One of our goals at Raleigh Heating & Air, Inc. is to help our customers enjoy comfort without wasting energy. The two don’t have to be mutually exclusive! In fact, if you haven’t already arranged for your air conditioning maintenance in Wake Forest, NC to prepare for the hot weather, you already have an excellent way to start saving money as soon as the summer begins. A tuned-up air conditioning system won’t lose energy efficiency from wear and tear until extremely late in its service life.
There’s another way you can begin saving energy with your AC, and it doesn’t require much more than understanding the best way to set and program your cooling system using the thermostat. Unfortunately, many people misunderstand how the thermostat and AC operate, and this leads them to programming settings that waste energy without delivering ideal comfort levels.
The Big Thermostat Error
Here’s the thermostat mistake people most often make: lowering the thermostat down to one of its coldest settings whenever the house feels too warm. The standard thermostat can go down to 60°F—but you shouldn’t use that setting!
There are two problems with putting the thermostat at such a low temperature. The first is that such a cold setting does nothing to make the air conditioning system work harder or faster at delivering cooling. All it does is make the AC’s compressor run longer until the thermostat senses the temperature goal has been reached. This wastes power and ends up with a house that’s too cold to be comfortable.
The second problem is that the larger the difference in temperature between the inside and outside of the house, the faster the house gains heat. When you set the thermostat temperature higher, you close the difference between the two and slow down heat entering the house. This makes it easier to maintain cooler indoor temperatures without requiring the almost constant running of the AC’s energy-draining compressor.
Advice for Thermostat Settings
The U.S. Department of Energy has some good guidelines for energy-conserving thermostat settings. During times when you’re home and require cooling, set the thermostat to 78°F. You can adjust it up and down to find the best comfort zone, but the higher you can keep it, the better. Program a setback temperature for when you’re not home or when you’re asleep of 7°F to 10°F warmer. Using these settings should net you a 10% savings during the summer. It helps to have a programmable thermostat, so we recommend an upgrade if you have an outdated slider or dial manual thermostat.
Another Thermostat Update
If you want to make programming the thermostat to the best energy-saving settings even easier and more effective, we recommend contacting our specialists to find out about putting in a “smart” thermostat. What is that? A smart thermostat is a system that analyzes your temperature setting patterns and then develops its own program to maximize savings. Smart thermostats can even use external information (like weather forecasts) to make adjustments. These thermostats provide you with reports of your savings and general energy efficiency.
Let our skilled team assist you with your air conditioning system this summer so you enjoy cooling without breaking the bank.
Raleigh Heating & Air, Inc. has served Wake County and the Surrounding Areas for over 20 years.