It’s so tempting to turn the thermostat down to freezing cold when you walk into a warm house on a hot day. Don’t do it.
Setting the thermostat at a very low temperature won’t cool your house any faster than setting it on the temperature that you regularly choose to feel comfortable.
In fact, lowering the thermostat beyond the temperature you desire only makes your air conditioner run longer, not faster. You could end up paying more money for an uncomfortably chilly house.
Here are a few other energy-saving tips for summer:
- Install a programmable thermostat, which lets you set the thermostat higher for hours when the house is empty, but lower during your at-home hours. It takes less energy to re-cool your home when you return than it does to keep it cool while you’re gone.
- Set the thermostat at 78 degrees. You’ll save about 15 percent on your cooling bill over a 72-degree setting, while remaining comfortable. (However, if you have a heat pump, your thermostat should not fluctuate more than a degree or two; consult manufacturer directions or contact your electric co-op for more information.)
- Keep lamps and other heat-emitting devices—like TVs and large electronics—away from the thermostat. Most appliances heat up when you use them, so they can trick the thermostat into “thinking” the air is warmer than it really is so it should keep running when the house is already cool.
- Letting the morning sunlight into your bedroom will help you wake up naturally, but it will add to your energy bills during the day. Before you leave the house for the day, close your curtains and window shades to keep the sun’s heat out.
- If you use room air conditioners, fit them snugly into window frames, and close all heating ducts.