Living in Southwest Florida, you know about the heat and humidity. During the summer months, the conditions outside can be downright oppressive—not to mention, expensive, and getting more costly. Florida Power and Light, which serves millions of households across the Sunshine State, has proposed a series of rate hikes that would have its customers paying an extra $18 a month. If you’re trying to stay relatively cool without taking a major financial hit, you might have heard old credos to turn off your air conditioner during peak hours or at night to save money. In a world full of good-intentioned, yet uninformed opinions, are there any real experts that can offer you advice on setting your thermostat for both comfort and energy efficiency? Luckily, Wayne Martin & Son Signature Air Conditioning has compiled this list of information you need to know about your home’s thermostat settings.
Maybe you’ve planned out an elaborate vacation to get away from the Florida heat. Perhaps you are leaving for your tropical honeymoon or a cross-continental trek across Europe. Maybe you’re one of the hundreds of thousands of snowbirds. No matter what the reason is, if you intend on being away from your home for more than two days, your HVAC system needs a little bit of time and attention before you leave.
Often when people are going out of town for several days they think they will save money by turning off the air conditioner or turning it way up. We recommend that you set your thermostat to cool at no higher than 78 degrees Fahrenheit. Resist the temptation to turn off your air conditioner or set the thermostat any higher. Turning your thermostat into the 80s might save you money in electricity in the short run, but in the sub-tropical climate of Southwest Florida, those high temperatures will encourage the development of mold while you are away.
How should I set my thermostat?
Often times during the hottest months, people who are home throughout the day will keep pushing the temperature down and up all day long. But this is hard on your AC and it forces it to keep cycling. It’s a better idea to choose a temperature, typically between 75 and 78 as a sweet spot, and then use ceiling fans and standing fans during the hottest part of the day. This additional circulation of the air can lower a room’s temperature by as much as four degrees. Not to mention that fans keep the air from becoming stagnant, which can make your home feel stuffy.
When it comes to saving money on your utility bills, the temperature you keep your thermostat on makes a difference. If you and your family are gone at work and school for the bulk of the day, you don’t want to spend money cooling a home that is empty. On the other hand, you also don’t want to come home and have a house that’s unbearably stuffy and humid. So you have to find a happy balance in terms of keeping your thermostat higher during the day and then lower when you get home. A smart thermostat can help, since you can program it via your phone to start lowering the temperature an hour before you get home. The best temperatures to stay comfortable but lower your utility bills are between 74 and 78 degrees.
How can I lower my electrical bill?
Make sure you have the perfect type of thermostat for your HVAC system. Don’t just take the cheapest one on the market that is compatible. Investing in a higher-quality, programmable thermostat gives you more control over the indoor climate of your home. Additionally, invest the time into understanding your thermostat’s settings, and programming them. Programming your thermostat to schedule the right temperatures at the right times, and do all the work for you automatically, will save you both money and time. Everybody forgets things, but once fully programmed, your thermostat always will remember.
Here are a few more power-saving tips from Martin & Son:
Close your blinds: In sunny Florida, it can be tempting to let the sunshine in to have a bright sunny home. But unfortunately, that can be a costly mistake in terms of your utility bills. Your best bet is to have good window treatments, blinds, curtains or shutters, and to keep them closed during the hottest part of the day. Believe it or not, the amount of sunlight entering your home can directly affect its temperature. During the day keep your blinds closed, then open them at night when it gets cooler.
Switch to LED lights: Sometimes we overlook the simplest solution to lowering the utility bills and the temperature of the house. It could be a simple as changing your light bulbs. LED lightbulbs and lights don’t get as hot as other types of lights, which can affect the temperature of your home. Moreover, LED lights are more energy efficient.
Timing is everything: This is especially true when it comes to using your home’s appliances during the day. We recommend only using large-scale appliances such as your oven and dryer in the morning or the evening. Also important is not overloading your circuits by using the dishwasher at the same time as you use the washing machine and dryer during the hottest part of the day. These appliances can add heat to your entire home, and they also spike your utility usage during a time when the prices are the highest.
Keeping you comfortable in Fort Myers
We know it can get hot and humid here in Southwest Florida. But if you have any questions about your thermostat or air conditioner settings contact the experts at Wayne Martin & Son Signature Air Conditioning. We are here to help. Florida’s sub-tropical climate can be appealing but it also can lead to costly utility bills. That’s why we offer yearly maintenance contracts to keep your HVAC running smoothly, and at peak energy efficiency. Give us a call for AC maintenance and repair at 239-462-4068. #acmaintenance #acrepair #SWFLHVAC or visit www.waynemartinandson.com
Wayne Martin & Son Signature Air Conditioning is proud to serve residents of Fort Myers and the surrounding communities in Southwest Florida, including Cape Coral, Lehigh Acres, Alva, and Bonita Springs.