My Energy Journey – Week 9
By Mary Ripley on September 7, 2017
A couple weeks ago, we talked about how to save money using a programmable thermostat because it’s easily the best investment with the quickest payback. We just skimmed over the bare basics of a programmable thermostat, so let’s talk a little more about the best ways to use this product so it works for you and won’t interrupt your comfort.
Let’s start with some cooling tips:
It’s best to first determine the times of day that you are home the most and then decide the temperature points that make you feel comfortable. Most programmable thermostats can store multiple daily settings, so you can turn cooling up at night while you’re sleeping and turn the ceiling fan on to supplement your comfort. Before you wake up, program the thermostat to bring the temperature back up to your liking. Then, when you know you are living for work or going out, bring the system temperature down. Then, reverse it in the afternoon to be at comfortable temperature by the time you get home. Once you get the correct temperatures, you’ll be thanking me!
- If you have central air, set the fan to shut off at the same time as the compressor by setting the ‘auto’ mode on the fan setting. You should not use the central fan for room circulation; use your ceiling fans!
- In addition to air-conditioning, consider an attic fan to help cool down your house.
- Set your thermostat to as high a temperature as you feel comfortable and ensure humidity control.
- Setting your thermostat at a colder setting than normal DOES NOT cool your house any faster. It just costs you money!
- Consider replacing your old air conditioner for an ENERGY STAR energy efficient model.
Okay, how about some heating tips (the nice weather is soon going to be gone!):
- Clean or replace filters on furnaces and air conditioners once a month, or as recommended.
- Clean warm-air registers, baseboard heaters and radiators. Make sure they aren’t blocked by furniture, carpeting or drapes!
- Turn off the exhaust fans and consider installing high-efficiency low-noise models.
- Keep drapes and shades facing south open in the winter and closed in the summer.
- Consider replacing old furnaces with an ENERGY STAR energy-efficient model.