What is The Ideal AC Thermostat Setting in Summer?
The summer temperatures in the Bay Area are known to soar. Things can get very hot outside, which means you want your home to remain comfortable. Unfortunately, it takes energy to run an HVAC system. Many homeowners literally break out in a sweat when they see the amount due on their summer electric bills. You can save a lot of money by finding and setting the ideal AC thermostat setting in summer.
Should You Keep it Warm?
There are three facts that lean towards keeping the indoor air temperature slightly warm:
Your electric bill will be as much as the amount of time you keep the air conditioner on.
The air conditioner will run longer if you set the thermostat low. This will eventually lead to a high electric bill.
Your summer air conditioning bills will be as low as the difference between he indoor and outdoor temperature, since the air conditioner will run for a shorter duration of time.
Homeowners are recommended to set their thermostat to 85 degrees when not at home during summers and to 78 degrees when at home (if you cannot afford this which many cannot in these inflationary times keep your home at 84, for example, in the summer time). This is a better strategy as opposed to turning off the cooling during really hot days when not at home. Your air conditioner will have to work twice as hard to bring the house to a comfortable temperature.
This advice is based on the often-repeated mantra of the US Department of Energy that you can save 5 – 15% on utility bills by adjusting the thermostat by 10 – 15 degrees every time the season changes. It should be higher during the summers and lower in winters.
Keep the Thermostat High
The three-point case is not just embraced by energy savings advocates. Instead, they say that homeowners should go even further. You should set the thermostat at 80 degrees or higher when it is 90 outside. The thermostat should be 85 degrees or higher when the temperature outside is 95 – 100 degrees.
However, it is important to understand that this change should not be completed in a day. Gradual increase of indoor temperature can improve your physical tolerance for heat.
Don’t Lose Out to Heatstroke
A lot of people cannot tolerate warm weather. This could be because of a low tolerance to heat or health issues. Cool indoor air temperatures become an absolute necessity for such homeowners.
You would need to make allowances for such problems and conditions. Homeowners should take proactive measures for staying cool indoors without the need for air conditioning. These steps can be taken even before the outside temperatures start soaring in the triple digits:
Close the shades on all windows during the day, especially if your faces south-west.
Turn all ceiling fans on in a counterclockwise direction. This will allow for a wind-chill effect in the house. You should be able to increase the thermostat by about 4 degrees higher without feeling warm.
Place floor and table fans in strategic locations throughout the house, such as in the kitchen when you are cooking.
Make use of bathroom and kitchen exhaust fans for forcing humidity and heat out of the house in a hurry.
Turn on all the fans in the evening to bring in cooler air from outside.
Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and following healthy eating habits.