Myths About Summer Thermostat Setting
Homeowners often manage their thermostats in Summer the same way their parents did. However, misguided myths about thermostat settings can affect your power bill and your AC system’s performance. Here are three myths you should not believe about summertime thermostat settings:
- Turning the Thermostat Way Down Cools Rooms Faster
You may think you can turn your thermostat way down to cool your home quickly. People often turn down their AC settings to a super-low level when they return home, especially if they turned their AC units off before they left their residences.
However, most AC units can’t cool homes any faster on the lowest thermostat setting. Unless you own a variable-speed type of heating, air-conditioning, and ventilation (HVAC) unit, your AC system only has one fan to blow cool air. The AC unit can only deliver cool air and remove hot air at a set rate, no matter how low you set your thermostat.
- Maintaining the Same Thermostat Setting Is Energy-Smart
Some people believe that an AC system that continues to run at the same thermostat setting all day is more energy-efficient than an AC system that’s turned to a higher setting for part of the day. Homeowners who believe this myth will keep their AC systems cooling at the same thermostat setting while they’re away from home for work or other activities.
The misguided logic about maintaining the same thermostat setting all day is that the AC unit won’t need to work as hard to reach a comfortable setting when the homeowner returns to the house after work or play. However, keeping your home at a constant temperature even when you’re away is very wasteful.Unless you have pets, turn the thermostat up to 85 degrees Fahrenheit before you leave your home. When you return home, turn the thermostat back down to 78 degrees Fahrenheit. It may take a few more minutes for your home to cool to the lower setting, but your summer energy bills will be a lot easier to pay.
Your AC system will also last longer when it doesn’t work hard all day. AC systems that run all day can have much shorter lifespans than AC systems that run at higher thermostat settings on hot days.
- Having Lower Thermostat Settings Only Slightly Raises Energy Costs
The most energy-efficient summertime setting for your thermostat is 78 degrees Fahrenheit. If you keep your thermostat at the 78-degree-Fahrenheit setting when you’re home and awake, you get optimal cooling for the lowest cost. During household sleeping hours, raise the thermostat to 82 degrees Fahrenheit for even more energy efficiency from your AC system.You may think that setting your thermostat a few degrees lower won’t make that much of a difference in your summer power usage. However, if you continually run your AC unit as low as 72 degrees Fahrenheit, expect to pay as much as 47 percent more for your summer cooling costs.
Experts advise homeowners to experiment with their thermostat settings when they wish to keep their cooling expenses down during the hottest months. Try raising your thermostat 1 degree Fahrenheit at a time to see if you can manage at a higher AC setting. Use fans and close window blinds to help maintain a cooler home at the higher thermostat setting.
If you can manage a 10-to-15-degree higher thermostat setting for eight hours per day, your energy bills can decrease by up to 10 percent per year. Invest in a programmable or smart thermostat to achieve lower energy bills with the higher settings. Programmable thermostats work on a timer you preset, while smart thermostats let you adjust your AC settings from remote locations.
Schedule repair or replacement of your HVAC thermostat in the San Diego area by contacting Mauzy Heating, Air & Solar today. Our expert AC services have kept homeowners in San Diego County cool and comfortable for over 50 years.