Optimal HVAC temperatures to save money on your account
Published : 08.04.2020.
In hot summer or cold winter temperatures, homeowners tend to reach for the thermostat and crank it up or down to make it more comfortable. A few weeks later, they discover that their energy bill has skyrocketed and they wonder why it has increased drastically.
The equation is simple; the more indoor temperatures differ from the outdoor temperatures, the more expensive your services will be. It’s hard to find a temperature range that keeps your house comfortable without increasing the cost. So here are some tips and alternatives to heating and cooling that will help you get comfortable during the extreme seasons without increasing your bill.
# 1 Take advantage of sleeping time and time outside your home to save energy.
When your family is sleeping or out of the house, you do not need a HVAC system to operate at maximum capacity. Although you may enjoy returning home to a preheated or chilled home, you will save a lot of money by resting your heating and cooling system while you are away. In fact, by increasing the indoor temperature from only 7 to 10 degrees when you leave the house for a few hours, you will be able to save up to 10% on your bill during the cooling season.
According to research, the body experiences a more peaceful sleep at night when it reaches thermoneutrality – a state of thermal balance between a person and their environment. To achieve this condition, the surrounding nighttime environment should rest at 30 ° C with minimal clothing and bedding, or 16 ° C to 19 ° C with pajamas and light blankets. So, one way to get some light sleep and save energy during the summer (cooling season) is to raise the thermostat to a warmer temperature of, say, 27 ° C, dress in lighter pajamas and cover yourself with a sheet. If you are too toasty, use a blown fan breeze to fall asleep. In winter, bundle up and turn the thermostat down.
# 2 Invest in a programmable thermostat and adjust it to your schedule.
If you do not want to manually turn off the thermostat every time you go out for a day or retreat to bed, consider investing in a programming thermostat like the Nest Learning Thermostat. This saves you booting up while you are away, but you also do not return home or wake up in a greasy or cool house. The thermostat will start heating or cooling the environment shortly before you arrive, or just before your waking time.
When you’re at home in the summer, it is recommended to stay at 25 °C. This might seem like an unpleasant indoor temperature for the summer, but it actually prevents heat from entering your home as quickly as possible and reduces the energy needed to cool things down when you decide to lower your thermostat. In winter, 20 °C is a good temperature to stay at home, but you can lower it slightly when you plan to be away from home – just stay above 13 °C to keep your pipes from freezing.
# 3 Experiment with a thermostat to determine what temperatures your family can handle comfortably.
If you’re worried about your growing energy bills, it’s time to experiment. Humans are comfortable between 22 ° C and 26 ° C in light clothing. See what temperatures your family can tolerate in the HVAC system by raising the temperature by just a few degrees each day until you reach energy-saving temperatures. Your family may not notice a 4 degree change in temperature if it occurs within this range.
Once you reach a temperature that your family reacts to negatively, you will know that you have found your limitations. Stay a little above or below that temperature to save energy.
# 4 Calculate the cost of your preferred temperatures and make informed changes.
Before settling on a summer or winter temperature for your home, consider this: For each step of raising or lowering your thermostat, you raise or lower your HVAC power supply costs by 3% to 5%. For example, if you keep the temperature indoors at 22 ° C during the summer and your current bill is $ 1500, raise the thermostat only 4 degrees and you can save $ 300 on your next bill.
While this may not sound too much, the savings over time add up to a considerable amount of money. If your savings are not worth it, having this information will at least help you feel in control of your HVAC bills and allow you to make more informed decisions about how to use heating and cooling.
# 5 Find other ways to make yourself comfortable.
When you have decided to reduce your HVAC costs, it is time to find new ways to stay comfortable in the heat or cold that will not make you suffer and will not cost you anything. Here are some of the best tips:
- Make use of fans
- Use a dehumidifier to cool the house
- Wear lightweight clothing
- Keep blinds closed during the day
- Make sure all weatherstripping seals properly
- Eat a chilled treat
- Stay hydrated
- Dress in layers, wear socks and use blankets
- Cover hard floor surfaces with rugs
- Seal all cracks in windows and doors
- Keep curtains and doors closed
- Cook with stove and oven
- Spend time upstairs — the destination for rising heat
- Drink warm beverages