The Ultimate List of A/C Tips

Here’s some answers to most common questions.

What temperature should we set the A/C thermostat to while away for a few months? And, what are the best humidistat settings?

Living in Florida, we all have a lot of questions about how to maximize energy savings while remaining comfortable. I’d like to take this opportunity to address some of the typical questions we receive about A/C settings.

To maximize savings, we recommend setting your A/C to 78 when you’re home and 82 when you’re away. Of course, we realize this may not be realistic for everyone, but it’s important to note that for every degree you raise your thermostat, you save up to 5% on your cooling costs. Feel like 82 is too high? Then just set your thermostat warmer than normal when you’re away for a few hours and it shouldn’t take long to cool back down. And no, it will not cost you more or overwork your system to have it running for a continuous period of time rather than having it turn on/off throughout the day.

What about mold?
Not to worry! Humidity is highest during the cooler early morning hours. As temperature rises during the day, the relative humidity actually goes down, which discourages mold growth. As long as your A/C runs for a few hours a day, your home should be sufficiently dehumidified to fend off the growth of mold.

What if I have a humidistat?
Set the controls of your humidistats and dehumidifiers to 58 percent RH to maintain acceptable humidity, since some humidistat sensors are inaccurate by as many as 10 percentage points. For more information about using humidistats, refer to this blog.

What if I’m going on vacation or if I am a seasonal resident?
If you’re going away for just a week or two, use the following tips. If you’re leaving for longer, please refer to the snowbird question below.

Leave your A/C on, with its fan switch set to “auto” mode, to help to keep indoor humidity under control while you’re gone. A programmable thermostat will allow you to be more energy efficient than a manual one. But, each one has an ideal setting that can help you save.

Manual thermostat

Programmable thermostat

80 degrees: Homes and townhouses

77 degrees: Condos and apartments

72 degrees: Two hours before sunrise

88 degrees: The rest of the day

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