It’s Time To Turn On The AC, But Where Do You Set The Temperature?
Important Steps For Maintaining Your Air Conditioner’s Efficiency:
AC Temperature Settings Tips From The Bi-County Inc. HVAC Team In Chalfont, PA
Summer is officially here! As temperatures begin to creep above 90°F, and the promise of east coast heat waves loom in the forecast, how do you determine the thermostat setting to keep your family comfortable? What AC temperature is best, 68°F?, 72°F?, 76°F? There isn’t a magic number, but there are guidelines to help you find what works for your home.
Air conditioning systems are designed to maintain up to a 20-degree difference between the outside air and inside temperature. If the temperature outside is 85°F, maintaining a temperature of 68°F will be easy for an air conditioning system in good working order. If the temperature outside is 95°F or higher, reaching and maintaining a 68°F target may not be possible. Your A/C will constantly run to try and reach 68°F which could cause the compressor to overheat and break when you need it most.
Focus on how you feel, not the number on the thermostat. ASHRAE (the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers) studies have found that in typical summer clothing the majority of people prefer temperatures between 73°F-79°F. When extreme heat hits, raise the set point on your thermostats a few degrees to allow your A/C to cycle on and off. 74°F or 76°F will feel cool and refreshing on a 90+ day. Every degree increase on your thermostat equates to a 3-5% savings in energy costs.
A programmable thermostat offers an energy efficient way to keep your home cool as temperatures fluctuate during the day. It is better to leave your air conditioner set at a slightly higher temp rather than turn it off when you are away or asleep. The cooler your house remains, the less energy your AC will use trying to play catch up. Utilizing ceiling and box fans will also help you stay comfortable in extreme heat by increasing your body’s evaporative cooling. Changing out heavy quilts and comforters for light summer bedding will provide a more pleasant night’s sleep and will allow you to increase the temperature on the thermostat without sacrificing comfort.
Here are a few easy steps you can take to help your AC run at peak performance:
- Clear any debris from around the outdoor unit before removing the cover.
- Inspect and clean the coils and fins.
- Change or clean the air filter inside the house.
- Listen for any unusual sounds that could indicate a malfunction.
An inspection and proper tune up by an HVAC professional will make sure your AC works optimally when you need it most. Higher energy bills are often indicative of a malfunction or that you may need a new cooling system. According to the US Department of Energy, even if your air conditioner is only 10 years old, a newer more efficient model can reduce your cooling costs from 20% to 40%.
The team at Bi-County Inc can help keep your cooling and heating systems running at peak efficiency. With skilled maintenance and repairs, we can help prevent major breakdowns and avoid future issues. Rest assured, each of our technicians is qualified and committed to helping you save money.