No One Home? Keep the Cooling Efficient With These Energy-Saving Tips

How to Save On Cooling Costs When the House Is Empty This Summer

Whether out of the house for an entire workday or just a few hours for errands, leaving the house empty doesn’t necessarily mean it has to be an energy-wasting black hole. These "empty house" hours can add up and significantly impact cooling costs. This blog is designed to enlighten homeowners about practical, cost-effective strategies to help save on energy bills while away from home without compromising the comfort of returning to a cool and air-conditioned home. 

78 Degrees Is a Sweet Spot

Thermostat Homeowners who are unsure of the right temperature to set their thermostats at while away for a few hours will be happy to know that a good number to help conserve energy while keeping homes at a comfortable temperature even when empty during the summer is 78 degrees Fahrenheit. 

While that may seem like a pretty high temperature on paper, it’s a suitable temperature to maintain home comfort for when people soon return while keeping energy bills in check and ensuring that the air conditioner isn’t operating more than necessary. It also helps avoid making large fluctuations in temperature that can be costly and damaging. 

Avoid Big Temperature Fluctuations

When leaving a house empty for a bit, especially during the hot summer, it is always wise to keep temperatures relatively steady, avoiding large fluctuations, such as turning up the thermostat too high for a few hours while away to save money. It can actually have the opposite effect.

A significant temperature fluctuation like this could adversely affect not just a home’s energy consumption (and ultimately, the electricity bill) but also create unnecessary wear and tear or damage to the air conditioner. This is because the AC unit will have to work harder to compensate for the large difference in desired temperature, using a lot of energy and putting wear on the system. 

Smart Thermostats Are a Game Changer

thermostat One effective solution to improve the energy-saving capabilities of an air conditioning system and save on cooling costs is to swap out an old thermostat for a smart thermostat. Smart thermostats are an excellent tool for keeping temperatures steady while making automatic adjustments to save on energy bills. Smart thermostats are also incredibly customizable, giving homeowners more flexibility in controlling the temperature at home.

Another fantastic feature of smart thermostats is that most of them can be connected to an app on a smartphone. These apps allow homeowners to keep track of their home’s energy usage through historical data collected by the smart thermostat. The app is also particularly useful for homeowners who are away for extended periods because it allows them to remotely control their home’s thermostat to save energy. These sophisticated applications allow homeowners to set, change and track their home’s HVAC operations and energy usage from anywhere and keep their energy bills in check.

About Morrow Mechanical

Morrow Mechanical has over two decades of experience serving Spring, TX, and the surrounding communities. They provide same-day service, extended hours, and upfront pricing. Call them today for smart home thermostat installation in Spring, TX.

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Slash Cooling Costs This Summer Using These 3 Tips!

Pro Tips for Spending Less While Staying Cool This Summer

With summer rolling in, air conditioning season is in full swing. Unfortunately, summer is also the season of massive electricity bills for most Texas homeowners. The same AC that keeps the house nice and cool uses more energy than any other appliance. 

But staying cool in the year's hottest months shouldn’t cost a fortune. This article will outline three easy ways for homeowners to save money by cutting their cooling costs without sacrificing comfort or convenience. 

Upgrade To a Programmable or Smart Thermostat

thermostat One of the best things homeowners can do to improve their home’s energy efficiency is to get rid of their old manual thermostat and install a programmable thermostat - or better yet, a smart thermostat. The two are similar in that they allow homeowners to create a custom cooling schedule to fit their habits, selecting the desired temperature for any time of day. This “set it and forget it” function can reduce energy waste and enhance convenience.

But intelligent thermostats have additional features that set them apart from basic programmable models. They can be controlled using a smartphone or other device from virtually anywhere, making it easy to adjust the temperature as needed. Secondly, some models track usage patterns and make suggestions or automatic adjustments to maximize efficiency.

Other possible smart thermostat features include occupancy sensors, zone sensors, energy reports, weather and performance alerts, and geofencing (technology that detects whether or not the homeowners are within a certain radius of the home and turns the AC on or off accordingly). With all these energy-saving features, it’s no surprise that smart thermostats can help homeowners save anywhere from 10-23% on their heating and cooling costs.

Add Weatherstripping To Windows and Doors

A new thermostat can work wonders for optimizing efficiency, but if cold air is escaping through gaps under doors and around the edges of windows, it defeats the purpose. And unfortunately, the more significant the temperature difference between the indoor and outdoor air, the faster cold air will rush out, and warm air will flow in to take its place.

Homeowners can install weatherstripping around windows and exterior doors to solve this problem. Various weatherstripping ranges, from vinyl tubing and foam tape to metal V-strips and magnetic gaskets. But they all serve the same purpose: sealing the gaps where air can escape.

Weatherstripping is an effective and inexpensive method for improving energy efficiency. Most homeowners will be able to install it themselves without much effort (though some types are a little trickier than others). The best part is that the benefits of weatherstripping last all year long, as it does just as well at keeping warm air inside during the colder seasons so that homeowners can enjoy lower heating and cooling costs with this one simple tip!

Turn Down the AC and Crank Up the Fans

fan Finally, with the new thermostat and weather strips in place, it’s time to cut costs the old-fashioned way - by relying less on air conditioning and more on fans. As mentioned, air conditioners consume more electricity than anything else in the house. Ceiling fans, by comparison, consume very little energy. 

Raising the temperature setting on the thermostat by 7-10 degrees for about 8 hours can save up to 10% on cooling costs (roughly one percentage point per degree). During the summer, the Dept. of Energy recommends keeping the thermostat at 78 degrees while at home and even a few degrees higher while away (not accounting for any pets in the house). That may seem high, but that’s where the fans come in.

Fans help circulate cold air throughout the house and produce a pleasant breeze that can help carry off heat energy from the skin, effectively lowering body temperature and making the house feel more relaxed. In the summer, ceiling fans should be set to spin counterclockwise (when viewed from below), which will push air down. A clockwise spin will circulate warm air that has risen to the ceiling, which is helpful in the winter but not so much in the summer.

With these tips, homeowners can sit back, enjoy the cool air, and watch with glee as their electric bills shrink!

About Morrow Mechanical

Morrow Mechanical has provided the residents of Spring, TX, and The Greater Houston Area with award-winning service for over 20 years. They offer same-day service, upfront pricing, financing, and extended hours with no additional after-hours fee. Call them today for air conditioning services in Spring, TX.