Federal program Energy Star might not have been thinking of Texans when it made recommendations for in-home air conditioners.
Energy Star suggests that you want to keep your home at around 78 degrees Fahrenheit or higher to combat high energy usage. They also suggest investing in a programmable thermostat will help.
“A programmable thermostat helps make it easy for you to save by offering four pre-programmed settings to regulate your home’s temperature in both summer and winter – when you are home, asleep, or away,” Energy Star states on their website.
Energy Star is a federal program managed jointly by the Department of Energy, and the Environmental Protection Agency provides information to consumers about energy efficiency practices that not only save consumers money but also improve air quality and protect the environment.
Record-breaking heat waves are being seen across the country, and although Texas has fared well so far, the mercury is rising.
Finding ways to beat the heat without busting your budget might seem mystifying; which is why Energy Star provided consumers with a set of energy-saving recommendations on how to best manage central air conditioning in warmer spring and summer months.
According to Energy Star, keeping your central air thermostat set to 78 degrees is optimal for both cooling and energy efficiency, but this recommendation only applies to the times when you are home.
Fox 4 News further reported on the issue and tips by saying, “While you are away from the house during the day, you should keep the thermostat set to 85 degrees or higher. While you sleep, Energy Star recommends keeping the temperature set at 82 degrees or higher.”
No one likes to sweat in the summer but with cranking that cold air comes rises in your bill. So, to help keep that bill low, you can also close your blinds during the day when you aren’t home. By closing the blinds you are helping keep your home cool, and when you turn back on your central air, it won’t have to work as hard to cool down quickly.
For every degree you raise the set temperature of your central air, you’ll save about three percent on your utility bill, according to the Department of Energy.
Additionally, air sealing your home and installing window treatments can help prevent heat gain via your doors and windows during the day.
The Department of Energy also stresses keeping the heat coming from within your house to a minimum as well to keep efficiency high and costs low. Small adjustments like turning off appliances and lights when they aren’t being used as well as only washing full loads of laundry and dishes. Taking shorter showers and running fans while you do things like shower and cook can also help reduce the heat build-up in your home.
The average household spends more than $2,000 a year on energy bills – nearly half of which goes to heating and cooling. Homeowners can save about $180 a year by properly setting their programmable thermostats and maintaining those settings.
So why throw that money away, take some easy simple, and cost-effective steps to keeping cool this summer.