Keeping your home’s thermostat set to a cool 65 degrees once the outside temperature hits three digits may feel nice at the time, but you’ll likely overheat at the sight of that month’s electricity bill. By that same token, cranking up the heat to 80 when it gets chilly outside may quickly warm up your home, but is also likely to cause your energy bills to skyrocket.
What are the most efficient thermostat settings for all four seasons? By making some adjustments to your thermostat, along with a couple of other modifications, you can improve the efficiency of your HVAC system and reduce your energy costs going forward.
During the summer months, keeping your thermostat set at around 78 degrees Fahrenheit is the most efficient way to cool your home. And while 6 degrees may not seem like much of a difference, setting your thermostat to a cool 72 degrees could increase your energy consumption by nearly 50 percent. Thermostat settings in the mid-sixties could go so far as to double your monthly energy bills.
If 78 degrees is still just a bit too warm for you during the summer months, keep in mind that every little bit helps. You may want to start with your thermostat at 72 degrees and move up the temperature by a degree or two a day until you’ve hit a setting that’s comfortable for you, but still conserving your home’s energy usage.
It’s also important to remember that cranking your air conditioner to its lowest possible setting to cool off a too-hot room won’t cool it down any more quickly than setting it at a more moderate temperature; your air conditioner is already working as hard as it can to cool the room, regardless of whether the thermostat is set to 65 or 75 degrees.
While winter months don’t usually present the same temperature extremes Texas experiences during the summer, the same lessons can apply. Instead of setting your heat to 78 degrees, keeping your thermostat set to the mid-to-high sixties can go a long way toward reducing your winter energy expenses.
Other Ways to Improve HVAC Efficiency
In addition to keeping a close eye on your thermostat, there are some other steps you can take to maximize HVAC efficiency while minimizing your monthly energy bills.
- Install ceiling fans
If you don’t already have several ceiling fans spread throughout your home, there’s no better time to install some. These fans can take the place of your air conditioner or furnace on milder days, and use substantially less electricity than standard heating and cooling systems.
- Replace your home’s air filter
Over time, the air filter that protects your HVAC system’s delicate electronic components can become clogged with dust and dirt. This requires your HVAC system to work much harder to generate hot and cool air and circulate it throughout your home. Cleaning or changing your air filter regularly can have an instant impact on your energy bills.
- Make sure your thermostat is working properly
Thermostat sensors can wear out over time, leaving your HVAC system working overtime. If your home feels much cooler or warmer than the thermostat setting indicates, it may be time to replace it. A broken or worn out thermostat can lead to sky high energy bills, and often the cost of replacing a thermostat will ‘pay for itself’ in a short time.
By utilizing these simple upgrades, along with adjusting your thermostat to a more moderate setting, you can depend on significant savings on your energy bill over time.