As much as people seem to love the summer season, many don’t love the heat so much. The warm weather at the end of May or the beginning of June is usually a nice change from the cold winter weather and the moderate spring weather, but by July or August the heat can become unbearable for some people. Air conditioning can help beat the heat, but it can also be a strain on one’s energy bill if it’s used too often.
Fortunately, saving money on your energy bill while remaining comfortable in your own home this summer is entirely possible if you know how to set your thermostat. Ideally, your thermostat should be set at 78 degrees when you’re home in the summer. Turning up the heat this high during the warmest time of the year sounds counter-intuitive, but it will help save you energy and give you a smaller electric bill. Of course, this still means running your a/c when the temperature outside is closer to 90 or 100 degrees, but it will still be cheaper than trying to drop your home’s temperature down to the 60s.
Most people are under the impression that they can save some money by turning off their air conditioner while they are gone. That might work if the temperature outside remains cool, but most households that rely on air conditioning are in parts of the country that face temperatures in the 90s or even the 100s during the summer. Nobody wants to come home to a house that is that hot, and it can take a lot of energy to cool such a house down and freeze up your unit. It’s a lot easier to heat a cold house than it is to cool an unbearably warm house, so sometimes it’s best to turn your air conditioner on a very low setting before leaving your house. When you are away from home for a long period of time, set your thermostat to 88 degrees. That still sounds warm, but it may still be cooler than the temperature outside. Running your air conditioner to get to that temperature doesn’t take a lot of energy, but it will be easier to get your home down to the recommended 78 degrees when you get home.
The summer heat has a tendency to drive a lot of people crazy as they struggle to make their homes as comfortable as possible, but it’s also very easy to run up your electric bill if you’re not careful. The important thing is that your thermostat is set in a way that your house is kept warmer in the summer, but not so hot that your a/c has to work harder to keep your house cool.
By Frank Prestwood