Air conditioning is essential for comfort on hot summer days, but it's also a big energy user. Despite this, a lot of households have some air conditioning habits that aren't so cool, according to a U.S. Department of Energy survey. According to the survey:
- 34 million households set the thermostat at one temperature and leave it there most of the time, whether someone is at home or not.
- 74°F to 76°F is the most widely used air conditioning temperature setting range during the day, at night and when no one is at home.
- 33% of U.S. households have air conditioning systems that are 10 years old or more. More than 7 million households have systems that are 20 years old or more.
- 47% of households have a programmable thermostat, but only 13% actually program the thermostat to automatically adjust temperatures to save energy.
Saving energy while keeping your cool
If you're among those households with some uncool cooling habits, here are some simple things you can do to save energy and stay comfortable all summer long.
- Adjust the thermostat when your house is empty. Raising the temperature by just a few degrees on a daily basis can add up to big savings on your monthly energy bills.
- Install a programmable thermostat and use it to optimize savings and comfort. Connected smart models provide advanced features, such as remote control and self programming.
- Check for gaps around windows and exterior doors. Seal any that you find with caulk or weatherstripping.
- Regularly replace your system's air filter throughout the summer according manufacturer's instructions. A dirty filter can reduce indoor air quality and system performance.
Have your air conditioning system cleaned and inspected by a qualified professional once a year before the start of the cooling season. If your system is older or in need of repair, replace it with a new ENERGY STAR®-certified model. ENERGY STAR systems are independently tested to use less energy than standard models while still providing the performance and comfort you expect.