For the purposes of keeping your home comfortable without spending a fortune on heating and cooling, many homeowners want to know exactly where they should set their thermostats. Given the extreme temperatures in Phoenix during the summer, it is important that you find a balance that works for you but also keeps your HVAC systems from experiencing too much wear and tear. Here are a few hints to help you program your thermostat effectively throughout the year.
Set the Temperature Just a Little Higher Than You Normally Like It
For most people, having the thermostat set between 68-70 degrees is comfortable, especially when the temperature outside in Phoenix can be over 100. However, it takes a lot of energy for your air conditioner to maintain this temperature throughout the day unless you have a very well-insulated house. The best practice is to bump that number up a few degrees, around 72 degrees. If you are brave enough, bumping it up to 75-80 degrees can make a big difference in your overall energy bills. Typically with a thermostat set around 75 degrees and a fan running, you can stay plenty cool enough during the day to thwart the outside heat. Plus, if you’re going to be outside working or playing, coming into a 75-degree house will still feel refreshingly cool.
Managing Temperature While You’re Away
Perhaps the best way to reduce your spending and usage of your AC is to decide the best temperature to set the thermostat in the summer when you aren’t at home. Using an automated thermostat system, you can actually set your thermostat 8-10 degrees above where you like it while you’re away, and have it cool down only while you are at home. This can save you up to 10% on your power bill if you are away from home 8 hours each day. The most important thing to know is that turning your AC off completely does more harm than good. You are better off keeping it running at a higher temperature than letting your home overheat and then trying to cool it all the way back down at the end of the day. Doing so will lessen the need to conduct costly AC repairs.
What Temperature Should I Set My Thermostat in Winter?
In the winter, instead of turning the temperature up, you should start by turning it down a little bit lower than you would like. You can always wear another sweater or use a blanket to keep you warm. Likewise, you can set your thermostat to a lower temperature while you are away, and let it warm up just before you get home from work, but you definitely do not want to shut your heater off all the way, which could cause damage inside the home. Plan on keeping your house at 65-68 degrees during the winter, or dropping it down to around 60 if you will be away from home. That 5-8 degree difference is where you really begin to see energy savings and a reduction in the heating maintenance and cooling system takes.
Remember: Adjust in Small Increments
Whatever you decide to set your thermostat to this season, the most important thing to remember is that you should make small adjustments over time. Shutting off your unit altogether is always hard on your system because it must work double-time to cool your home back down when you get back. Adjusting the temperature up or down by 5-10 degrees will get you the best results and protect your home from rapid changes in temperature and humidity.
Adjusting the temperature in your home slowly also allows your body to adjust accordingly. If you want to cut your power bills by turning the temperature up slightly during the summer, start by moving the needle just one or two degrees at a time every few days until you reach the desired temperature. Otherwise, everyone in the house might complain that it suddenly feels too hot or too cold for their liking. You can reduce disputes over the temperature setting of your home by making small moves that everyone can acclimate to comfortably until you reach a temperature that everyone feels comfortable with.
By setting your thermostat correctly for each season, you can save a boatload of money on power bills as well as air conditioning maintenance. Remember, living in Phoenix means that your AC unit takes more abuse year-round than most other places, so you will want to schedule regular Phoenix AC service appointments to keep your system healthy. Contact Day & Night Air today to learn more.
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