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Ask the Expert: The best A/C settings for seasonal customers

Ask the Expert: The best A/C settings for seasonal customers

by | Feb 20, 2019 | 0 comments

I leave Florida in May every year and return the following January. What should I set my thermostat on for the summer? Should I unplug TVs, refrigerator, microwave, oven, etc.?

Asked by: Paul from Sarasota

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Thanks for your question, Paul. Here are some tips to help seasonal customers – like you – maximize savings, and prevent potential issues while away.

If you have a manual thermostat

FPL recommends setting your air conditioning system to 80 degrees for detached homes and townhouses, and 77 degrees for condos and apartments. These measures control the relative humidity (RH) in your vacant home by providing dehumidification to help prevent mold growth.

If you have a programmable thermostat

A programmable thermostat is a more energy-efficient and effective option. FPL recommends programming thermostats at 72 degrees for just two hours each morning before sunrise, and at 82 degrees the rest of the time. This will help prevent mold by removing moisture from the air during the cooler hours, when RH is highest and your A/C runs most efficiently.

Energy efficiency tips

  • Always set the A/C fan switch to the “auto” mode.
  • Ceiling fans are not necessary since your A/C already circulates the air.

Other ways to save while you are away

  1. Save more by turning off the circuit breakers to the water heater and refrigerator. Make sure the refrigerator is clean and you have a way to keep the door open while you are gone.
  2. Unplug electronics to save money and protect them from lightning strikes during the rainy season. Remember, if it feels warm to the touch when it is plugged in, then it is consuming energy — even when you are not using it.
  3. If you have cable or a satellite for your TV: When the TV is off, put your hand on the box that tunes the channels. If you feel any heat, keep it unplugged until you need it again when you return.

We have more tips for seasonal customers – visit FPL.com.

About The Author

Brad Goar

Brad Goar is the program manager for FPL's Home Energy Survey and Low Income Weatherization programs. With over 140,000 home energy surveys performed annually, FPL's Home Energy Survey is one of the largest utility run energy survey programs in the nation.

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