Do you make sure the lights are off every time you leave a room, but you're still left wondering why your energy bills are off the charts? If this scenario sounds familiar, as it is with many homeowners, use this guide to determine the best thermostat setting for your home from one season to the next and unlock the potential for greater energy savings.
Unlock Energy Savings
The key to unlocking energy savings with the best thermostat setting for the season is finding the happy medium between turning back or increasing the temperature to curb energy consumption while maintaining a comfortable atmosphere in your home.
The U.S. Department of Energy states that you may reduce energy consumption by up to 10 percent when you turn back (in heating months) or increase (in cooling months) the thermostat 7 to 10 degrees for eight consecutive hours a day. When you consider the hours available in each 24-hour period to adjust the thermostat for savings, such as during working and sleeping hours, there's great potential to lower your utility bill.
Summer Thermostat Setting
For summer months, 78 degrees is the target temperature for saving energy while maintaining home comfort. If this temperature is comfortable for you, then you may implement a summer energy-saving plan based on turning up the thermostat during non-usage hours from 78 degrees.
Another factor to consider is the electricity rate charged by utility companies. Many utility companies are implementing programs that adjust the electricity rate charged based on high-demand peak watt hours, typically 5-7 p.m. So, in addition to turning up the thermostat during non-usage hours, the best thermostat setting during peak watt hours may be a little higher than 78 degrees to curb electricity consumption during this more expensive time period.
Here's a sample energy-saving plan for the best thermostat setting during the summer:
- During working hours, set the thermostat to 88 degrees for at least eight hours a day.
- While you're home, move the thermostat to a more comfortable 78 degrees.
- During sleeping hours, change the temperature to 82 degrees for at least eight hours.
- If you're away from home for extended periods, leave the thermostat at 88 degrees for maximum savings and minimal usage.
Winter Thermostat Setting
The same practice of maintaining consistent thermostat settings for greatest energy savings should be used during the winter season, too. A temperature of 68 degrees is the benchmark from which to garner energy savings. These sample thermostat settings could save more than 10 percent of your heating costs, according to Energy.gov statistics:
- Working hours: Thermostat set to 58 to 60 degrees for at least eight consecutive hours.
- Comfort temperature: 68 degrees.
- Sleeping hours: 60 to 62 degrees for eight hours a night.
- Other hours away from home: 58 to 60 degrees.
Comfort and Energy-Efficiency Tips
You may find it easier to maintain consistent energy-saving thermostat settings when you implement other methods for maximizing home comfort. Many homeowners use ceiling fans to help keep their homes cool during the summer, but ceiling fans also help circulate heated air during the winter season. Switch the rotation of the fan during the winter so that air is drawn up toward the ceiling. This forces warmer air, which naturally rises to the ceiling, back down to the lower portion of rooms with the occupants.
Humidity levels are another factor to consider when you want to curb energy costs. During the summer season in the greater Chicago area, indoor humidity can become quite high and uncomfortable. A whole-house dehumidifier maintains optimal indoor humidity, which boosts comfort and may lower the cooling bill by placing less load on the air conditioning system.
If dry winter air is a problem in your home, consider a whole-house humidifier to increase humidity during the winter season. Humid air feels warmer than dry air at the same temperature, so boosting humidity during the winter may lower heating costs.
Air filters are associated with clean indoor air quality, but a clean air filter also promotes free airflow through the forced-air HVAC system and your living spaces. This helps reduce energy consumption and lessen the burden placed on your cooling and heating systems. Make sure that you check your air filter monthly and change or clean it as necessary.
For more information on the best thermostat setting for your home during summer and winter seasons and for other useful energy-saving tips, contact a Comfort24-7 contractor today. We provide quick and reliable service and installation for residents of greater Chicago, as well as Northwest Indiana and Southwest Michigan. We're ready to help with your HVAC needs.