How Can I Make My AC More Energy Efficient?

Feb 23, 2024


Jake Nielson


You shouldn’t have to sacrifice comfort or drain your wallet to keep your house at a refreshing temp during warm days.

But what is the right temperature, exactly? We discuss ideas from energy pros so you can determine the best temp for your loved ones.

Here’s what we suggest for the most energy-efficient setting for air conditioning in Warrenton.

Recommended Thermostat Settings for Summer

Most households find setting the thermostat at 72-73 degrees provides ideal comfort. However, if there’s a sizeable difference between your inside and outdoor temperatures, your utility expenses will be greater.

These are our suggestions based on the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and ENERGY STAR®.

While at home: 78 degrees. While that sounds too high, there are methods you can keep your home cool without having the air conditioner running constantly.

Keeping windows and window treatments shut during the day keeps cold air where it needs to be—inside. Some window solutions, such as honeycomb shades or plantation shutters, are made to provide added insulation and enhanced energy efficiency.

If you have ceiling fans in your house, the DOE says you can raise thermostat temperatures about 4 degrees higher without giving up comfort. That’s since they freshen through a windchill effect. As they cool people, not spaces, switch them off when you exit a room.

If 78 degrees still seems too warm at first glance, try conducting an experiment for a week or so. Start by increasing your temperature to 78 degrees while you’re at your house. Then, gradually lower it while following the suggestions above. You might be shocked at how cool you feel at a warmer temperature setting.

While away: 88 degrees. There’s no reason to keep the air conditioning running all day while your house is unoccupied. Switching the temp 7–10 degrees warmer can save you an estimated 5–15% on your electrical expenses, according to the DOE.

When you get home, don’t be tempted to set your thermostat under 78 to cool your residence faster. This isn’t useful and usually results in a higher AC cost.

A programmable thermostat is a useful way to keep your temperature under control, but it requires setting programs. If you don’t utilize programs, you might forget to raise the set temperature when you go.

If you need a handy fix, consider getting a smart thermostat. This thermostat connects with your phone, so it is aware when you’re at your residence and when you’re out. Then it instinctively changes temperature settings for the biggest savings. How much exactly? An estimated $180 annually on heating and cooling, according to ENERGY STAR.

Another advantage of installing a smart thermostat? You can use your phone to monitor and regulate temperature settings from nearly anywhere.

While sleeping: Around 70 degrees. While ENERGY STAR suggests 82 degrees, that may be unbearable for the majority of families. Most people sleep better when their bedroom is chilled, so that’s why the National Sleep Foundation recommends 60–67 degrees. But that might be too cold, based on your pajama and blanket preference.

We recommend using an equivalent test over a week, setting your thermostat higher and slowly decreasing it to pinpoint the best setting for your residence. On cool nights, you may discover keeping windows open at night and using a ceiling fan is a superior idea than using the air conditioner.

More Methods to Conserve Energy During Hot Weather

There are other approaches you can spend less money on utility bills throughout hot weather.

  1. Install an energy-efficient AC system. Central air conditioners only last about 12–15 years and become less efficient as they age. An upgraded air conditioner can keep your house cooler while keeping energy expenses low.

  2. Set regular air conditioner service. Routine air conditioner maintenance keeps your equipment running properly and might help it operate more efficiently. It could also help extend its life span, since it helps technicians to spot seemingly insignificant issues before they lead to a major meltdown.

  3. Change air filters regularly. Read manufacturer instructions for switching your air filter. A clogged filter can lead to your system short cycling, or switch on and off too frequently, and drive up your utility.

  4. Inspect attic insulation levels. Nearly 90% of homes in the USA don’t have adequate insulation, according to the Insulation Institute. Most southern climates need 13–14” of attic insulation, while northern climates require 16–18”.

  5. Have your ductwork checked. Ductwork that has come apart over time can let cold air into your attic, walls or crawl space. This can lead to huge comfort problems in your home, like hot and cold spots.

  6. Seal holes, doors and windows. Keep humid air in its place by plugging holes. You can also caulk or weather strip doors to trap more conditioned air within your home.

Use Less Energy This Summer with Schraer Heating & Air Conditioning

If you are looking to use less energy this summer, our Schraer Heating & Air Conditioning professionals can assist you. Get in touch with us at 636-456-5041 or contact us online for extra info about our energy-saving cooling products.