High temperatures are recommended by the US Department of Energy for optimal savings.
Many Americans must make tough choices about how to operate their thermostats and air conditioners as summer approaches and their energy costs soar. For those who are attempting to keep their expenditures down and fight the heat, the U.S. Department of Energy has come up with some advice that may seem a little odd.
Temperatures should be set higher while no one is home, and then kept as high as comfortably feasible when people are in the house. This is the official recommendation to keep cool yet keep expenditures down.
What does it look like in the real world? According to the government-affiliated Energy Star programme, you should maintain your house at 78 degrees while you’re home, 82 degrees when you’re sleeping, and 85 degrees when you’re gone.
Setting the thermostat to a lower temperature doesn’t make sense. Surely lowering the temperature would hasten the cooling process? Because an air conditioner can only actually chill your house down by 15 to 20 degrees, you’re essentially wasting money with significantly declining returns if your thermostat is set lower than that.
On top of that, a greater temperature within the house reduces the amount of heat that enters your home, saving you money and resources.
On a hot day, your impulse may be to turn the thermostat down to 65 degrees, but you won’t notice much of a difference until you see your utility bills, which will be a lot more expensive.
According to the Department of Energy, “the smaller the gap between interior and outside temperatures, the cheaper your total cooling expense will be.”
You may save up to 10% on heating and cooling costs annually by setting your thermostat 7 to 10 degrees higher for eight hours each day, according to the website. A caveat is included in this: The percentage saved is actually higher in mild-climate buildings than extreme-climate ones.
This advice has been around for a long time, and homeowners have always found it perplexing because of how paradoxical it is. You’ll save money in the long run by deferring to the pros on this one.
Check out our picks for the best smart thermostats and best smart air conditioners if you want to remain cool this summer while saving money.