Comfort vs. money. It is an ongoing battle in the summer months when it comes to your air conditioning thermostat settings. The heat index in the Raleigh / Durham / Morrisville, North Carolina area is over 100 degrees this week.
When you lower the thermostat in this hot weather, it raises your electric bill, plain and simple. So here are some tips for saving money, but still staying comfortable while we are in the middle of a hot summer.
- Try keeping your thermostat as high as 74- 78° F when you are home.
- Raise it about 5 degrees when you’re at work or away.
- Try just 1 or 2 degrees in either direction until you find your preferred temperature. (Each degree can count as a couple percent on your energy bill.)
- Use your ceiling fan. In conjunction with your air conditioning, a ceiling fan will allow you to raise the thermostat setting about 4 degrees with no reduction in comfort. Turn off the ceiling fan when you leave the room as fans cool people, not rooms.
- Seal cracks and openings to prevent warm air from leaking into your home. Add caulk or weather stripping to seal air leaks around suspect doors and windows.
- Other heat sources include: waste heat given off by appliances and incandescent lightbulbs, and heat from sunlight shining through the windows.
- Open windows at night if it is cooler outside, but close them on hot days and keep your shades and curtains drawn when it’s sunny outside.
- Use the exhaust fans in your kitchen and bathroom when you’re cooking or taking a shower to remove heat and humidity.
- Cook outside on your grill.
- Lower your thermostat before you get home using smartphone app.
- Schedule regular maintenance for your AC unit!