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Chapter 8: The Thermostat
There is another aspect of your home that needs careful consideration. That is the thermostat. What temperature you set it at is really a personal comfort situation. Yet, more and more, people are finding that there is cost savings in using the right thermostat and the right level of comfort to boot.
For example, during the summer months, do you have the air conditioning set low enough that it feels comfortable to wear a long sleeve shirt or pants? Do you grab for a blanket? This is a signal that perhaps you could raise the thermostat and still be quite comfortable.
In the winter, you shouldn’t want to put the fan on or want to wear shorts. You can see how just lowering the heat a bit can save you a good deal of money. Yet, there is no magical number here.
Unfortunately, there is a great deal of money that can be saved by just dealing with the heat in the summer or the cold in the winter. Yet, you do not have to flip it off altogether to gain some benefits of extra money in your pocket.
The Right Temperature
Finding and setting your home at the right temperature is the first goal. It is said that during the winter, setting the heat at 68 F degree is the best starting point. In the summer months, you goal is that of 76 F degrees. Every time that you can either move this number up or down for cost savings; you can save a decent amount of money per two degree movement.
Therefore, if you are in the winter months and you have your thermostat set at 70 F degrees normally, if you can still feel comfortable by lowering it to 68 F degrees, you will be able to save a good deal of money.
In the summer, keep the air conditioning set at just 76 F degrees and turn on a fan. Doing this will pull out all of the humidity in the air and keep the temperature at a great level. If you can tolerate moving these more so, you will save money.
But, beware. If you continuously are moving them up and down, you are not doing yourself any favors. In fact, if you get cold so you raise the air conditioning, only to become hot again and lower it, you will be wasting money.
As the air in the home cools down; it does not take as much energy to keep it at that level. But, if you raise the temperature and the home heats up, the air conditioning needs to work twice as hard to get it back down. This causes quite a bit of money to be lost in the turn.
Pick and stay at the right temperature in the home and you can benefit from energy savings.
One thing that you really do want to take into consideration is that of programmable thermostats. These are not too expensive. They are probably just a few dollars more than a standard model and make a large difference.
What can they do? First off, they still work the same as other thermostats to. When the home’s temperature changes so much so that there is a need to call to the air conditioning unit or the furnace to balance it out, they do so. Yet, they have additional features as well.
For example, you can program them to turn on before you come home from work. Let’s say that you are at work most of the day and the kids are at school. There is no one in the home. Why keep the heat on full blast? If the period of time is longer than a couple of hours, these programmable thermostats are a blessing.
You simply set the time in which you will be home (usually about an hour or so before so) and at that time they will kick on. Better models will be able to be programmed for various days of the week too (such as Saturdays you may be home all day.)
When the time comes to turn on, they do and get the home to the right temperature. You do not notice any difference until you notice your heating or cooling bills have dropped.
You can also program them for different temperatures at night, when you are sleeping. By raising the temperature in your home during the summer a couple of degrees, or lowering it a couple of degrees in the winter, you can save a great deal of money.
You do not need to remember how to do this when it comes to using your programmable timer in the thermostat as it will take care of that for you.
If you are looking to save money in energy costs, installing a programmable thermostat is one of the best moves for you to make. It is simple to install and easy to use. It will save you a good deal of money too.
Chapter 9: Energy Star: Understanding What It is
Have you heard of Energy Star? If you have not, this is your friend for sure.
If you are purchasing any new unit for your home, from a dishwasher or refrigerator to the hot water tank and the furnace, Energy Star is something that you do want to take full advantage of.
This is a term, a distinction that you should have on any of the appliances or major systems within your home. When a product is deemed to be Energy Star ready, it is capable of providing the necessary service to you but through reduced energy costs.
The Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, along with the US Department of Energy is the sponsor of Energy Star programs. Their goal is to help each person to save money as well as to help each of us to protect the environment by using energy efficient products and by using energy benefiting practices.
The Energy Star program has been able to help people to save quite a bit of money. The EPA claims that in 2005, Americans were able to save someplace around $12 billion dollars by using Energy Star products and therefore saving on their utility bills.
But, it does not stop there. They also claim that by using these products, Energy Star has helped to avoid greenhouse gas emissions that would be about the same as that of 23 million cars in 2005 alone. Therefore, it is a good program to take note of.