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Are Your Thermostat Settings Hurting AC Efficiency?

temperature-gaugeHere at Comfort Flow, our goal is to help our customers be as comfortable as possible, while doing so efficiently. In our last blog post, we cited some methods to do just this. One of the ideas we shared was in regards to good thermostat placement. A thermostat placed directly where sunlight hits, or in a secluded and cool area of your home, will not help your cooling efficiency.

In addition to thermostat placement, you’d do well to consider your thermostat settings. When you understand the best way to set an program your thermostat, you’ll be able to use your air conditioner in a way that will save you money on your cooling bills, while still keeping your household comfortable.
Link back to last blog post—refer to proper thermostat placement but also how thermostat settings play a role. Read on to learn more!

The Big Thermostat Mistake

There is a thermostat error that homeowners too often make, aside from having it installed in the wrong spot—lowering the thermostat down to one of its coldest settings when the home feels too warm. The standard thermostat can go down to 62°F, but that doesn’t mean it should.

There are a couple of issues with setting your thermostat at such a low temperature. First off, this cold setting doesn’t do anything to make the air conditioner work any faster to deliver cooling, despite what homeowners too often believe. All this is doing is making the cooling system’s compressor run longer, until the thermostat senses that the temperature goal has been reached.

The thing is, depending on how warm it is outside, that temperature may never be reached, so the compressor will just keep running! This wastes power, and you end up with a house that’s too cold to even be comfortable in.

The second problem with this is that the later the difference in temperature between inside and outside is, the faster the living space gains heat. When you set the thermostat temperature higher though, you close the difference between the two and therefore, slow down heat that is entering the home.

Where Should You Set Your Thermostat?

The U.S. Department of Energy shares some best practices for thermostat settings in order to boost and maintain good efficiency. During times when you’re at home and you require cooling, try setting the thermostat no lower than 78°F, the temperature where most people are able to stay comfortable. You might even consider setting it even higher when you’re not home or when you’re sleeping. This could save you a significant amount in energy costs!

“How Else Can I Boost Efficiency?”

The tips we shared this week in addition to this thermostat advice will help boost your cooling system’s efficiency and help you save money, but it’s not the only thing you can do! Two other tips we often share with homeowners to increase air conditioning efficiency include:

  • Close Your Curtains: Especially for south-facing windows. The sun radiates a good amount of heat right into your home during the summer months, causing the house to warm up faster than it would otherwise, and your air conditioner to cycle on sooner.
  • Use Your Ceiling Fans: While ceiling fans alone cannot lower the temperature of the room they’re in, they can help more evenly distribute the air coming from your AC vents, so you don’t have to set the thermostat as low.

For expert HVAC service in Salem, OR, contact Comfort Flow Heating!

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