Have you ever been shocked at the cost of your bills after heating or cooling season starts? You’re not alone. A lot of our customers say that their energy costs are the most important factor when running their furnace or air conditioner. There are some simple ways to determine the best temperature for your thermostat. Here’s a simple rule of thumb: The more the temperature INSIDE your home differs from the temperature OUTSIDE your home, the higher your bill will be.
An example for you: It’s 90 degrees outside and your house is sweltering hot. You immediately reach for the thermostat and set it 70 degrees. Your HVAC system needs to work harder to lower the temperature to 70 than it would to lower the temperature to 74. It’s simple math and an easy way to understand how temperatures directly impact the workload of your air conditioner. It works the same for your furnace. If it’s 20 degrees outside and you want to heat your home to 75 degrees instead of 68 degrees, your furnace and HVAC equipment needs to work harder (it uses more energy) to reach your desired temperature. So basically, the more energy your system uses to reach your desired temperatures, the higher your bills will be. Let’s go over some tips to help you use the best temperatures for your family – and your wallet.
1. Experiment With Temperatures Until Your Family Is Comfortable If you’re ready to make moves to maximize your savings on your energy bill, you’re in the right place. The US Department of Energy recommends 78 degrees as the optimal temperature for your thermostat in cooling season. For some people, this might seem like a big jump. But we have good news! We can help you acclimate your family to higher temperatures. Research by The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers has found that people are typically most comfortable at temperatures of 73-79 degrees, and don’t notice temperature changes of up to 4 degrees. Over the course of a few days or weeks, change the temperature on your thermostat by one degree. Give the people in your home time to acclimate to the temperature change until everyone is comfortable. Keep going until people start to feel discomfort. This will signal that you are nearing the optimal temperature for your family AND your thermostat. See if they can tolerate these temperatures in typical seasonal clothing. Then you will have found your sweet spot! Stay at these temperatures (or better yet- program your thermostat to this temperature!) to see maximum energy savings on your bill.
2. Purchase and Use A Programmable Thermostat One of the most inexpensive – and valuable – investments you can make into your HVAC system is a programmable thermostat. These thermostats give you the capability to set schedules for your family. These schedules help you to maximize your energy savings. Remembering to adjust the temperatures when you’re away and in bed can be hard to do. A programmable thermostat takes care of this for you. When you’re away or in bed you can set your thermostat to different temperatures to help maximize your savings. For example, if the US Department of Energy recommendation of 78 degrees is just too hot for you and your family, you can set it to 78 while you’re away and then have it adjust when you arrive home. This will mean your HVAC system isn’t working hard to keep your home cooled to your optimal temperature while you’re away. This would be a waste of energy. If you have questions about programmable thermostats and how they can work with your system, let us know and we can answer any questions or make recommendations.
3. Saving on Energy Costs While You’re Away Or In Bed Keeping in line with the above tip, you can set your thermostat for small changes in temperature to save money on your bills. While everyone is asleep or away at school or work, your system shouldn’t have to work so hard to keep the temperatures down (or up in the winter). According to research by the National Institute of Health, changing your thermostat by 7-10 degrees while you’re away or in bed can save up to 10% on your energy bills monthly. Changing it by only this small amount will also ensure your system doesn’t have to work too hard to adjust the temperatures when you wake up or get home.
4. Figure Out Your Exact Savings Sometimes seeing the numbers helps us make final decisions. There is a simple estimate you can do to figure out how much of a difference your temperatures changes make on your monthly bill. Every degree your raise or lower your thermostat is estimated to save you 3%-5% on HVAC costs. A great example by HVAC.com tells us that if your temperature is set at 71 degrees in the summer and you choose to raise your indoor temps by 4 degrees, you will save about $30/month on your HVAC costs. This could pay for a Friday night pizza delivery or even fill up some gas tanks! No matter what decision you make, having this information makes it easier to make informed decisions when it comes to your energy bills and HVAC equipment. The team at Outstanding Heating and Cooling prides itself on its decades of experience in the HVAC industry. We are well-informed and able to help you make the best decisions when it comes to your home comfort. Let us know where you are wanting to make changes and we can make recommendations based on your goals and budget! Contact us here!n