When the temperature changes due to the seasons and weather in Los Angeles, CA, you can, of course, set the thermostat to any setting you prefer. However, if you are interested in saving money on your energy consumption in the long run, there are recommended settings you can consider. These are designed to provide indoor comfort while saving you a small percentage of your overall energy cost. Everyone has their preferences. We understand this at JW Plumbing, Heating, & Air, which is why we offer customized solutions. Here are the recommended winter and summer thermostat settings as recommended by the Department of Energy as well as how you can maximize them.
Recommended Summer Thermostat Settings
Los Angeles is a large city that covers several climates. If you are close to the ocean, you are going to get some heat during the summer months as well as the nice cool marine layer in the mornings and evenings in addition to some nice breezes. If you are more inland, you are going to get the heat. Then, there is everything in between, including humidity. So, your AC use is going to vary. On the days that it is particularly warm, the recommended thermostat settings is 78 degrees when you are home and 88 degrees when you’re away.
The heart of your cooling unit is the compressor. It is the mechanism that produces the conditioned air. When the unit has reached the desired temperature, it stops conditioning air, but the fans stay on. If you set your unit to 88 degrees, the bulk of the work is being done by the fans. The logic is that the fans are going to prevent your home from getting too hot. Since the fans are doing the bulk of the work, your unit is not eating up a lot of energy, which saves you money on energy costs and consumption.
Recommended Winter Thermostat Settings
Those who have never lived in Los Angeles probably do not realize that it does get cold in this city. While it is true that there have been Christmases that saw a high of 80 degrees, the temperature can drop depending on a resident’s proximity to the ocean, mountains, or desert as well as downtown. When the temperatures drop, the recommended setting is 72 degrees when you are home. The Department of Energy, however, recommends aiming even lower at 68 degrees. At night, while you are sleeping, the recommended thermostat setting is 62 to 66 degrees. After being tested, these are the settings that provided maximum savings as well as maximum comfort.
Maximizing the Settings
Now, if you are paying your energy bills on time and you do not mind paying a premium, you can set the thermostat at any degree at any time of the day. There is more than one reason why the Department of Energy released its recommendations. One is to save the public money. The other is to manage the load that seasonal demand places on the electricity grid. Some energy companies advise their customers of the rates they can expect to pay when they use electricity at every hour of the day. The demand for electricity is higher during the summer months. This is why you can expect to pay a higher rate during peak demand hours. So, by adjusting your energy consumption, you are being a good neighbor in addition to saving on your costs.
There are individuals who prefer to feel cozy while they are sleeping, so they lower their thermostat as much as possible even when the temperature drops outside. You can do this, but you are asked to manage your use so that you have a positive impact on the environment, too.
How to Find the Settings That Work Best
The best way to figure out what thermostat settings are going to work best for you and your family is to test them. Seventy-8 degrees during the hottest days might sound impossible. In order to find out, test it. Maybe you cannot handle 78, but you can handle 76. Do the same during the winter months so that you can strike a balance between what is recommended and the temperature that provides you the best comfort in your home.
Extending the Benefits of the Thermostat Settings
After you have tested the recommended thermostat settings and have found the numbers that work best for you and your family, it is time to find ways to extend them. The good news is that there are several ways to do that, and they do not always involve another investment or additional energy costs.
If you are willing to use the recommended settings, a great way to extend them is to install a smart thermostat. Studies show that a manual thermostat averages up to a 5-degree error rate. A smart thermostat, on the other hand, has an average error rate of half a degree. This is an important feature because the smart thermostat can be programmed. When you program it, you want to make sure that it is set at the correct degree so that you are not accidentally consuming more energy than you thought. Once the smart thermostat is installed and you have synced it up with your home’s Wi-Fi, you can use the corresponding app to program your preferences. This means that the thermostat settings will change on their own. By automating the process, you save time and money. Plus, if you thought about transitioning to a smart home, this is a good first step.
Once your home is cooled off and comfortable during the warmer weather, there are strategies you can use to maximize that air. One strategy is to install a ceiling fan. You can do this in as many rooms as necessary, including the bedrooms and kitchen. Ceiling fans are fairly simple to install. They don’t consume a lot of energy, so they don’t raise your energy costs. This is a great tool that improves air circulation. It is often used in tandem with a cooling system.
To maximize the cooled off air your AC has produced, use curtains or blinds to prevent the sun’s rays from entering your home. The more heat you can cut off from the inside of your home, the less hot your indoor area will become. You can also open your windows before the sun reaches its peak and once it begins to set. This gives you the opportunity to take advantage of the fresh outdoor air especially if you live near the coast. The coastal air will be cool, so it really can freshen up your home. It helps the stale indoor air to circulate out along with any allergens and pollutants that have gathered. If you have screens on your windows, you might consider leaving the windows open overnight as well.
For more information about managing your home’s thermostat settings throughout the year, contact us at JW Plumbing, Heating, & Air to set up an appointment in Los Angeles. We also offer indoor air quality, duct cleaning, and maintenance program services. We look forward to telling you about all the ways we can serve your indoor climate comfort needs.