Balancing your comfort and your cooling costs is challenging as north Texas heats up. And figuring out the right thermostat setting can feel like a hassle, especially with your hectic schedule. That’s why we’ve put together this guide with expert recommendations to make improving energy efficiency a breeze.
Here’s what we recommend for the most energy-efficient setting for air conditioning in DFW.
Best Temperature Settings for Air Conditioners During Summer
When setting your thermostat, most homeowners find 72 is a good temperature for air conditioning. However, you may need to adjust that setting based on weather conditions. The bigger the difference between indoor and outdoor temperatures, the higher your energy bill will be.
You might also be wondering if it’s better to keep your thermostat at a constant temperature in the summer. This keeps your home at a consistent temperature but could also make your electrical bill expensive.
Based on guidance from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and ENERGY STAR®, we recommend adjusting settings during the day, at night and when you’re away.
When You’re at Home: 78 Degrees
This recommended setting might seem warm, but there are ways you can stay cool without having your air conditioner running all the time. These include:
- Installing energy-efficient window treatments, like plantation shutters or honeycomb shades
- Keeping window treatments closed during the day, especially on south-facing windows
- Turn on ceiling fans when you’re in the room
We know that having your thermostat close to 80 degrees might seem uncomfortable. That’s why we recommend doing an experiment for about a week. Start by setting your thermostat at 78 and then gradually lowering it as the week goes on. You might find you’re comfortable at a higher setting.
When You’re Away: 80-Plus Degrees
If there’s nobody home, there’s no reason to keep your air conditioner running (unless you have pets). Turning up the thermostat 7-10 degrees when you’re gone can save you between 5-15% on your cooling costs, according to the DOE.
When you get back, don’t set your thermostat below 78 hoping that your home will cool down more quickly. This isn’t efficient and typically just drives up your electrical bill.
If you have a programmable thermostat but have it constantly on “hold” or always forget to turn it down, upgrading to a smart thermostat is a wise decision.
That’s because it could help you save around $180 each year on heating and cooling, according to ENERGY STAR. If you’re thinking about getting one, check with your local utility provider for valuable rebates that could make it free or close to free.
While it depends on which model you choose, most smart thermostats learn your temperature preferences and then create an energy-efficient schedule to match, whether you’re at home or away. Plus, you can monitor and adjust settings from just about anywhere using your phone.
While You’re Sleeping: 70-Plus Degrees
ENERGY STAR recommends 82 degrees while sleeping. But that might be too uncomfortable for most people, since you typically sleep better at a cooler temperature. The National Sleep Foundation says 60-67 is a good temperature for sleep, but that might be too cold for you and increase your cooling bill. As a compromise, 70-plus degrees is a good setting.
Like we recommended for finding a comfortable temperature during the day, set your thermostat high and gradually lower it over a week. During cooler nights, you can use lighter blankets, a ceiling fan and open the window to keep electrical costs in check.
6 Ways to Save More Energy During the Summer
You can do more than just raising your thermostat to save money on utilities during the summer.
- Upgrade your air conditioner. With proper maintenance, your air conditioner could last 15 years or longer. But it becomes less efficient as it ages. In fact, the DOE says replacing a 10-year-old air conditioner could save you 20–40% on cooling costs. Between special offers, rebates and financing for qualified customers, air conditioning installation with Diamond Blue Air might be more affordable than you think it is. We proudly partner with Lennox® and American® Standard, two brands known for their energy efficiency and dependability.
- Schedule routine maintenance. Air conditioning maintenance helps ensure worry-free performance, even on the hottest days. It also keeps your warranty valid, may boost energy efficiency and could even help your air conditioner last longer. With our Diamond 360 Protection Plan, we’ll take care of your maintenance needs and you’ll enjoy exclusive discounts.
- Regularly replace your air filter. Clogged filters can force your air conditioner to consume more energy and could even decrease your indoor air quality. We recommend replacing your air filter every 30 to 90 days, depending on the type of filter you use.
Flat filters should be replaced monthly, while pleated filters should be replaced every three months. Not sure when you last changed your filter? Switch off your air conditioner at the thermostat, remove the filter and hold it up to the light. If you can’t see light through it, replace it.
- Check attic insulation levels. Nearly 90% of homes in the United States don’t have enough attic insulation, which helps keep your home cool during the summer. The Insulation Institute recommends homes in warmer climates have at least 13-14” of insulation.
- Have your ductwork inspected by a professional. Leaky ductwork can cost you, according to ENERGY STAR. In fact, the typical house can lose 20-30% of its air through leaks, holes and bad connections. Some of the most common places for leaks include where registers meet vents in the floor, walls and ceiling.
- Seal your home. Adding weather stripping or caulk around doors and windows keeps warm air where it belongs—outside.
At Diamond Blue, our professionals are always looking for ways to keep your home more comfortable and your energy bills low. Want to chat with us about energy-efficient upgrades? Or maybe it’s time to get a free estimate for air conditioning installation? Give us a call at 469-200-3100 to get started today!