Tips For Staying Comfortable As the Seasons Change
As the weather moves from summer to fall, you may feel as if you're constantly adjusting your thermostat. The mornings may be crisper, so you don't need your AC on as early, but the afternoons can still be blistering. If you don't catch the afternoon heat in time, your AC runs much longer than usual, trying to get your home back to a comfortable temperature. So how do you respond to fluctuating temperatures without running your AC bill up or without sacrificing your comfort?
Below we look at a few helpful tips to help you transition from summer to fall without breaking the bank.
#1: Pay Attention to Inside & Outside Temperatures
We tend to adjust our thermostats reactively. We feel too warm, so we adjust things. What's important to understand is that by the time we notice that the temperature inside is too high, it has likely gone significantly higher than where you'd like it. Your AC will then need to run longer to get back down where you want it.
Additionally, when responding to temperatures reactively, we tend to turn the AC on or off instead of adjusting the schedule or temperature settings. The back and forth of turning your cooling system on and off costs you money and undue wear and tear on your system. However, by being more proactive, we can improve our overall comfort levels and adjust our thermostats less often.
For example, if you frequently feel too warm around 2 pm, note the temperature inside and outside at that point. Then, set your thermostat schedule to turn the AC on before your inside temperature reaches that point tomorrow. Say it's 87° outside and 76°, and you prefer your home to be 73°. Adjust your thermostat's automatic settings to turn on if the indoor temperature exceeds 73°.
Moving forward, pay attention to the weather, and on days when it's projected to reach temperatures that will likely cause your home's temperature to rise, adjust your thermostat schedule accordingly.
#2: Rely on Your AC Less
While temperatures are more erratic but trending cooler, see if you can rely on your AC less. Open windows at night and in the morning while temperatures are cooler, bringing fresh air in with the help of fans. As temperatures outside increase, close up your windows and draw your blinds to block the sun from coming in. This will help keep your indoor temperatures down and reduce the amount your AC needs to run.
#3: Wait To Turn On Your Furnace
Just as you can reduce your reliance on your air conditioner, you can also put off turning your furnace on. In the period between summer and autumn, we are sometimes tempted to turn our heaters on in the mornings or at night when the temperature drops. However, this often ends up overheating our homes, causing us to turn the AC on in the afternoon. This back and forth wreaks havoc on our comfort and our wallets.
Other ways to delay turning on your furnace include:
- Wear socks and warmer clothing while inside
- Put heavier sheets and blankets on your bed
- Use area rugs on hardwood and tile floors
- Make sure windows and doors are sealed properly to prevent drafts
- Install curtains over your blinds to act as further insulation
#4: Use Your Heat/Cool Setting
Some smart thermostats have a heat/cool setting that allows you to set parameters for both how warm you want your home and how cool you're willing to let it get. The heat/cool setting is great for energy savings and can be used during transition periods where temperatures fluctuate to the point where you need both your AC and your heater. To maximize your energy savings, we recommend setting the HVAC system triggering temperatures slightly warmer and slightly cooler than you'd ordinarily like it and employing the tactics above to reduce how much your system needs to work.
#5: Schedule Heater Maintenance Now
The last but certainly not least thing you should do to help transition your HVAC system from summer to autumn is to schedule your annual heater maintenance. After sitting all summer without being used, your heater will need to be cleaned and serviced. During your maintenance visit, the heater specialists at Valley Heating, Cooling, Electrical and Solar will review your entire system, identifying any repair issues, worn parts, or other problems. All of this works to help ensure that your system is in good working condition and is ready for the cold weather ahead.
August at Valley
This month at Valley, we are taking a deeper look at some of the systems in our homes. In addition to considering how we can transition our HVAC systems from summer to fall, we dig into our electrical systems and how they work. From identifying where electricity enters your home at the service head to how your light switches work, our blog gives you a birds-eye view of your system. Also, learn more about our different financing options and how our options can help you with getting a new HVAC system.