Please welcome guest writer, Debra Lewis.
We all like to save money, but we also like to stay comfortable at home. However, staying comfortable at home doesn’t have to mean cranking up the air conditioning in the summer or running the heater all winter long. Stay cozy and save money all year round using these four tips.
Often when it is brutally cold or blistering hot outside, we want to come home to a house that offers a dramatic temperature difference. When temperatures creep into the 90-degree range, many people like to turn the thermostat down into the low 60s. Likewise, in the winter, cold temperatures make us want to thaw out in an 80-degree home.
However, these temperatures can never be maintained for long, as you’ll eventually feel too hot or too cold. Overcompensating for the extreme temperatures outside can put extreme pressure on your HVAC system and cause your energy bills to soar through the roof.
Find a Comfortable Range
Rather than overcompensating temporarily in response to harsh outdoor weather, find a temperature range that is comfortable for your whole family. OSHA advises that most people are comfortable between 68 and 76 degrees. Poll your family members and find a range of about six to 10 degrees in which everyone agrees he or she can be comfortable indoors.
Keep It Steady
Once you’ve found a comfortable range where everyone can be happy, keep your home within that range year-round. Keeping your home within the same temperature range throughout the year ensures that there will be no wasteful spending of energy by cranking up or turning down the thermostat. Whether it’s winter or summer, keeping a steady range means that your HVAC unit won’t have to work so hard to reach an indoor temperature that is dramatically different from the outside temperature.
For example, if it is 90 degrees outside and your thermostat is turned down to 62, your air conditioning unit has to power through 28 degrees to get to your ideal setting. But if your steady range throughout the year is between 68 and 76 degrees, then your unit only has to work hard enough to change the indoor temperature by 14 degrees.
Turn It Off
Once your home is within your comfortable temperature range, turn your system off. It’s a commonly believed myth that you should leave your HVAC unit running at the same temperature all day long. Rather, turn your unit off when it is no longer needed. Then turn it back on if the temperature gets too far out of your ideal range during the day.
If you find that your home does not stay within your ideal range for very long and you need to keep turning on your HVAC unit, it may be time to get your unit serviced. By checking your sealing and insulation and consulting with an HVAC professional, you can ensure that your unit is working as efficiently as possible to maintain the comfort of your home.
By understanding your HVAC system, not overcompensating for extreme outdoor weather, and maintaining a steady indoor environment, you can save money and live comfortably all year round.