24/7 Emergency Support

Whats the Most Energy-Efficient AC Setting?

June 04, 2020

You shouldn’t be forced to sacrifice comfort or empty your wallet to keep your house at a refreshing temperature during warm days.

But what is the ideal temperature, exactly? We go over advice from energy specialists so you can find the best setting for your family.

Here’s what we recommend for the most energy-efficient setting for air conditioning in Portland.

Recommended Thermostat Settings for Summer

Most households find setting the thermostat at 72-73 degrees is ideal. However, if there’s a big difference between your indoor and outside warmth, your electricity expenses will be greater.

These are our recommendations based on the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and ENERGY STAR®.

While at home: 78 degrees. While that appears too high, there are methods you can keep your residence refreshing without having the air conditioning going all the time.

Keeping windows and curtains down during the day keeps chilled air where it belongs—inside. Some window solutions, such as honeycomb shades or plantation shutters, are designed to give more insulation and enhanced energy efficiency.

If you have ceiling fans in your residence, the DOE says you can raise thermostat temps about 4 degrees hotter without sacrificing comfort. That’s because they refresh by a windchill effect. As they cool people, not areas, shut them off when you move from a room.

If 78 degrees still appears too uncomfortable initially, try running an experiment for a week or so. Get started by increasing your temperature to 78 degrees while you’re home. Then, gradually turn it down while using the suggestions above. You might be astonished at how refreshed you feel at a higher temperature setting.

While away: 88 degrees. There’s no reason to keep the air conditioning on all day while your residence is empty. Turning the temp 7¬¬–10 degrees warmer can save you as much as 5–15% on your AC expenses, according to the DOE.

When you get home, don’t be tempted to set your thermostat under 78 to cool your residence faster. This isn’t productive and usually leads to a more expensive cooling bills.

A programmable thermostat is a helpful way to keep your temp controlled, but you have to set programs. If you don’t use programs, you might forget to raise the set temperature when you leave.

If you’re looking for a convenient solution, think over getting a smart thermostat. This thermostat works with with your phone, so it is aware when you’re at your house and when you’re out. Then it intuitively adjusts temperature settings for maximum savings. How much exactly? Usually $180 each year on heating and cooling, according to ENERGY STAR.

Another plus of using a smart thermostat? You can use your phone to monitor and change temperature settings from almost anywhere.

While sleeping: Around 70 degrees. While ENERGY STAR advises 82 degrees, that could be too uncomfortable for the majority of families. Most people sleep better when their sleeping space is chilly, so that’s why the National Sleep Foundation advises 60–67 degrees. But that could be too cold, depending on your pajama and blanket preference.

We suggest using an equivalent test over a week, putting your temperature higher and steadily turning it down to pick the right setting for your residence. On mild nights, you could discover keeping windows open at night and running a ceiling fan is a superior option than using the air conditioner.

More Approaches to Conserve Energy During Warm Weather

There are other methods you can spend less money on air conditioning bills throughout warm weather.

  1. Get an energy-efficient air conditioning system. Central air conditioners only are effective for about 12–15 years and get less efficient as they become older. An updated air conditioner can keep your residence cooler while keeping electrical
  2. costs low.
  3. Set regular air conditioning tune-ups. Routine air conditioner maintenance keeps your system working like it should and might help it operate at greater efficiency. It can also help prolong its life expectancy, since it helps technicians to uncover small troubles before they cause a big meltdown.
  4. Switch air filters frequently. Use manufacturer instructions for switching your air filter. A dirty filter can lead to your system short cycling, or run too much, and drive up your electrical
  5. bills.
  6. Check attic insulation levels. Just about 90% of homes in the U.S. don’t have enough insulation, according to the Insulation Institute. Many southern climates should have 13–14” of attic insulation, while northern climates should have 16–18”.
  7. Have your ductwork examined. Ductwork that has loosened over time can leak cold air into your attic, walls or crawl space. This can result in big comfort troubles in your residence, like hot and cold spots.
  8. Seal openings, doors and windows. Keep warm air in its place by plugging cracks. You can also caulk or weather strip doors to seal more conditioned air within your home.

Save More Energy During Warm Weather with Three Rivers Heating & Cooling

If you want to use less energy during hot weather, our Three Rivers Heating & Cooling pros can assist you. Reach us at 503-213-4433 or contact us online for extra details about our energy-efficient cooling products.