Sam Houston EC News
Don’t Touch That Dial
Keep your cool and save money at the same time

IMAGE: Bortonia | iStock.com

It’s so tempting to turn the thermostat down to freezing cold when you walk into a warm house on a hot day. Don’t do it.

Setting the thermostat at a very low temperature won’t cool your house any faster than setting it to the temperature that you regularly use to feel comfortable.

In fact, lowering the thermostat beyond the temperature you desire only makes your air conditioner run longer, not faster. You could end up paying more money for an uncomfortably chilly house.

Here are a few other energy-saving tips for summer:

  • Install a smart thermostat. It will “learn” your family’s habits and adjust temperatures accordingly, setting the temperature higher for hours when the house is empty and lower during your at-home hours. It takes less energy to recool your home when you return than it does to keep it cool while you’re gone.
  • Set the thermostat at 78 degrees. You’ll save about 15% on your cooling bill versus a 72-degree setting.
  • Use ceiling fans (rotating counterclockwise) to provide additional comfort, but only run them when the room is occupied. Fans cool people, not rooms.
  • Change or clean your heating, ventilating and air conditioning system’s filter. Changing your air filter keeps the air in your home cleaner, improves cooling performance and lengthens the life of your HVAC system. Filters should be cleaned or replaced at least every three months (or more often, depending on system requirements). High-quality HEPA filters will yield the best results.
  • Keep lamps and other heat-emitting devices—like TVs and large electronics—away from the thermostat. Most appliances heat up when you use them, so they can trick the thermostat into “thinking” the air is warmer than it really is, causing your HVAC system to keep running when the house is already cool.
  • If you let the morning sunlight into your bedroom to help you wake up naturally, it could add to your energy bills during the day if you leave the blinds open for too long. Before you leave the house for the day, close your curtains and window shades to keep the sun’s heat out.
  • If you use room air conditioners, fit them snugly into window frames.

TAGS: Energy Efficiency

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