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Raise the Thermostat Setting This Summer! (Yes, Really)

woman-is-coolIt’s midday during the hottest part of the summer in Florida. Outside the temperature is above 90°F the relative humidity is more than 80%. And yet we’re recommending you raise the setting on your thermostat? You might think we’ve lost our minds.

But we’re not telling you to turn on your heating. What we’re recommending is to go against the first instinct you’ll have when the outdoor temperatures soar, which is to turn the thermostat down as low as possible because this will give you more cooling, or faster cooling. This isn’t what happens, however. Finding a higher temperature for your indoor comfort on hot days is not only a way to save energy and spare your air conditioner extra work stress, but also a way to enjoy greater comfort and convenience.

The Story of Heat Gain

We’ll start with some basic science to explain why a higher thermostat setting is better. Heat naturally moves to cooler regions around it. The greater the temperature difference between two different regions, the fast heat moves into the cooler region.

The bigger the difference between the temperature inside your house and that outside, the faster your house will gain heat. You want to have the two temperatures as close as you can (while still maintaining indoor comfort for your family) to slow down how fast the house gains heat. Slower heat gain means less power necessary to keep the house comfortable.

For example, when it’s 90°F outside and you drop the thermostat as low as possible—which is usually 60°F for most HVAC systems—the 30° difference means heat will flood into your house and the AC will need to work almost constantly to keep removing heat from the air and circulating it around the house. Each degree you raise the thermostat means the AC works about 2% less.

We recommend putting the thermostat at 78°F on those hot days. This is a comfortable temperature for most people who are wearing lightweight clothes. If it feels too hot, lower the setting to around 72°F and then raise it one degree per day until everyone acclimatizes to 78°F.

The Thermostat Operation

Another factor to consider when adjusting the thermostat is that lowering the thermostat doesn’t make the AC provide faster cooling or put out larger volumes of cooling. It only keeps the AC working longer to reach the lower setting. You don’t really want your house to be 60°F, which is too cold, so you don’t want to commit the AC to reaching that temperature because you think it means faster cooling. It doesn’t. That higher setting is much better all-around.

A Better Thermostat

One way you can make an improvement to your air conditioner’s thermostat in Lake Butler, FL is to upgrade it. It’s far easier to manage energy-saving temperatures indoors when you have a programmable thermostat with multiple settings or a Wi-Fi smart thermostat that handles the energy-saving automatically. You must have professionals to install a new thermostat, so call our team to help.

Touchstone Heating & Air Inc serves the communities of North Central Florida. Let us help you enjoy the best cooling this summer.

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