The number one way to reduce your heating and air conditioning bill is to carefully control the set point of your thermostat on a regular basis. Studies show that doing this can save you around 10-15% of overall consumption of electricity and at the same time allows you to contribute to environmental stewardship by lowering your contribution of Carbon-dioxide emissions due to electricity generation.
Temperature set point should vary during times when you are at home, when you are not at home and during sleeping hours. So, let’s have a look at various temperature set points and strategies that you should adhere to during typical summer and winter days.
The optimum set point for your thermostat during the summer months is 780F. One easy way to regulate temperatures in your house without using the air conditioner is to draw the blinds shut. When daylight is blocked out or reduced, heat gain through windows decreases.
As a child, or at least since I was familiar with the technical aspects of air conditioning and heat gain/loss, I always used to keep the temperature set low during the day. Only when I took on the responsibilities of my growing family, and those utility bills started directly affecting my pocket, did I start to look at it a little differently. Studies show that the level of thermal comfort depends on both radiant temperature and air temperature. At night the radiant temperature is quite low compared to daytime due to no sun, so you can increase the temp and save a few bucks for your next vacation or trip. Typically, you can raise the thermostat temperature 40F during sleeping hours to save on money without compromising comfort.
When you are not home for 4 hours or more, just increase the temperature to 84-860F and you can conserve even more.
The optimum set point for your thermostat when you are awake during winter is 680F, while it can be reduced further during sleeping hours. The best strategy is to bundle up in climate appropriate clothing and use warm blankets overnight. Also, be sure to take full advantage of the sun’s heat by keeping blinds and curtains drawn. Let in that warm sun!
Research shows that lowering the set point by 50F-80F from normal set point during sleeping hours results in healthy sleep.
When you are away from home for 4 hours or more during a winter day, lower the set point to 60-620F for additional savings and energy conservation.
Programmable thermostats can help you a lot and provide convenience by allowing you to pre-set temperature to be effective for different hours of day. Every penny you save could help you build a better future for you and every single unit of energy you save would help in building a better future for the whole world.