With summer in full swing and air conditioners running round the clock, your energy costs are likely rising along with the outdoor temperatures. Your home’s programmable thermostat
is a valuable tool for summer energy savings, but only if you know how to use it properly. Using the right programmable thermostat settings will help you generate higher summer energy savings for your household.
Choose energy-efficient set points
Think hard about how cool you really need your home in order to feel comfortable; cranking the temperature down to 70 degrees may leave you feeling cool, but it will definitely fire up your electric bill. To achieve greater summer energy savings, don’t set the temperature lower than 78 degrees. Utilize ceiling fans, window coverings, and other low-cost alternatives to keep your home feeling comfortable on hot days.
When you’re away from home or asleep, you can boost your summer energy savings even higher. Set your programmable thermostat schedules with higher temperatures for periods of eight hours or more to decrease energy use during periods where you won’t be affected by increased temperatures. According to the U.S. Department of Energy
, setting back your temperature set points by 10 to 15 degrees for this span of time will allow you to save as much as 15% a year.
Resist the urge to override
The beauty of using a programmable thermostat is that you set it and forget it, so to speak. Once you program set points to meet the needs of your household, you can sit back and enjoy effortless temperature control. When efficient temperature settings are programmed, using the override or hold feature will create more energy waste as you deviate from those programmed settings.
Many homeowners think by overriding the schedules and setting the programmable thermostat’s temperature down very low, say to 50 degrees, the house will cool down faster; an unfortunately common practice upon returning to a hot house. This is an unwise practice that won’t cool your home any quicker and can cause energy to be wasted. Instead, set your programmable thermostat to begin cooling your home about 10 minutes before you are scheduled to return; this way, a comfortable and efficient home will be waiting for you while increasing your summer energy savings.
Give your AC a vacation, too
If you’re going on vacation this summer, don’t forget to adjust your programmable thermostat accordingly. You don’t have to disrupt your programmed schedules; vacation is the appropriate time to use hold features on your programmable thermostat. Simply pause your regular schedules and set the thermostat to an efficient, constant temperature for the period of time you’ll be away. Using this feature, you can maximize summer energy savings even while out of town.