About "Ask the Energy Expert"
Craig Muccio ran FPL's Conservation Research & Development Program and crunched the numbers to figure out how you can save by managing your energy use.
Your questions on energy-related topics can be submitted anytime to our Ask the Energy Expert blog. Just click here to submit your question, and if chosen, it will be answered here
Asked on: February 18, 2014 by Scott F., Englewood
I have my thermostat/humidistat set to 80/60 while away up north. I watch my usage via my energy dashboard, but wondered if these are the best settings to save energy and prevent issues?
There are definitely ideal settings that can help you maximize your savings while you’re away from your winter home in Florida, while preventing moisture and other issues in your home. You’re off to a good start!
The right setting for manual thermostats
Our research found that setting a manual thermostat to 80 degrees for homes and 77 for condos typically provides enough dehumidification to prevent mold. Since you also have a humidistat to control humidity, you have the flexibility to set the temperature higher at 88 degrees, while setting your humidistat’s relative humidity, or RH, to 58 percent. This will help you save even more energy while still keeping the indoor humidity in a safe range.
If the conditions for both your thermostat and humidistat must both be met, click here for more info.
Increased control with programmable thermostats
For customers with programmable thermostats without humidity control (without a built-in humidistat), FPL recommends programming thermostats at 72 degrees for just two hours each morning before sunrise and at 88 degrees the rest of the time. This will prevent mold by removing moisture from the air during the cooler hours when RH is highest and your A/C runs most efficiently.
Even more efficiency and mold prevention
The most energy-efficient way to help prevent mold from developing in vacant homes is to use stand-alone dehumidifiers. Use one dehumidifier for every 1,000 square feet and set the controls to 58 percent RH. Locate them by a sink or shower so water from the drainage tube can go down the drain.
Other tips for your home
As an additional precaution, we recommend having your A/C ductwork checked for leaks by requesting an FPL duct test. Check for air leaks around doors and windows, too. Both are good ways to minimize the amount of moisture getting into your home.
We’re happy to hear that you are finding the Energy Dashboard helpful in monitoring your usage while you’re not in Florida. We highly recommend that customers log into their online account to view their own personal dashboard, especially while they are away, to watch for any unusual changes in energy usage which could indicate an equipment malfunction.
Visit www.FPL.com/seasonal for more energy-saving tips while away from your home.
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