78/10.... that is the number to remember as a rule of thumb. Most Energy Companies recommend setting your thermostat at 78 degrees in the middle of summer....of course for many that may seem a bit high and uncomfortable - so we have to take that recommendation with a grain of salt, as we all know that utility companies are more interested in managing capacity to prevent brown/blackouts during the hot summer months and keep their customers and regulators happy, than significantly reducing their revenue flows from reduced energy usage.
10 is the percent of additional energy needed for every degree you keep your home below 78 degrees. More energy usage = higher utility bills. So if you keep your home at 74 degrees vs. 78 degrees during the hot months of July and August, you can expect to have a utility bill about 40% higher than if you kept it at 78 degrees.
So how can we save energy and still have a comfort home that doesn't feel like it is 78 degrees?
- Leverage the "wind chill factor", but using ceiling fans to circulate the air in your home....fans cost much less to run than the A/c system.
- Keep your shades and blinds drawn to reduce the heat load your A/C has to overcome.....especially for the Southern Exposure areas of your home.
- Do your other energy consumption and heat generating activities such as baking, bathes/showers, dishwashers, and laundry chores in the early morning or later in the evening as all those activities generate heat and humidty.
- Keep those air filters clean! Replacing the filters on your HVAC system frequently is the best way to improve your energy efficiency, and longevity of your system. Unfortunately, it is often the most often overlooked maintenance job there is that homeowners should do on their HVAC system.
Changing Air filters don't just keep the air fresh, they reduce the load on your system, and keep your coils and fan blowers wheels clean....if your coil and blower wheel blades are dirty, you significantly reduce the life and energy efficiency of your air conditioning system. We recommend that homeowners look at their filters, monthly....if they have a thin layer of dust and dirt on them, change them.....don't wait unit they are 30% blocked with dirt before changing them.....filters are cheap.
- Have your AC system components checked annually. Even the best insulated homes will waste energy if the HVAC system is in poor operating condition.
Contact Comfort Keepers HVAC today to have your system serviced and tuned up for efficient and reliable service this summer. Or call us to order a case of quality filters that are suitable for your HVAC system...and please don't use the super tight filters that have to have a wire frame on either side of the filter....they can cause efficiency and longevity issues to the same extent as a dirty filter...they are just to tight to allow enough airflow into the duct system.