It is an undeniable fact that in recent years, summer has become increasingly hot, and the number of heat-related deaths is also constantly increasing (see here). This summer, it is predicted that the highest recorded temperature will reach 32 ℃ (90 ℉), which is kinda hot! To avoid nasty things like heatstrokes, we can use a large number of electrical appliances to keep us and our rooms cool, but this can also easily lead to high electricity bills in summer. This blog summarizes four ways to improve the cooling efficiency of your home equipment by using SwitchBot products, allowing you and your home to stay cool indoors while also being energy-efficient and environmentally friendly too.
Fans, air-con, and... energy saving?
We can use air conditioning when it’s much hotter outside, or use fans when it is not so hot – but the weirdest thing is… When it comes to the idea of temperature and energy conservation, we rarely use them together. However, according to data found on Energy.gov, combining fans and air conditioning is the most comfortable and energy-efficient cooling method there is. Using both fans and air conditioning at the same time may seem to consume more electricity, but according to research, using them simultaneously can keep your thermostat setting up by approximately 3-4 ° C (4 ° F ) without reducing comfort. And every time your air conditioning temperature is raised by one degree above 22° C (72 ° F ), it can save you up to 3% of the air conditioning cost, as fan electricity costs are much lower than that of air conditioners.
This is because the efficiency of fan air circulation is much higher than that of air conditioning. When you only use air conditioning, if the temperature outdoors is 32° C (90 ° F), you’d need to adjust it to 21 ° C (70 ° F) to feel cool, because cold air only accumulates near your air conditioner and is not blown toward you, which would mean your body temperature still feels like 29 ° C (85 ° F).
As heat rises, cold air sinks to the floor. And although air conditioning vents emit cold air, it is prone to sedimentation and non-circulation. By using a fan to disperse deposited cold air and push it toward you, cold air can be circulated better and moved throughout your entire home, improving cooling and reducing electricity bills too, wow!
Sound a bit confusing? Don’t worry, here’s what you need to do:
- First, turn on your air conditioning and set the thermostat to 4-5 ° F (3-4 ° C) higher than usual. For example, if you feel comfortable at 70 ° F (21 ° C), you can set it to 75 ° F to 78 ° F (24 ° C to 26 ° C).
- Then turn on your fan and place it near the air conditioner (this is for cold air circulation).
- Adjust the wind speed according to the apparent temperature.
It should be noted that you need to adjust your fan speed based on room temperature (rather than the thermostat temperature): And remember, when using it in the afternoon, should the room temperature be a little higher, you’ll need to increase the fan speed to cool down your room; And when room temperature drops, you’ll need to lower wind speed to prevent excessive cold and discomfort caused by strong winds. You can use a thermometer and fan remote control to complement this, or you can even use SwitchBot Hub 2 to auto-control temperature.
SwitchBot Hub 2 can sense room temperature through its built-in temperature sensor and automatically remotely control fans through infrared signals based on room temperature. Interested? Follow the two simple steps below to set up automation using Hub 2 according to room temperature.
- When room temperature is greater than or equal to 85 ℉ (29 ℃), adjust the fan to the highest gear.
- When room temperature is less than or equal to 75 ℉ (24 ℃), adjust the fan to the lowest gear.
This way, you can automatically adjust wind speed of your fan according to room temperature, and you won’t wake up in the middle of the night due to your room being cold. Meanwhile, if you are using air conditioners that can be controlled by infrared remote controls, such as hanging air conditioners and portable air conditioners, you can even add them to Hub 2 to achieve a fully automatic energy-saving and environmentally friendly cooling system. Wowza!
Say bye-bye to heatstroke!
Infants and pets are more sensitive to temperature changes, and this is definitely something that a lot of us can take more notice of when looking after young ones, or taking care of pets at home too. At 90 ° F (32 ° C), infants pose of risk of experiencing heat stroke within just 10 minutes, while cats and dogs may experience heat strokes within 15 minutes!
That really isn’t a lot of time, and as such, maintaining suitable indoor temperature during summer is not only just about comfort, but safety too. What’s more, being eco-friendly is also important (and saves on expensive electricity bills), so when the weather isn’t so hot, you can choose to cool down by closing curtains or opening windows for ventilation. During this period, should room temperature rise sharply, in order to prevent heatstrokes, it is best to use appliances such as fans and portable air conditioners as soon as possible to cool down.
This requires us to be able to detect temperature changes in any part of the house and receive timely notifications when a higher temperature range is reached.
We recommend using the compact (and waterproof) SwitchBot Indoor/Outdoor Thermo Hygrometer to monitor temperature in various rooms. This can help detect real-time temperature changes and updates data every 4 seconds!
Place them in kitchens, gardens, and garages. Connect them to your SwitchBot Hub 2/Hub Mini, and you can monitor the temperature of the entire house through your smartphone. When the temperature gets too high, you can receive notifications via our app. And take immediate measures to rectify your home envionment.
Protect yourself from the sun to help stay cool.
Intense light in summer can raise irradiated objects by up to 10-15 ℉ (6-10 ℃), and its impact on apparent temperature is even greater than that of a fan. Therefore, when you block the sunlight, you’ll feel cooler quicker, and it’s also energy-efficient too. In addition, strong sunlight can also cause damage to specific furniture, food, and supplies (which, by the way, is why some things include labels that state ‘please keep in a cool dry place’).
You can use SwitchBot Curtain or SwitchBot Blind Tilt to manage your curtains or blinds. They can also monitor light intensity in real-time through their built-in light sensors, and according to the threshold light intensity that you can set via our app, they can automatically close when the sunlight becomes too strong, isolating the high temperature caused by direct sunlight.
Of course, you can also automatically open or close curtains and blinds according to your personal habits too, but ya know, it’s not about that, LOL.
However, strong sunlight is actually a good thing too! As it can help charge your SwitchBot Curtain and SwitchBot Blind Tilt when used with our solar panels*, without worrying about battery life and usage.
*May be sold separately, please confirm before purchasing.
Understand appliances better during summer.
If you live in a hot area and look at your bills during the summertime, you’ll probably find that electricity bills during the summer season are much higher than at other times. And it most probably is because:
- Summer triggered a higher energy demand, leading to an increase in market prices.
- Hot weather causes people to stay indoors for longer, so they use more electrical appliances.
- Electrical appliances age due to excessive use or hot weather, resulting in increased power usage.
In summer, besides air conditioning, the most energy-dependent items are actually your lighting appliances and refrigerator. Of course, these are must-haves, but if you can repair your refrigerator in a timely manner when it ages, or turn off the lights when not using them, you will save a lot when it comes to home energy.
Therefore, from an electricity conservation perspective, we suggest that you use SwitchBot Plug Mini to monitor electrical consumption at home. Connect household appliances such as fans, desk lamps, refrigerators, televisions, etc. to Plug Mini, and by using your phone, you can check the status and real-time power consumption of appliances connected through Plug Mini at any time, or export the historical power consumption of each appliance. If a certain electrical appliance consumes too much electricity at a certain time, you can discover and identify the cause in a timely manner, thereby saving your electricity bills.
When you’re in a hurry to leave home and forget to turn off the fan or lights, you don’t need to go home and turn them off. You can directly turn off their power source remotely using Plug Mini, saving on extra electricity bills that you may have incurred due to just being plain ol’ forgetful. Of course, when used in conjunction with SwitchBot Outdoor Meter, when you notice that the indoor temperature is too high and you have pets at home, you can also turn on fans to cool them down in a timely manner through our app to reduce risk of heatstroke!