Clark Howard says he keeps his thermostat at 78 degrees during the warmer months. Clark’s got a Nest thermostat, which dials the temperature down a few degrees at bedtime. Tell us where you keep your thermostat in the summer here!
We usually set ours at 74 or 75 in the daytime and 72 at night.Our power company’s highest billing rates of the year are June-July and August when it goes from 8.7 to almost 13 cents a KWh.
BTW… I just had our central air conditioner’s evaporator replaced, it had a leak in it. The R410a coolant was $50 a lb. That’s $350 to recharge a 7-lb system. Total bill was $1,470.
76, 24 hours a day, turn on the ceiling fan when needed.
I am on a plan that has different costs based upon peak and off peak prices, and demand use during peak hours (the more electricity you use at the same time).
The idea is that during off peak hours, you use the entire structure and contents as a heat sink (kind of like a battery of cold being stored) During off peak hours, when the rates are super low, my thermostat is set at 68. During peak hours, it is set so high that the HVAC never comes on (85). My electric water heaters never come on during peak hours; I never use my electric dryer, my dishwasher, or my washer during theae hours. Or my electric oven. I’ve saved thousands a year since i began doing this.
Don’t you freeze during off peak in the summer?
Well I got a young bride and she raised her kids in Alaska so she’s not that comfortable with the much hotter weather. Besides we got well insulated windows and thus far it has not been that bad with 72 or 73 or 74 degrees. Too much sweating at 78. When we come in from yard work we wanna chill.
Pretty much, lol. But i smile as i snuggle under my down comforter, and fall asleep.
79, which means 79 on the main floor where the thermostat is, and 82-83 on the upper floor where the bedrooms are. We get about 40 days of 90+ temps where we live, but only use ~900 kWh per month, July-Aug-Sep.
We just got a new roof and discovered that our old soffits were covered with blown-in insulation, therefore the heat in the attic wasn’t flowing up and out the ridge vent. We hope the new system will allow the attic to vent property, lowering the 82-83 down to something more comfortable. If that works, I might lower the t-stat to 76 at night (keep the 79 daytime).
Where you live and where you were raised has a lot to do with how you feel about the indoor temperature of your house. I was raised in FL w/o any AC and my wife is from the arid SW.
We both lived in Alaska for 27 years and got used to cool inside temps and outside temps from +80 to -60 degrees. Now we live in the intermountain region and can agree on an inside summer sleep-time temp of 73-75 deg thermostat setting with AC running and 68 deg winter sleep-time thermostat setting with the furnace running.
The thermostat spats occur when one of us comes in from working or playing outside and changes the thermostat to match their transitory ambient temperature desires…
No a/c here, we use evaporative coolers. They are not thermistatically controlled, but do have settings related to time and fan speed. We have not yet used them this year. Due to ultra low humidity (often single digits by late afternoon) and elevation, the mornings are cool and we open windows. Yesterday, the temp reached 92 outside but never exceeded 79 indoors. Once it gets to 81-82 inside, we’ll turn the coolers on and until it gets 78-79 inside. We never run them overnight but open a couple of skylights to let the cool air in.
One of the best heating and ventilation systems I ever had was in Alaska and used the heat-sink principal, but in reverse of what you describe with your energy management strategy with AC and off-peak elec utility plan. It’s usually referred to as “in-floor” heat.
The floors on all levels were a 3-inch layer of lightweight concrete called Gypcrete. They had hot-water tubes, similar to Pex tubing spaced about 8 inches apart in them and were connected through a heat exchanger to a high-efficiency boiler with multiple zones for different living areas, sort of like baseboard heaters. Each zone was regulated by it’s own thermostat. The house was highly insulated and had a fresh air system called a VanEE that warmed incoming air with the air being exhausted and was controlled with a humidistat. The Gypcrete floors acted as a heat sink and made the floor warm and toasty on the feet.
78 daytime downstairs where I work from home.
80 daytime upstairs while working from home.
80 downstairs nighttime.
70 upstairs nighttime.
82 HOLD while away.
85 in summer, 63 in winter if I want my PGE bill to be $200 or less. If I set the thermostat for comfort my bill would be $500, probably way more.
I programmed my thermostat for 75 while I am at home. 78 if I leave for the day and 72 for sleeping. In order to afford the bill here in Texas, no heater on during the winter.
We have a similar heating system, but we are on one floor. The water is heated by a natural gas boiler and we have four thermistatically controlled zones. Here, it is usually referred to as radiant heating. That’s partly why we use evaporative coolers - no return air ducts.
It is radiant heating and it’s often referred to as “in-floor radiant” heat, cause there’s also ceiling radiant and it’s typically powered electrically.
In a dry desert climate swamp coolers work great, but in Alaska the houses with in-floor radiant heat are sealed up tight and don’t leak air so the indoor humidity gets too high. The outside air taken in by the HRV system is heated with the exhausted air and that decreases ambient indoor humidity.
I set my air conditioner where my wife wants it, because it’s worth paying a bit more to keep her happy. That said, if I’m leaving in the morning and it’s cool outside, I’ll drop it for a few hours and take advantage of pumping out the heat when the AC will work most efficiently, knowing that it will turn on again later in the day when it’s less efficient, but it will take longer to get to that point. The house is a relatively closed system, so pumping out the heat early when the AC is more efficient actually makes sense. Our days in the summer typically start around 55-60 degrees and go up to 80-90 degrees, so pumping out heat when it’s below 70 outside is most effective.
We live in the desert. We found that a whole house exhaust fan can be very useful to control costs in the cooling season. We leave the windows open at night when the outside temp reached the inside temps and then go to bed. By morning the house is 9 to 15 degrees cooler. When the outdoor temps climb to the inside temps, we turn off the fan and close the windows. Even when the outside temps reach 100 to 105 the inside does not go above 85. This approach allows us to delay A/C until mid to late June at which time the day temps are set at 83 and at night (off peak) we lower to 78. When we are gone for extended times in the summer, we set it for 87 and lower to 83 on the day we are due back. We have installed triple pane windows on the sun facing side of the house and added insulation. We are retired so we spend many hours at home in the day.
Now that I’m retired and at home most days set my central air on 74 degrees 24/7. Went the extra yard and blew in 14" of attic insulation , silicone chauked every crack any time I had a wall open, had all low E glass windows installed, good insulated doors etc so my electric bill is never over $225 any summer month. Another way I save a few pennies is because we are only getting 0.01% interest on our checking & savings account and still have most of the money from the 3 free checks the government gave us I give my cable, gas, water at least $500 via a 1.8% cash back credit card saving me a stamp and writing a check. Do it our my computer. My city only charges $4.95 to pay your yearly real estate taxes so I pay that with my cash back credit card and make over $25 doing just that.
We live in Florida and don’t like the heat and humidity. AC is on 74 during the day and 72 at night. Ceiling fans in almost every room going when we’re in there.