Air conditioner settings to save energy / money
I apologize in advance because I’m sure you must have an article on this, but I have searched and cannot find it.
The question is this: What is the best way to use a thermostat to reduce energy usage in the hottest days of summer (in Florida). As an example of what I’m looking for, I drafted this response to a friend who wants to know if she should “turn off” the AC during the day:
“I raise the temp at various times during the day, so it only comes on for a while and then turns off. Then at night I put it down to 78 so the house can cool down while it’s cool outside, which requires less energy than setting it down when you get home, at the hottest part of the day. To do this automatically, you can get a programmable thermostat. They usually have 4 different settings for each day. If you are home and it gets too hot during the day, you can manually set it down a little to come back on for a while. Ceiling fans can help the room feel comfortable at higher temperatures, although at some point you need the AC to run to remove heat and humidity.
“An example of settings is: 9 am – 80, 12-noon – 82, 4 pm – 84, 8 pm – 82, then when you go to bed manually set it back to 78 (if there are only 4 settings). You might think that at 84 the house will be too hot, but it will be so hot outside that the AC will be coming on pretty frequently anyway, and of course if you are uncomfortable you can always set it a little colder when you start to notice it. Or you can do smaller increments like 79, 80, 81, 80, 78.
“You’re not actually turning the AC off, so the house shouldn’t get too hot. Just don’t set the temp much colder at the hottest part of the day, because that’s when it works the hardest, and it’s going to be coming on periodically anyway as the temps get higher outside. When you get home, give your body a chance to adjust before deciding to put the temp down.”
Having the AC running all day also causes condensation/mold problems, correct?
Please point me in the right direction. (I already have the .gov reference: https://www.energy.gov/energysaver/spring-and-summer-energy-saving-tips but it’s not detailed enough.)
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