The temperature you pick for your thermostat makes a huge difference to your comfort and satisfaction during the summer. Setting it too high can leave you sweaty while setting it too low can cause massive electricity bills. So what temperature should you pick? The right temperature for your home will depend on your unique needs and preferences.
The Safest Temperature for Humans and Pets
Heat can be dangerous, so you don’t want to let your home get too hot. The absolute highest you should set your thermostat is around 82 degrees Fahrenheit. Keeping your air conditioning higher than this will let your home heat up quite a bit. You may deal with heat rash, headaches, and other unpleasant symptoms of overheating.
Seniors and infants are slightly more likely to deal with heatstroke, so you might want to set your thermostat slightly lower if your family includes these age groups. In these cases, the thermostat should be set no higher than 78. Animals are usually a little sturdier than humans, but high heat can still be a problem for them too. If you have pets, it’s important to keep your AC running even when you are not home. Setting the thermostat above 82 degrees can give your pets heatstroke.
The Temperature You Will Feel Most Comfortable At
Every person has their own individual preferences, so there is no set temperature all humans will like. On average, most people are comfortable with the thermostat set around 70 to 75. However, some might prefer it as low as 68 or as high as 78. You may want to experiment with some different settings to find the one that feels best for you.
There are a few situations where your personal preferred temperature might change. Once you get ready for bed, you might want to adjust the thermostat a little lower than your normal setting. Most people will fall asleep easiest with a bedroom temperature of 65 degrees. If you plan on having guests over, it might also be a good idea to lower your temperature a degree or two. The added body heat from multiple people can end up making your house feel unpleasantly hot.
The Right Temperature for Saving Money
If you want to save money and are fine with feeling a little warmer, consider setting your thermostat higher. For each degree that you set your thermostat above 72, you save 3% on your energy bill. This means that adjusting your thermostat by a few degrees can save you hundreds of dollars over the year.
The U.S. Department of Energy recommends people use a thermostat setting of 78 degrees. This is at the higher end of the comfortable temperature range. For most people, it might feel a little warm at first, but once they acclimate, it will feel perfectly comfortable. If you want to run ceiling fans, you can even bump the temperature all the way up to 80 degrees.
The Right Temperature for Extending Your AC’s Lifespan
The temperature you pick for your air conditioning can do more than just affect your comfort and energy bills. It also affects your air conditioning system. The wrong temperature can mean you have to pay for repairs more often or replace your air conditioner sooner. There are several ways that temperature affects your AC.
If the temperature you pick is too close to room temperature, there is a chance your air conditioning might start short cycling. This mostly just happens with oversized units, and it causes them to cycle on and off constantly. All the stopping and starting puts strain on your system, making it break down more often. You may also want to avoid setting the thermostat so low that your air conditioning runs nonstop. Running without any breaks all day can put added wear and tear on your machine, and it might cause certain parts to overheat.
The Best Temperature for Protecting Your Home and Belongings
If you have furniture, electronics, or other materials you want to protect, you need to pay close attention to your thermostat. High thermostat settings make your home hot, and the lack of a running AC also causes extreme humidity. This can lead to problems like warped wood, malfunctioning computers, or mildewed fabric. If your home is made of wood, constant humidity shifts can cause larger problems like shifting floors or gaps around windows.
To avoid these issues, you need to try to keep your home’s climate at an even, moderate temperature. The majority of personal belongings will do best at temperatures no higher than 80 and no lower than 60. In most cases, the ideal temperature is somewhere around 70 degrees. And remember that your AC will affect humidity too. Try to select a temperature that allows your AC to run long enough to get indoor humidity between 40 to 60 percent.
Avoid Setting Your AC Too Low
When trying to decide on an air conditioning setting for the summer, most people focus on finding the highest possible temperature where they can feel comfortable. If you are not worried about saving energy, you might just assume you can set your temperature wherever you want it. However, the reality is that it is also possible to make your AC be too low.
When the ambient temperature in your air conditioning unit drops too much, the evaporator will start to freeze over. This causes ice buildup that prevents the AC from working, and as the ice melts, you may also encounter unpleasant leaks. This generally will not happen as long as it is reasonably warm while the AC runs. However, if you are setting it somewhere in the 60 to 65-degree range, a frozen coil might occur. This is especially true if you are making your air conditioning run when outside temperatures are already on the cooler side.
Don’t Forget About Humidity
When discussing the best temperature for your home, it is important to keep in mind the fact that humidity changes how the air feels. This happens because your body is always naturally cooling itself by evaporating moisture from the surface of the skin. However, when the surrounding air is already filled with moisture, your natural cooling process slows. The end result is that high humidity makes you feel hot while low humidity makes you feel cool.
When you are trying to find the most comfortable temperature overall, you will need to take into account humidity. If your indoor air is dry, you may be able to set your thermostat a little higher. Meanwhile, if you live in a humid area, you will need a lower thermostat setting. As your AC runs, it will constantly remove
If you need any help keeping your home comfortable during the summer, do not hesitate to ask us for help. Hansen Heating & Air is Mobile’s trusted HVAC company. Our team can help you with all sorts of AC repairs, installation, and maintenance, and we also work on heaters too. Find out more about our services by giving us a call today.