Whats the Most Energy-Efficient AC Setting?

June 04, 2020

You shouldn’t have to compromise on comfort or spend a lot to keep your house at a refreshing temperature during muggy weather.

But what is the right temp, exactly? We review recommendations from energy specialists so you can determine the best setting for your residence.

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

Recommended Thermostat Settings for Summer

Most households find using the thermostat at 72-73 degrees provides ideal comfort. However, if there’s a huge difference between your indoor and exterior temps, your electrical bills will be larger.

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

While at home: 78 degrees. While that seems too high, there are approaches you can keep your home cool without having the AC on constantly.

Keeping windows and blinds closed during the day keeps cool air where it needs to be—inside. Some window coverings, such as honeycomb shades or plantation shutters, are created to deliver added insulation and improved energy efficiency.

If you have ceiling fans in your home, the DOE says you can increase thermostat temperatures about 4 degrees warmer without giving up comfort. That’s because they freshen through a windchill effect. Because they cool people, not areas, shut them off when you move from a room.

If 78 degrees still feels too hot at first glance, try conducting an experiment for a week or so. Get started by upping your thermostat to 78 degrees while you’re at your residence. Then, steadily lower it while adhering to the tips above. You might be shocked at how comfortable you feel at a hotter temperature setting.

While away: 88 degrees. There’s no reason to keep the air conditioning working all day while your residence is vacant. Switching the setting 7¬¬–10 degrees higher can save you as much as 5–15% on your air conditioning expenses, according to the DOE.

When you come home, don’t be tempted to switch your thermostat under 78 to cool your home faster. This isn’t effective and typically leads to a bigger electricity expense.

A programmable thermostat is a good way to keep your temp in check, but it requires setting programs. If you don’t set programs, you risk forgetting to increase the set temperature when you take off.

If you’re looking for a convenient fix, think about getting a smart thermostat. This thermostat works with with your phone, so it knows when you’re at home and when you’re away. Then it intuitively modifies temperature settings for the best savings. How much exactly? An estimated $180 each year on heating and cooling, according to ENERGY STAR.

Another plus of having a smart thermostat? You can use your phone to keep an eye on and change temperature settings from almost anywhere.

While sleeping: Around 70 degrees. While ENERGY STAR advises 82 degrees, that could be unbearable for the majority of families. The majority of people sleep better when their sleeping area is chilly, so that’s why the National Sleep Foundation advises 60–67 degrees. But that could be too chilly, based on your clothing and blanket preference.

We recommend following a similar test over a week, setting your temp higher and gradually turning it down to find the best setting for your family. On mild nights, you may learn keeping windows open at night and using a ceiling fan is a better solution than running the AC.

More Ways to Save Energy This Summer

There are additional methods you can conserve money on cooling bills throughout hot weather.

  1. Upgrade to an energy-efficient AC system. Central air conditioners only are effective for about 12–15 years and get less efficient as they become older. A new air conditioner can keep your house cooler while keeping cooling
  2. costs down.
  3. Schedule yearly AC tune-ups. Regular air conditioner maintenance keeps your system working like it should and may help it work at greater efficiency. It can also help extend its life cycle, since it enables pros to spot seemingly insignificant problems before they cause a major meltdown.
  4. Switch air filters often. Use manufacturer instructions for switching your air filter. A dirty filter can lead to your system short cycling, or run too frequently, and increase your electricity
  5. expenses.
  6. Measure attic insulation levels. Almost 90% of homes in the U.S. don’t have adequate insulation, according to the Insulation Institute. Most southern climates need 13–14” of attic insulation, while northern climates need 16–18”.
  7. Have your ductwork inspected. Ductwork that has come apart over time can seep cold air into your attic, walls or crawl space. This can result in big comfort troubles in your residence, like hot and cold spots.
  8. Seal cracks, doors and windows. Keep muggy air where it belongs by closing holes. You can also caulk or weather strip doors to keep more conditioned air inside.

Save More Energy This Summer with Vogts Heating & Air

If you want to conserve more energy during hot weather, our Vogts Heating & Air specialists can help. Give us a call at 208-621-0129 or contact us online for extra information about our energy-saving cooling options.