Energy costs are always high in the middle of summer when you have a central air conditioner. While it may seem there’s little you can do to control costs, we have a couple of ideas. First, it’s important to see that your air conditioner gets regular maintenance, appointments for a tune-up with a trained technician each and every year. You’ll also need to change the filter once a month.
The rest is a job for the whole family. Finding an efficient thermostat setting can greatly reduce air conditioning costs, but it may take some time at first. See what we mean below, and call our air conditioning contractors in Scotch Plains to learn more!
Upgrade an Older Model
First things first: if you’ve got a thermostat you cannot program in advance, we think it’s time for an upgrade. It’s definitely worth a change if you’ve got one that requires the turn of a dial or movement or a switch to line up to just the right temperature. You’re likely often a bit off target, which can hike up your bills in unexpected ways.
Even many digital thermostats are not programmable. Keep in mind that changing out your thermostat means you should enlist the help of a professional. While it may seem like a DIY project, there are many things that can go wrong!
- The AC equipment must be a match for the thermostat type.
- The thermostat must be set in an optimal location with low heat influence from outside sources.
- Any zoning, dehumidifier equipment, and other HVAC add-ons need to be factored in during thermostat installation.
Pick a Temperature
Now comes the part that sounds the easiest but may be the most difficult, depending on the size of your family. You should all come to a decision about what makes for a comfortable thermostat setting that will help with the household budget.
In the summer, we’ve found that many people are setting their thermostats far lower than is necessary. You may think that setting it down to 65° will cool the home faster, but this just isn’t true! You only end up wasting money by running the AC for longer (not at a higher speed).
Find a temperature that everyone in the home can live with: the warmest temperature at which everyone feels comfortable. We’ve found that many families can live with a setting of 78° or 77°F, although this varies when you have small children or elderly relatives at home.
Learn How to Use It
Now comes a part that many programmable thermostat owners have not spent much time on: becoming familiar with the options on your thermostat. It may seem difficult, but your technician can help you understand your thermostat a bit more during installation or at a routine visit. Otherwise, find your manual by searching for the model number of the thermostat online.
Once you know how to set the thermostat in advance, it’s time to put in your schedule. The goal is to keep the thermostat going at an efficient, comfortable temperature while you are home and to raise it when you leave. Most experts recommend raising the temperature by about 10° when you are away or asleep.
A smart thermostat can do the work for you! It can learn your patterns in a short time, and you can adjust it from your smartphone, wherever you are! Ask your technician about whether a smart thermostat is a good fit for your AC system.
For thermostat and air conditioning services in Scotch Plains, call Max Sr & Paul Schoenwalder Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning, A Corp.