It seems as if every summer sets records with the highest temperatures ever. And along with these sizzling temperatures comes even scarier electric bills. Unfortunately it’s much too hot outside so we stay indoors and blast our air conditioners just so we won’t sweat to death.
But the question is, can you keep your energy bills low during the summer despite the high heat while still staying comfortable indoors?
The good news is, the answer is yes. But you will have to follow these recommendations. And by the end of the summer, your bank account won’t suffer as much as it usually does this time of year.
What is the Optimum Thermostat Setting During the Summer?
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the recommended setting is 78 degrees when you are home and 85 to 88 degrees when you’re away more than a couple of hours at a time.
You should also consider investing in a dehumidifier which will provide indoor relief as well.
By raising the temperature when you’re away, you can save as much as 10% on cooling costs. And if you have a programmable thermostat, you can lower it to 78 remotely just before returning home.
Advantages of a Programmable Thermostat
The primary advantage of a programmable thermostat is obvious: you don’t have to manually get up and change the thermostat throughout the day. You are forced to remember when to change the temperature and there will always be times when you forget.
How many times have you cooled your empty house for hours at a time? How many times have you left the thermostat too low during cooler times of day? With a programmable thermostat, you can program it to different temperatures throughout the day taking into account when you’re home and when you’re away.
You can truly take a “set it and forget it approach” to controlling your thermostat. Let’s look at a typical example. During the week you leave your home at 8:30 AM to go to work and walk in the door around 6:30 PM. You would set your programmable thermostat to 85-88 at 8:30 AM and then have it lower back to 78 around 6:15 PM so that your home is comfortable once you walk through the door.
On top of that, you would program a completely different weekend schedule.
To set your thermostat remotely, you would need a smart programmable thermostat. This type of thermostat is beneficial because you can control it using your smartphone or tablet.
Other Tips to Help Keep Your House Cool During the Summer
For people who love keeping their thermostat set to 68 during the summer, 78 probably seems awfully high. But you can do so if you prevent warm air from entering your home and cold air escaping. Here are a few tips to achieve those goals.
- Hang blackout curtains or window treatments that block sunlight. Doing so will prevent heat from entering through the windows.
- Liberally use ceiling fans to increase overall cooling efficiency.
- If possible, try not to use the oven or stove until after 8pm. To limit the use of the oven and stove completely, consider grilling outside on a regular basis.
- Make sure the caulk and weather-stripping around your doors are sufficient.
- If you can afford it, replace your air conditioner with a newer energy-efficient model.
In the past, staying comfortable during the summer has translated to blasting your air conditioner on low temperatures 24 hours a day. But if you want to save money on your energy bills while still staying comfortable, the tips above will help you do so. Now all you have to do is put these tips into effect.
Stay cool this summer!