One of the foremost questions confusing most homeowners is the right temperature at which their thermostat should be set during the day when they are at work or just away from home. This is something that even Bay Area residents need to think about.
It is obvious that you are wasting money on energy to cool or heat your home for long periods of time when you away. But, it can be confusing to understand the right temperature.
Be in Sync With The Temperatures Outside
The US Department of Energy recommends setting the thermostat to a comfortable high during summers and a comfortable low during winters. This is to reduce the difference in temperature inside and outside your home, which can result in significant overall energy savings. In short, you should strive to set the temperature as close as possible to match the outside temperature.
You are less likely to use energy the closer these two numbers are, which in turn helps you save money. You can probably save up to 10% each year if you adjust your thermostat 7 – 10 degrees Fahrenheit every 8 hours as estimated by DOE.
For instance, during summers if you generally keep the thermostat at around 75 degrees F, turn it up to 83 degrees when you are not at home. Try to set the thermostat as close to the outside temperature as possible. This will help you save on energy bills. However, make sure the temperature you set is adequate to keep humidity under control in your home.
This holds true for winters as well, when you should turn down the thermostat to 65-68 degrees F when you leave for work. Homes tend to heat up quickly with circulating warm air adding to the overall comfort. You would find that you can keep the thermostat much lower without losing out on comfort.
Consider Smart Thermostats
Smart thermostats or programmable thermostats can make the whole process a lot easier. You can adjust these thermostats to automatically change their settings when you go for work. The thermostat would kick in an hour before you return from work so that the temperature in your home remains comfortable. The best part about these thermostats is that they can be programmed to accommodate weekends when you are home a lot longer.
It is important that you refrain from giving into the impulse of setting the thermostat at a temperature colder than normal in a bid to cool your home quickly when you return. This will not help towards cooling your home quickly, but will cool it excessively by consuming more than normal energy. That is equivalent to wasting money.
Be Open to Air Circulation
It is good to switch off your cooling system completely on days that are moderately or bearably hot. You could open your windows to let breeze flow through your home and freshen up the place. You should also consider investing in a small ceiling fan or a pedestal fan to keep the air circulating.
Always remember to keep curtains and shades drawn to prevent the hot sun from baking your home from the inside out. This will enable you to set the thermostat at a higher temperature.