Park Forest, IL–(ENEWSPF)– I was skeptical when I opened the Commonwealth Edison Summer Energy Kit which recommended pre-cooling the home “for savings.” Why the skepticism? ComEd recommends lowering the thermostat all the way down between 69° F and 72° F. That seemed a bit chilly to me. Generally, at night, I had taken to turning the thermostat up a bit and using a fan to stay cool. However, in the middle of the afternoon, particularly during the hours of 2 p.m. and 5 p.m., our home was warm, and the air conditioner ran often.
ComEd recommended turning that all upside down, and actually putting the air conditioner on “idle” during the hot afternoon hours when electricity is most at demand, and most expensive.
The “pre-cool” thinking goes like this: it’s more efficient to “manage cooling costs by pre-cooling your home during hours when the price of electricity is low, and using less air conditioning during higher priced hours.” That sounds wise. But it also means essentially turning off the AC for a full eight hours during the afternoon. Would our home remain cool and comfortable?
ComEd recommends the following:
- Run the air conditioner in the evening, overnight and during the early morning hours when electricity typically is less expensive.
- Increase your thermostat temperature setting or turn off your air conditioner during the hours of the day when prices tend to be higher.
Recommended settings from ComEd follow:
|10 p.m. – 10 a.m.||Pre-Cooling||69° F – 72° F|
|10 a.m. – 6 p.m.||Idle||82° F – 85° F|
|6 p.m. – 10 p.m.||Comfort||75° F – 78° F|
Why was I skeptical? I simply did not believe that our home would be comfortable during the afternoon hours with no AC running, when, in fact, the opposite was true. Our home stayed under 72° F through the early afternoon. Between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. the temperature inside climbed to only 76° F with no air conditioner running, and this on days when the temperature outside climbed above 90° F. Generally, the temperature tops out at 78° F around 6:00 p.m. Additionally, the humidity does not increase too much inside the home. Using a ceiling fan or a fan on the floor in the living room adds some comfort also.
Your mileage may vary, as they say, but I do recommend downloading and reading the ComEd Summer Energy Kit.
And stay cool.