain a constant temperature 24/7 than switching it to different temperatures depending on if you are home or not.
Change It the Right Way
You should actually be changing your thermostat throughout the day. There’s a right way to do this, however. Changing your setting should be done sparingly to maximize energy savings and your comfort during the hot afternoons.
The Golden Rule
The best way to tackle your thermostat dilemma is to change it to a higher setting in the summer if you are going to be away from your home for more than 8 hours. When you are home, set your thermostat to around 78 degrees to keep comfortable without risking high energy prices. When you leave for work, bump up your thermostat a couple of degrees to save on energy waste, but not cause your home to be an oven when you return home.
When you come back home after being away, set your thermostat back to your comfortable setting. In the winter, use this same principle, but bump down instead of up. Between 68-72 degrees is the sweet spot.
Gradually Make Changes
When you want to bump down the thermostat when you get home, set it to your desired temperature. Don’t fall into the temptation to turn down the temperature by 10 degrees to get your home cooled down faster. This won’t cause your home to cool off any faster and you only hurt your unit. Simply set your thermostat to the desired temperature (78) and be patient. Going from 80-70 won’t do you any favors.
Don’t Micromanage Your Thermostat
The biggest threat to AC efficiency is micromanaging your thermostat. At most, you should only be changing the setting a few times a day: when you leave for work and when you arrive home. Hovering over the thermostat and changing the temperature because you feel slightly hot or cold will only risk your unit’s health. Your unit will constantly have to start and stop due to your AC mood swings. Reduce the changes to keep your unit operating in long, steady periods.
How to Manage HVAC Efficiency and Keep Energy Costs Down
In addition to handling your thermostat the right way, there are other steps you can take to prioritize HVAC efficiency and keep your unit and wallet happy.
Change Your Filters
First off, change your filters. It’ll save you from a lot of stress, improve your indoor air quality, and give your unit a much-needed breath of fresh air. Changing your filter reduces the amount of work your unit has to go through to get cool air into your home.
Do your unit a favor and change your filters regularly, otherwise, your good thermostat habits will be negated if your filters are clogged. Not sure when to change your filter? Check out our blog to know when!
Invest in a Programmable Thermostat
If you want to take the hard work out of remembering to set and change your thermostat when you leave and when you come back, invest in a programmable thermostat. These smart thermostats learn your routine and automatically set the right temperatures throughout the day. You can set up routines based on when you wake up and leave for work.
Give Your Unit its Best Chance
A lot more than just your thermostat setting affects AC efficiency. Make sure you are giving your unit its best chance to cool your home without sacrificing your wallet to keep you comfortable. Try to reduce the number of hot appliances at the same time. You should also run your ceiling fans and close the blinds when you are away to limit the amount of heat that can enter your home.
Prioritize AC Preventive Maintenance
You should also make sure that your unit doesn’t feel neglected. Preventative AC maintenance keeps your unit working as it should and prevents you from dealing with unexpected problems when you need air conditioning the most, which is pretty much all of summer here in Florida. Scheduling an AC tune-up will save you money and save you from stress.
Seal the Deal
In addition to better use of your thermostat, make sure your ducts, windows, and doors are sealed. Sealing your ducts ensures that no air is wasted or leaks out before it can make its way to cool down your home. Using your thermostat the right way only benefits you if your duct system is airtight and entry points of your home are sealed. Leaked air is one of the most common reasons energy bills are high while your comfort level is low.
AC Repair and Maintenance with Crystal Air & Water
Using your thermostat the right way is one of the many ways you can use your HVAC system wisely. You don’t have to sacrifice comfort for lower energy bills, we promise. Take the time to invest in your comfort with AC maintenance with Crystal Air & Water. We want to make sure your unit is ready to protect your comfort year-round. Contact us today to learn more!