To find out more about achieving an energy efficient home, check out our tips below. Remember, the goal is to achieve energy efficiency without sacrificing your comfort or health. While smart thermostats are ideal (they are able to learn from your habits and shut off if no movement is detected for a certain period of time), the high cost of these automated devices isn’t feasible for everyone. Whether you are still making use of a manual thermostat or you have the added functionality of a programmable thermostat, there are a few ways you can do the work of home automation to achieve an eco-friendly home.
Programmable thermostat tips for energy efficiency in the summer
Programming your thermostat is one of the easier ways to make an eco-friendly home. While it can seem like a confusing task, taking the time to set programs in your thermostat can help you reap savings and become energy efficient, without making daily adjustments. Keep these tips in mind as you program for energy efficiency:
- Allow 30 minutes for temperature adjustment: Program your thermostat to higher temperatures 30 minutes before transitional times. These include
- Leaving for work
- Coming home in the evening
- Before bedtime
- After waking
- Test different temperatures to determine your threshold for comfort: Tick the thermostat up one degree, letting the temperature adjust until you find a comfortable setting. Even a change of 2-3 degree can result in improved energy efficiency and cost savings. Once you find your comfort zone, set that for the hours you are home and awake.
- Program a schedule, if possible. Some thermostats allow you to program a schedule that changes depending on the day of the week (such as a 5-1-1, or 5-2). If possible, set that to maximize the energy efficiency potential of your home. Take times away into account. If you are out of the house every Saturday for four hours taking your kids to soccer and running errands, adjust your thermostat accordingly.
- Turn it off when you are away for vacation. If you truly want an energy-efficient home, turn off the air conditioning when you are gone for vacation. Program your thermostat so that the air conditioning turns on approximately one hour before your return.
- Use your thermostat to circulate air at times when temperatures are lower than usual. This will keep your energy-efficient home cooler without using the air conditioning.
Manual thermostat tips for energy efficiency in the summer
If you are still trying to make a manual thermostat work in your favor, there are a few things you can do to achieve an eco-friendly home, try the following:
- Turn the thermostat up 5-8 degrees about 30 minutes before you leave for work: This will make it comfortable for you in the morning hours, but reduce your energy consumption while no one is home for the day. You can return to normal temperatures when you return home after work.
- Keep blinds drawn when you are gone: This will limit the amount of sun, and therefore heat, from creeping its way into your energy-efficient home (added bonus: you will also lessen the visibility into your home, which is a good intruder deterrent).
- Turn the temperature up a few degrees while you sleep: Your body naturally reduces its temperature when you sleep 1-2 degrees. If you can comfortably rest with a lighter blanket or sheet, or without any covering altogether, you have the flexibility of lowering your temperature a few more degrees to achieve comfort.
- Adjust the temperature for when you will be gone: If you plan to be traveling on vacation, create an eco-friendly home by turning the thermostat off. To reduce your discomfort, enlist a trusted neighbor or relative to turn it back on to a comfortable temperature on the day of your return.
For more information, check out the EPA’s Guide to Energy Efficient Heating and Cooling.
Additional tips for an eco-friendly summer home
Even if you are maximizing the potential of your thermostat, there is still more work to be done to create an energy-efficient home. Go for the gold medal and try out these methods for fighting the summer heat.
- Keep a fan running to help circulate the cool air.
- Close all blinds and curtains.
- Shut the vents and doors in any unused rooms.
- Regularly change the air filter in your home.
- Clean around your condenser and air vents.
Save a little money and make an eco-friendly home this summer.