Customers often ask what the best temperature is to set their thermostat in the summer. There are a few answers to the question, but a lot depends on how much of your comfort you are willing to sacrifice. Of course, there is always the cost factor to consider. Are you prepared to pay a higher electric bill to stay cool? These helpful tips can help you figure out what temperature to set your AC to and avoid losing your cool this summer.
The Higher the Humidity, the Hotter You Feel
Jacksonville and Florida are known for their humid subtropical climate. We have hot and wet summers with the most rain falling between the months of May through September. The average temperature during July is 82 degrees. While that might not seem so oppressive, it’s the relative humidity that makes it uncomfortable. And this is because of how our bodies are designed.
Sweat is your body’s way of dispersing body heat. To regulate your body temperature, your skin automatically sweats at 98.6 degrees. When the humidity is low, your sweat evaporates quickly, and you don’t get that sticky uncomfortable feeling. But when the humidity is high, and the air is loaded with water vapor, your sweat cannot evaporate. An 80-degree day quickly turns into one that feels like 86 degrees when the humidity level rises to 90 percent. The ideal humidity level to stay comfortable in your home is 60 percent.
A good strategy to stay comfortable and save on energy bills is to supplement your AC use with ceiling fans and personal fans. While these fans do not actually lower the temperature in your home, they do create a breeze that moves across your skin and helps to make you feel more comfortable without you having to rely solely on your thermostat.
Experiment with Different Temperatures
Sometimes what a person chooses as their “ideal” temperature setting is a temperature that they have mentally associated with being cool. You might be comfortable at 76 degrees, but your spouse thinks the temperature should be set at 72 degrees. According to the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) people dressed in summer clothes tend to be comfortable in a range between 73 to 79 degrees indoors.
Wait for a time when everyone in your family is at home and bump the temperature on your thermostat up to 78 degrees for a couple of hours. Wait to see if anyone reacts. For the next couple of days, continue to drop the temperature by 2 degrees each day until the temperature reaches 72 degrees. There’s a good change that they may be comfortable at a higher temperature. And the good news is for each degree you can raise your thermostat, you could save up to 5 percent on your air conditioning’s portion of your electric bill.
Keep with the Program
Having a programmable thermostat can help maintain a more comfortable temperature in your home. You can program your AC to raise the temperature to 75 degrees at night, which is the ideal temperature for sleeping during the summer. And don’t forget to program your thermostat to a higher temperature while you are at work. Your thermostat can also be programmed to begin cooling your home again half an hour before you wake up or come home.
As you can see, it all comes down to a balancing act to find the best temperature to set your thermostat during the summer. For questions about cooling your home, contact the AC experts at Snyder Heating & Air Conditioning.