Set Your Thermostat for Savings

Published on: May 28, 2014
Changing the thermostat | AC Southeast®

Some homeowners have the view that seasonal comfort management costs are uncontrollable expenses that one simply has to face. Others may take extreme cost-control measures by turning off comfort equipment or making dramatic changes in thermostat settings to keep expenses down. However, as an informed consumer, you can make smart choices to save money without sacrificing comfort levels.

Energy Efficiency Guidelines for Thermostat Settings

Every degree of change on your system’s controls can represent approximately 1 percent of the energy used to operate the equipment if that level is sustained for at least eight hours. Adjusting your home air conditioning settings just a little bit can lead to savings as long as you are consistent and as long as those changes are maintained for several hours. ENERGY STAR guidelines for optimum savings are as follows:

  • Winter waking setpoint – 70 degrees or lower
  • Summer waking setpoint – 78 degrees or higher
  • Daytime adjustments at 8 a.m. – back 8 degrees in the winter or up 7 degrees in the summer
  • Evening adjustments at 6 p.m. – return to waking setpoints
  • Sleep adjustments at 10 p.m. – back 8 degrees in the winter or up 4 degrees in the summer

While these settings are recommended, they aren’t strict requirements. You have the freedom to deviate from ENERGY STAR’s guidelines based on your own comfort preferences and needs. The important element of making such changes is to do so consistently so that your home’s comfort levels are maintained affordably.

Keeping Track of Setting Adjustments

If you have an older control for your home comfort equipment, you may wonder how you can be consistent. A programmable thermostat is necessary for more precise changes, allowing you to pre-set settings so that you aren’t faced with inconsistent temperature control. In fact, wireless controls are even more helpful, allowing you to make adjustments from remote locations such as your work computer, smartphone or tablet. You can still save, however, if you do have one of those older models. Just adjust the settings as needed, or upgrade to a newer thermostat.

Home Performance Help from an HVAC Professional

Your HVAC contractor can assist as you look for solutions to saving money on home air conditioning and heating bills. In addition to helping with modern controls for your system, a Southeast U.S. contractor can also provide a home performance evaluation to identify additional sources of energy loss that may be adding dollars to your heating and cooling bills. We can help you to locate a professional in your community today.