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The Best Setting for Air Conditioner Thermostats

Friday, February 08, 2013

The best setting for air conditioner thermostats is the setting that keeps your family comfortable in the heat of summer without sending your energy expenses skyrocketing. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), simply raising your thermostat setting from 72 degrees to 78 degrees can cut up to 18 percent off your cooling bill. Combine a higher thermostat setting with a few home enhancements, and you may not even notice the difference in temperature. As experts in home comfort, our savvy HVAC technicians are pleased to share strategies that will help you get the setting on your air conditioner thermostat right.

Programmable Thermostats

No one likes to come home at the end of a hot day to a sweltering environment. Leaving your air conditioner running while you’re away at work, obviously drives up your cooling costs. Programmable thermostats allow you schedule your AC to cool your home to different temperatures throughout the day and night. You can even schedule the device to different settings for weekdays and weekends. You’ll save around 10 percent on your cooling bills without sacrificing comfort.

A common misconception about programmable thermostats is that your air conditioner will work harder to cool your home if left off all day. Because heat naturally flows into cooler spaces, a higher interior temperature actually slows the flow of outdoor heat into your home. Your air conditioner will expend less energy cooling a warm home than it would if left running throughout the day.

Home Improvement Tips

You can also save money without compromising comfort by making your home easier to cool. These home upgrades can help your raise your thermostat's setting:

  • Plant deciduous trees on the south and west-facing sides of your home. They’ll shade your home in the summer and let sunlight through in the winter.
  • Leave window curtains, blinds and shades closed during the day to minimize radiant heat gain. Reflective window tints are another effective option.
  • Add attic insulation to prevent hot attic air from flowing into your living spaces.
  • Have ductwork sealed and insulated to eliminate wasteful leaks.
  • Install ceiling fans. A ceiling fan lets you raise your thermostat setting around four degrees with no loss of comfort.

Control Your Home’s Relative Humidity

The adage, “it’s not the heat, it’s the humidity” applies to indoor environments as well as to the climate outside. Air laden with moisture feels warmer than it really is. Because air conditioners remove moisture as well as heat from the air, an efficient air conditioner that’s sized right for your home helps control your home’s humidity levels. A too-big system, however, will cycle off before the air has time to circulate fully through the unit.

Our preventative HVAC services include inspections and tune-ups that help ensure that your AC operates at peak energy efficiency. Regular maintenance also gives our tech the opportunity to share tips that help you achieve the ideal temperature for your home. From duct sealing services to improving air flow or dehumidifier installations to manage high humidity levels, we’re pleased to offer products and services that help keep your home comfortable in every season.

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