With the weather warming, air conditioning systems are going to start up… and most of them will stay at work for months to come. Along with nice, cool indoor temperatures, this also means higher energy bills. However, you may be paying more to cool your home during warm weather than is necessary. Regular maintenance, replacing an old system, and having the ductwork cleaned can help rein in those bills. But there’s a simple step you can take right now with your AC, which is learning the best way to set the thermostat so there’s little energy waste.
A word on how thermostats work
A thermostat is a type of switch: it turns on and off the air conditioner’s compressor as well as the fans. It’s not a throttle that can ramp up or down the cooling power of the AC. This means that if you set the thermostat to the lowest possible temperature (which is usually 60°F), the air conditioner will not work any faster at providing cool air. Instead, you will make the air conditioner stay on longer until it reaches the target temperature. This means the AC will expend a great deal more energy, all to reach a temperature that you won’t find comfortable at all. A house that’s 60°F is too cold!
The ideal thermostat settings
The recommended setting for most households is between 72°F and 78°F during the day when there are people home. Adjust up and down in this range to find the right comfort range; most people can find themselves comfortable at these temperatures, and each degree higher you go can mean saving 2% off your energy bills. Plus, you’ll take some of the work strain off the AC and help it last longer. During the evening, or times when the house is empty, set the thermostat higher by 8°. (If you don’t have a programmable thermostat to make this job easier, we strongly suggest that you have one installed.)
If you need help with your air conditioning system this spring and summer in Bossier City, just call on Hall’s Heating, Air Conditioning & Refrigeration—The Doctor of Home Comfort!