This month the Texas heat has brought on record levels of energy use, and based on weather forecasts, it doesn’t look like the heat wave is slowing down any time soon. As the heat increases, so will energy bills, and people are looking for methods to trim down their bill without compromising comfort. Here are a few tips for staying cool while saving energy and money.
Be Mindful of Your Thermostat Settings
According to Energy.gov, one of the best ways to conserve energy and money on your monthly bill is to adjust the temperature settings while you are at home and while you are away.
The ideal temperature setting while you are at home is between 75-78 degrees. This is considered the optimal range for both comfort and energy savings.
Before heading out for the day, increase your thermostat 5 degrees so that the temperature ranges between 80-83 degrees. By turning up the temperature while you are away, your unit has a chance to “take a break” and use less energy.
However, there is a threshold that you should not pass. If you live in South Texas, make sure that you do not set the thermostat above 83 degrees. In addition to the temperature being uncomfortable, it can also introduce excessive humidity to your home making it more difficult to cool your home in a short amount of time. Any temperature beyond 83 degrees is past the point of diminishing returns and overworks your system.
If you need help getting into the routine of changing your settings while you are away, there are tools that can help. A programmable thermostat allows you to customize temperatures while you are home and while you are away. This style of thermostat anticipates when you are coming home and adjusts so you arrive to a comfortable temperature.
The most popular smart thermostats are Google’s Nest and Amazon’s EcoBee. These sophisticated systems use algorithms to learn your schedule and can adapt based on your settings and behavior, keeping your home cool when you are there, and running efficiently when you are away.
When using a smart thermostat, you are not only saving money in the long run but you also have access to other great features including an interface with weather reports, the ability to connect to your system remotely by phone, and the ability to receive alerts if it starts getting too hot in the house (which also alerts you that something is going wrong). While smart thermostats come with an upfront investment, the benefits of the thermostat pay dividends that can outweigh the cost in a short amount of time.
If you are unsure which thermostat is the best fit for your home, call your local air conditioning company and ask them to guide you through the process of selecting the best option. If you have already purchased your thermostat, make sure a certified technician installs the unit to ensure your system is set up properly.
Proper Use of Ceiling Fans
One of the most common myths about fans is that they lower the temperature of a room. In fact, if not used properly, ceiling fans can actually cost you money.
Ceiling fans can make rooms feel cooler because they create a wind chill effect. Running a fan in a room that is not occupied only moves the air around, which means if you are not there to feel the air moving, you are actually wasting energy. In short, running a fan while you’re in a room can help keep you cool, and in return, means you don’t have to set your A/C so low.
Regular Service & Maintenance
One of the simplest and most important tasks you can do to keep your A/C running efficiently is to replace your air filter on a regular basis. According to Energy.gov, replacing a dirty, clogged filter on a regular basis can lower your A/C consumption by 5% to 15%.
Proper maintenance and service is also another way to keep your equipment working at its optimal level of performance. If it has been over a year since your last tuneup, call your air conditioning company to schedule a maintenance check-up and evaluation.
If you have questions about programmable and smart thermostats or maintenance to keep your air conditioning system running optimally, contact North East Air Conditioning today!