You’d like to save money on your air conditioning bill this summer, right? But you’re not all that interested in setting your thermostat on “swelter.” And unless you’re trying to shed some pounds to wrestle a lighter weight class in Tokyo next year, it seems silly to have AC and not use it.
As Columbia’s best HVAC pros, we believe you deserve to feel comfortable in your own home. Here are some tips for staying cool—without sweating over your budget.
Turn it up.
It’s absolutely not necessary to crank your thermostat to 89°F, but if your kids are walking around in hoodies and you find yourself looking for a blanket while you’re binging Netflix, you’re wasting energy—and money. By adjusting your thermostat northward, your AC unit will run less frequently. Try bumping up the temp every three or four days by one degree, and see how high you can go before you get complaints.
Turn if off.
OK, don’t turn off your system completely, but make sure it gets plenty of rest when no one’s home. In other words, program your thermostat. (If you don’t have a programmable thermostat, it’s worth picking one up, and we’re happy to help you make the best choice for your needs.)
Check out these tips for the best way to set your thermostat in the summer:
- When you’re home, set the thermostat at 78oF.
- If you’ll be away from home for four or more hours, increase the temp to 88oF, starting 30 minutes before you leave. Note: If you have pets, set the temperature no higher than 82oF.
- Decrease the temperature back to 78oF 30 minutes before you arrive home.
- Increase the temperature by a few degrees 60 minutes before you go to bed.
- Decrease the temperature to 78oF 30 minutes before you get up.
Just as there’s no reason to cool an empty house, there’s no reason to cool empty rooms. Close vents in any rooms you’re not using, and close the doors to those rooms so your AC has less square footage to deal with. While you’re at it, close any blinds and curtains on windows that get direct sunlight. No sense making your AC battle a gigantic nuclear furnace all day.
When we feel hot, we crank the AC. When we’re comfortable, we turn it back down. The key word here is feel; if we perceive the air to be cooler, we’ll use our AC less. By using fans—stand or ceiling—the air around us will feel cooler—simply because it’s moving.
Don’t get impatient.
If you’ve been outside all day, and you come inside to only a sorta-kinda cool house, you’ll be tempted to fling your thermostat all the way down to 54oF. We hate to break it to you, but that’s not going to make you more comfortable any faster than if you just took it down by a degree or two. What’s likely to happen, though, is you’ll forget about your “minor” adjustment—until you wake up in the middle of the night shivering. This is the exact opposite of using your air conditioning less.
Help your AC help you.
Listen, your AC unit works hard to keep you comfortable. Help it work less hard by taking good care of it: change your filter and clean the condenser. Also, try to avoid heating up the house: air dry your clothes and opt for the grill.
Get some expert help.
If your AC seems to run more than it should, have us out to take a look! We’re known for our excellent customer service, and one of our friendly, expert Columbia A/C techs will make sure your AC’s working at peak condition. Give us a call to get started.