Is This a Normal Temp? Money Saving AC Tips
Written by: Jen Johnson
I get teased all the time because I keep my thermostat set at 78 or 79 in the summer. I don’t apologize for that. According to centralhtg.com, “During the warm weather, it is generally recommended that you set your home's cooling system to 78 degrees Fahrenheit when you are home. If you will be out of the house for four or more hours, consider raising the setting so the cooling system only comes on if the temperature tops 88 degrees Fahrenheit.”
See, I’m doing what’s RECOMMENDED!! It’s not that I don’t love a nice, cold house, it’s because I’m frugal. It’s estimated that for every degree higher you set your thermostat over 78 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer months, you could save approximately six to eight percent off your home energy bill, per degree.
I often work from home, so I generally keep it consistently at the same temp, but if you’re gone for a big chunk of time during the day, keeping your house warmer while you are away can help you save even more money this summer. According to directenergy.com, turning your thermostat up seven to 10 degrees higher while you are away at work (or any time you're out of the house for more than two hours at a time) can help you save as much as 10 percent on cooling costs. With a programmable thermostat, you can have your thermostat return to 78 degrees before you arrive home to prevent discomfort.
If 78 seems high to you (and based on comments I’ve gotten my whole life, it does to most of you!), you can make your air conditioner more effective by preventing warm air from getting into your home and cool air from escaping. Follow these simple tips to keep your home cool and comfortable.
- Hang up window treatments that block sunlight and prevent heat from entering through your windows.
- Install fresh or replace old weatherstripping and caulk around doors and windows to keep your home sealed.
- Limit use of appliances that generate heat, like the oven and stove, until after 8pm. In the summer, try to grill outside as much as possible.
- Install ceiling fans to increase cooling efficiency.
- Replace cooling units with energy-efficient models.