In the heat of the summer, it’s tempting to run your air conditioning full blast 24/7. However, that’s not exactly environmentally friendly – or easy on your wallet. So what to do? How can you find that happy medium: an A/C temperature that will keep your home comfortably cool without turning you into an energy hog and break the bank?
Energy Star recommends running your air conditioner at no lower than 78 degrees to maximum your home’s energy efficiency.
Experiment with keeping your thermostat at the recommended 78-degrees. How comfortable are you?
Should you have a really hard time with an indoor temperature of 78 F, give your HVAC system a boost with an electric fan or two (preferably a ceiling fan). These low-energy devices will help the chilled air to circulate and draw hot air upwards, leaving you feeling cooler.
You can also help out your cooling system by using other appliances wisely. Run the dryer in the evenings. Use your stove early in the morning – for example, to bake chicken or vegetables to be served at suppertime. Or enjoy some energy-conserving summer fun by hosting an outdoor barbecue!
Programmable thermostats come with several settings that allow you to choose different temperatures according to your needs at various times of the day. The air conditioning will work more efficiently – that is, at high speed – and dehumidify effectively when you’re at home and awake, yet conserve energy during your work hours and at night.
Take care of your HVAC and it will take care of you. Schedule regular checkups to make sure it is running optimally. Clean the blower component and the evaporator and condenser coils every year, and the filter once a month when the air conditioning is in heavy use. If your system is more than 10 years old, it may be time to replace it with a more energy-efficient model. Shop for one with an Energy Star Rating.