Don’t like the weather in Northwest Florida? Wait fifteen minutes. That’s the old adage for this area, especially in late October. It’s hot! It’s cold! No, wait! It’s hot again. It’s enough to make you lose your religion.
It’s fall in Pensacola? Could’ve fooled us.
It’s typical for the weather to dip into the 40′s at night and then bounce up to 85 the next day. Many people may use their heater at night and then the AC the next day. Not only can it be frustrating to decide what to wear in the morning when the weather will rise by 30 degrees, but it’s a challenge to set your thermostat not only for comfort, but also for cost-effective savings.
1. Use your thermostat’s programmable settings. If your thermostat isn’t ancient it probably is programmable. To maximize savings Gulf Power recommends setting your thermostat to warmer settings when you are home and awake and setting it to cooler temps when you are away or sleeping.
2. Keep an eye on the forecast and make adjustments before a cold snap. It is much harder for your home’s HVAV unit to move the interior temp from 55 to 70 than it is to move it from 68 to 72. By changing your thermostat ahead of a cold snap keeps your system from working overtime to catch up. The walls in your home absorb and release heat and in order for a room to truly be at the temp set it takes time for the walls to heat and/or cool before the HVAC doesn’t need to work as much.
3. Do NOT close off unused rooms. A popular theory is by closing off unused rooms, like a home office) you will save money by not heating all that space. This is becoming increasingly untrue. ACCORDING TO ONE HOUR AIR closing vents increases the air pressure in the ducts and it backs up the system, forcing it to work harder. It uses more energy to compensate, forces up your monthly bills and puts stress on the motors. Click the link above to learn more.
4. Use free, natural heating whenever possible. Keep your blinds and shades open during the day to let the sun heat your rooms. Close the drapes at night to hold warm air in. Purchase thermal curtains, they are fantastic insulators. If you don’t have small children you can leave the oven open after you bake something. The radiant heat will help to warm the kitchen.
Gulf Power also offers free energy audits where an expert will come to your home, inspect it, and offer energy effecient solutions.
Be sure to dress in light layers so you can discard them when the day warms up and try not to scream at the sky when you have to wear both a sweater and t-shirt in the same day. Don’t forget the sunscreen.