When it’s hot outside, it’s natural to want to crank the AC down low. You want your home to feel comfortable as quickly as possible. Many people think that turning the AC way down is the best way to achieve that.
However, not only is setting the AC too low not going to achieve that, but it’s also incredibly hard on your air conditioning system. Your AC isn’t designed to make your home feel like an ice box–it has its limitations. Let’s go over how important it is to resist the urge to set the thermostat in the 60s. By increasing the temperature, you’ll feel more comfortable and it’ll also keep you from needing AC repair.
Your AC Has a Limit
Contrary to popular belief, your AC has a mechanical limit on how much it can decrease the temperature in your home. This is called the temperature differential. For residential air conditioning systems, it’s 20°F. That means that the most that an AC can lower the temperature inside a home is a difference of 20°F.
If it’s 90°F in your home, then your AC can only achieve a temperature of 70°F. It doesn’t matter if you set the AC at 65°F. The system will not be able to get your home to that temperature.
If the thermostat is set to a temperature that’s 20°F more than the inside temp, the AC will run continuously without cycling down as it tries to reach a temperature setting beyond its limits. This places immense strain on your system and can lead to a whole range of issues such as:
- The system could overheat and shut down completely
- Tripped circuit breaker
- Burned-out motor
- Damage to the compressor
- Frozen evaporator coils
- Increased wear and tear and a decreased system lifespan
Raise the Temperature to Keep It Cool
We understand that when it’s hot and humid outside, your first impulse is to crank the AC down. But raising the temperature is the best way to stay cool. Let’s explain.
Given what we’ve covered in this blog, you might be thinking that if it’s 85°F out, you’re justified in setting the thermostat to 65°F. However, the recommended energy-saving setting on the thermostat is 78°F.
This setting should be sufficient to keep your home comfortable on even the hottest days of the year, especially if your home is well-insulated. Even if the temperature reaches 100°F, your home’s insulation will prevent some of that heat from getting in, giving the AC a head-start on cooling down the interior.
When you think about how often you use your air conditioner here in Covington, you can help your AC last longer by raising the thermostat as high as you feel comfortable. You’ll also help keep your house cooler. How does that work?
The closer the indoor temperature is to the outside, the slower heat from outside moves into the house. This is called heat gain. Insulation helps slow it down, but so does a higher temperature setting. Your house won’t heat up as much and you’ll also save energy and money compared to turning the thermostat down too low.