As the days get longer, the kids look forward to practicing their cannonballs in the pool and heading to their favorite waterparks during summer vacation. You, however, are stressing about how many household members want an air conditioner in their room and how much it will cost to run them all. If you can’t cut costs by diminishing unit quantity in your home, alter the temperature you set them to instead.
When the summer months in Overland Park, Kansas, sit uncomfortably at 90 degrees, it’ll tempt you to turn the thermostat as low as it can go. We at Air Unlimited Heating & Cooling urge you to instead turn them to 78 degrees, which the U.S. Department of Energy suggests is the perfect balance for energy efficiency and household comfort.
If this doesn’t sound like an appropriate AC temperature for summer relief, consider our tips below for making the most out of this ideal temperature.
Trade-Up for a Cost-Effective Air Conditioner
Air conditioners last between 10 to 15 years with semi-annual professional maintenance. As your AC unit starts to get up there in age, you’ll notice it needs more repairs. You’ll also notice it pulls more electricity and raises your utility bills higher than during past summers, even at the same setting.
That’s when you’ll know it’s time to upgrade. Newer models, designed with the consumer in mind, have a two-stage cooling feature and blower that adjusts to different speeds for better temperature control. Together, they create a 15% higher efficiency than your older model, diminishing humidity and contributing to constant coolness at a lower cost.
Keep Your Air Conditioner in Quality Condition
Once you find a cost-effective air conditioner that’ll create an ideal AC temperature for summer heat, you’ll want to keep it in check. That means having a professional team inspect and repair your system every spring and fall, before and after intense use. Doing so will ensure whatever temperature you set your system to, you’ll reap optimal efficiency.
If you have central cooling, technicians will also check that controlled air isn’t seeping out of porous air ducts and uncomfortable outdoor air isn’t finding its way indoors. If this occurs, your unit will work twice as hard to produce your desired temperature. Rather than paying more in monthly costs, trust Overland Park’s expert air conditioner repair team, Air Unlimited Heating & Cooling, for honest and speedy work.
Deter UV Rays and Sticky Outdoor Heat
Now that your system is running in its most efficient manner, it’s time to consider other factors that make your home sticky with high humidity during the summer months. Sunbeams, for one, will raise the temperature of anything they hit. South and east-facing windows see plenty of UV rays that cause carpets, cloth furniture, and other fabrics near these windows to trap heat.
Pulling your shades down or drawing your blinds slightly to block some of the direct light will keep excess humidity out of your home. Many residents in your area also place thin laminate window films over the glass to reduce heat while still ushering in sunlight.
You should also shut windows and doors during heat waves and weatherstrip drafty areas so stuffy air doesn’t circulate indoors. However, as the temperature slowly dips, sometimes reaching as low as 67 degrees in Overland Park, choose to crack your window open for brisk summer night breezes rather than cranking up the AC.
Reduce Activities that Create Indoor Heat
Unfortunately, it’s not only the outdoor heat you have to worry about. To keep your AC temperature for summer heat effective at 78 degrees, reduce the amount of heat you produce inside your home.
Running your clothes dryer excessively or cooking with your stove or oven during heatwaves makes your kitchen and laundry room unbearable. Even worst, that heat travels to other parts of your home, counteracting your unit’s cooling ability.
Hang clothes on a line and let the summer sun dry them naturally. Also, using an outdoor kitchen, opting for a barbeque, or heating leftovers in the microwave keeps you from raising your indoor temperature ten degrees or more. If you plan to cook a hot meal, wait until the evening, which guarantees a slightly lower indoor and outdoor temperature.
Bring Your Fan into the Equation
Most residents in the area believe fans are for moderate heat in the spring and fall alone. While it’s true that fans alone won’t be enough to cool your home down on 90-degree-and-up days, working them simultaneously with your unit will create a greater cooling effect.
However, you may be wondering, “doesn’t running both a fan and an AC unit increase energy costs?”
Running your AC means your unit sucks in air through the vents, removes extra heat, and cools the air with refrigerant before releasing it back indoors. The cooler you want your indoor climate, the harder your unit must work. Fans, on the other hand, use less energy than AC units since they simply circulate existing air.
Therefore, running your cooling unit at a higher temperature and using a fan to circulate this controlled air throughout your home will lead to more energy savings than running your AC at a drastically lower temperature.
If you flip the base switch on your fan, allowing the blades to rotate counterclockwise, it’ll create a cooling downcast, adding to the cooling effect of the AC. It’ll also keep hot air from collecting near the ceiling since this stagnant air tends to rise and increase humidity.
Increase Your Thermostat Settings When You Can’t Feel It
Keeping your thermostat at a comfortable 78 degrees when you’re home during the day will keep your energy costs at bay. For every degree below this setting, you’re adding an average of 3% to your utility costs. However, there are certain times of the day when you’re able to turn the thermostat even higher without feeling uncomfortable.
When you’re out of the house, turn your thermostat up by 10 degrees to save 10% on utility bills or turn off all AC units. Invest in a programmable or smart thermostat that you connect to your phone or another electronic device so you can turn your HVAC system off when you’re on the go and turn it on during the car ride home.
Energy Star also suggests turning your thermostat to 82 degrees during summer nights since outdoor humidity is lower and your body temperature drops while you’re asleep. However, if you’re one of the Overland Park residents that feel this is not an appropriate setting, consider doing some of the following to increase your comfort level at night:
- Open a window if outdoor temperatures are cooler than 82 degrees, and turn on a fan to circulate that fresh air
- Use a power dehumidifier to extinguish some of the humidity trapped inside from a sultry day
- Change your bedsheets to ones with a more breathable material such as sateen, linen, percale, or bamboo
Creating Family-Owned Comfort For Over 10 Years
Finding the right AC temperature for summer comfort is our HVAC company’s goal. We don’t believe in you spending more than you should simply to keep your family cool during the scorching summer months. Whether you have an AC blowing hot air, an old unit that needs repairs, or a new unit that needs a maintenance check, we’ve seen it all, and we’re there for you 24/7.
Call Air Unlimited Heating & Cooling at (816) 286-7258 for five-star assistance in Overland Park and surrounding areas today!