Let Your Thermostat Help You Save Energy in Summer
It doesn’t always occur to people to check their home’s thermostat in summer, but this instrument knows no season. During the warm months, saving energy is just as important as during the rest of the year.
People are always thinking of ways to compensate for lowering the thermostat in winter – pulling out extra blankets, using space heaters and wearing sweaters. But items such as electric fans to circulate cooled air through your house, can help you keep your thermostat setting higher in summer.
For instance, turn up your thermostat setting when you leave for work every day. An energy-saving 85 degrees Fahrenheit makes sense when the house is empty. When you return, setting the device to 78 degrees will keep most people comfortable on hot days. You can use a window fan to exhaust hot air that’s built up during the day.
It’s estimated that shifts in thermostat settings can save anywhere from 5 to 15 percent on your utility bills if you leave it at a higher level for about eight hours at a time. That’s less than the average workday if you factor in commute time.
Use fans and thermostats wisely
If air conditioning is needed, run it at the same time as your fans to maximize the cooling effect. You’ll find you don’t need to run the AC as much as you think. Once you get it to the temperature you want, you can turn off the unit and let the fans continue to spread around the cooled air. Fans with oscillation are particularly effective in these situations because they cover a widespread area, sometimes pushing the air into adjacent rooms.
To take the guesswork out of cooling your home, install a programmable thermostat to adjust the energy output to a pre-set schedule. This may require some adjustment as you move between seasons, but it will be worth it when you look at your electric bill.
You can also install individual room thermostats that allow you to close off unused rooms and to have cool settings in some spaces and warmer settings in others. The principle behind room thermostats is the same as zoned heating, which heats a home room-by-room. Rooms that aren’t being used aren’t heated with the rest of the house.
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