The Best AC Temperatures for the Summer
Summer is here, and that means energy bills are going up with the temperature. However, you can keep energy bills lower without breaking a sweat — literally! Maintaining a comfortable temperature at home is easier and more affordable than many people realize.
The Comfort Spectrum
There is no single magic temperature at which everyone feels perfectly comfortable. Even you yourself, thanks to your circadian rhythm, experience metabolic changes throughout the day. When you go to sleep, you likely want it a few degrees cooler than during the day. Have you just eaten a big meal? You probably feel a bit warmer than usual.
Humans, by and large, feel comfortable between 72 and 78 degrees Fahrenheit. Whether you keep the thermostat at 72 or 76, your family will feel about the same, but keeping your home at 76 can significantly reduce your utility bills.
Keep Humidity Low
Summer tends to be more humid, which is why we use humidifiers only in the winter. As a rule of thumb, your home’s relative humidity should be around 50 percent. The comfortable range actually extends from about 35 to 60 percent, but 50 percent is ideal. Drying the air has a few substantial benefits. Dry air:
• Costs less to cool
• Cools more quickly
• Feels cooler
• Inhibits mold growth
One of the main ways your body sheds excess heat is through evaporation. When your internal body temperature hits 98.7 degrees, your sweat pores open up. As the sweat evaporates, it carries some of your body’s heat with it. Your sweat can’t evaporate at all at 100 percent relative humidity, but at 0 percent relative humidity, sweat will evaporate nearly instantaneously.
However, keeping the relative humidity too low is inadvisable. All of the problems that come with winter — cracked lips, dry eyes, and all the rest — will make you miserable regardless of how warm or cool you feel.
Dress in Layers
Some of the most effective ways to stay cool this summer don’t involve the thermostat at all. Dressing in layers is always a smart choice. If you feel too warm, take some articles of clothing off, and if you’re too cold, bundle up.
Use a Fan
Using a fan can also work wonders. Whether it’s a ceiling, floor, or tiny tabletop fan, air moving across your body will make you feel several degrees cooler. Fans use a small fraction of the energy that air conditioners require, and you’ll be amazed at how quickly your energy bills drop.
Use a Programmable Thermostat
A programmable thermostat is quickly becoming a must-have feature for any HVAC system. It’s possible to manually adjust the temperature when you wake up, go to work, come home, and go to sleep, but it’s much easier to simply let your thermostat do all the work for you. Even better, programmable thermostats never forget, and newer models will begin adjusting the temperature ahead of schedule so that it reaches your target temperature exactly when you want it.
Want more energy-saving tips to stay comfortable this summer? Please contact us or give us a call today!