Trying to find the exact right setting for your AC isn’t always easy. Obviously, some people like it cooler, some people like it warmer, and in some houses, everyone isn’t always going to agree. When looking for the right temperature to set the AC in your New Jersey home, we have 2 things to factor into the decision.
- What temperature is going to keep you comfortable?
- What temperature is going to keep your energy bills reasonable?
Finding a balance between these 2 factors is how we search for the perfect AC temperature setting for a central air conditioning system.
What is the ideal setting for your AC?
The ideal temperature setting for your AC is 78 degrees. According to the Department of Energy, this is the ideal setting to keep your home cool, while not stressing your AC and running up your energy bill. They recommend that you leave it at 78 degrees Fahrenheit while you are home because it doesn’t freeze your home out, while being just cool enough to alleviate humidity. The humidity is one of the most uncomfortable parts of the summer heat, and when that isn’t present, 78 degrees is actually a very nice temperature. 78 degrees outside may feel uncomfortable if it’s a humid 78, but if it’s regulated without that water vapor (humidity) in the air, it feels much lighter and cooler.
A jump in cooling from 78 degrees to 72 degrees can increase your energy used by as much as 50%! That’s a VERY large number when you consider how much your energy bill can rise to during the summer. If you prefer a cooler home and don’t mind paying the increased energy bills, keep the setting as cool as you like. But, there are ways to make your space even cooler while the setting is at 78.
Here are 4 ways to keep your home cooler in the summer
While your AC is running at 78 degrees, you can do these simple things to keep your space cooler without spending much energy!
- Keep your blinds drawn – Letting the sun into your home will increase the temperature. Keeping your blinds drawn during the day, especially in rooms you aren’t using, will keep the temperature of your home down a few degrees.
- Run heat-producing appliances at night – Dishwashers, ovens, and dryers all give off heat and raise the temperature around them by a few degrees. Waiting until the cooler parts of the day to use these appliances will keep your home a little cooler when needed.
- Properly set up your fans – Make sure your ceiling fans are spinning counter-clockwise, pushing the cooler air down. This can make it feel up to 8 degrees cooler, and even reduce your energy bill. You can also set up fans around the house to allow for better airflow. One cool trick is to put a bowl of ice in front of a fan, using the cooler air from the ice to circulate around the room.
- Replace your air filter – If you haven’t replaced your air filter in a while, it could be causing some blockage in your AC system. The air filter catches dust, dirt, and other airborne irritants. Once the filter fills up, it makes it tougher for air to pass through. These blockages cause airflow problems, and keep your system from running efficiently.
Humidity and Your Air Conditioner
We spoke a little more about humidity earlier, but we wanted to revisit one of the most important. When you’re looking for the ideal air conditioner setting, the temperature shouldn’t be the only thing you consider. Having an air conditioner that decreases humidity makes a world of difference with how the same temperature can feel.
If there is more water vapor is in the air, which is what humidity is, it will make you feel hotter. The extra moisture in the air makes it difficult for your body to expel heat, keeping your body temperature up.
Warm air also naturally holds moisture in the air, lending itself to more humidity.
Removing water vapor from the air is part of the air conditioning process. When the coils cool the air, the evaporated water cools and turns into liquid. The system then expels that water. This is why you’ll see dripping water from window AC units.
Then, the conditioned air that is blown into your home is drier and cooler than before.
So, if 78 degrees isn’t doing it for you, consider adding more dehumidification before messing with the thermostat.
Depending on your needs, there’s everything from portable room dehumidifiers to whole-house systems that hook right up to your central air unit.
One other option to consider would be a new thermostat. Older thermostats don’t account for everything when it comes to home comfort. Now there are thermostats on the market that can account for humidity, temperature, time of day, and even more. Upgrading your thermostat can give you an extra layer of comfort and convenience you are looking for. Check out ecobee thermostats here. The ecobee 4 even comes with a built-in Amazon Alexa system!
If you have any questions about making your home more comfortable, let us know! Give us a call at (856) 272-7000, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.