Did you know that your air conditioning system uses 3,500 watts of electricity per hour? To put that into perspective, the HVAC system’s fan only uses 750 watts/hour when the AC isn’t running, and an electric oven uses 2,150 watts/hour. The AC is one of the biggest consumers of electrical power in your house—perhaps the biggest unless you own an electric water heater.
In other words, you can expect an increase in your electric bills each summer to enjoy your air conditioning in Wayne, PA. But it doesn’t have to increase as much as it currently does. There are many ways you can cut down on AC use and lower your electricity bills during summer. One of the simplest methods is to raise the thermostat rather than lower it.
Trust us, this does make sense!
We know you’re probably thinking we slipped off the curb and cracked our heads. Why would you raise the thermostat during the heat of summer?
Don’t worry—we’re not asking you to heat your home when it’s 90°F outside. We’re asking you to raise the thermostat from a setting that is probably too low.
If you look at your thermostat, you’ll find the lowest it can be set is 60°F. That’s too cold for most people, but you may feel tempted to set the thermostat that low so you can get cooling much faster for the house on a hot day.
This doesn’t work, however, because the thermostat isn’t a throttle. It’s a switch. If you set it for 60°F, it will only keep the AC running longer as it tries to reach that temperature. That means plenty of energy wasted to end up at a temperature that isn’t even comfortable. Since an AC can at most lower the indoor temperature by 20°, it may not even be able to get to 60°F.
Slowing down heat gain in what to aim for
A setting on the thermostat that’s extremely low is wasteful. But if you find a comfortable cooler setting, why raise it more? It’s because of heat gain.
The bigger difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the faster heat moves from one to the other. The lower you set the thermostat on a hot day, the faster heat enters the house to warm it up again. If you raise the thermostat to the highest point that’s still comfortable for you, the house will stay cooler for longer, and that takes an immense amount of strain off the AC.
Recommended summer thermostat settings
The best setting to slow down heat gain, stay comfortable, and lower electric bills is 78°F during the day when people are home and 86°F at night or when the house is empty. This can cut down on AC electric consumption by 5–20% depending on how you previously used it.
If you think 78°F is too warm, lower the thermostat to around 72°F and then raise it one degree a day until people get used to 78°F. You’ll be glad you did when you see your bills, and your AC will also enjoy a longer service life.
Call the Main Line’s Premier Service Provider since 1976: Michall Daimion Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc.