When the temperature climbs to the triple digits and the dog days of summer settle upon you, chances are that you’ll crank up the thermostat in order to create the cool interior environment that will help you to beat the summer heat. Since most people don’t relish the idea of sitting around in damp clothing all day, sweating through the sheets all night, and generally presenting a soggy mess of melting humanity, air conditioning is an important part of surviving extreme summer weather conditions. The unfortunate side effect of turning your home into a virtual ice box is that you’re going to have to pay the piper when your monthly utility bills arrive. But with a few tips and tricks on your side you should be able to keep cool without spending an arm and a leg. Here are some suggestions to help you figure out how to appropriately set your thermostat during extreme hot weather.
- Follow Department of Energy guidelines. The department of energy recommends that during the summer months, homeowners should never set their thermostat lower than 78 Fahrenheit. This may sound rather warm, but when the temperature outside is up over 100, 78 should feel fantastically cool to you. In addition, however, you should know that every degree you raise the temperature increases your conservation and savings.
- Program appropriately. If you don’t yet have a programmable thermostat, now is the time to consider installing one, especially if you’re still relying on an old-school dial to set the temperature inside your home. With a programmable thermostat you can not only set the temperature accurately, but you can also create a schedule that accounts for any time you spend out of the household (when the family is at work, school, or away on vacation, for example) and the time you are in bed, asleep. When you adjust the thermostat accordingly for your absences, you can conserve energy and cut back on utility bills while still enjoying a cool environment when you’re at home and awake.
- Account for humidity. While humidity can be great for your skin, giving you a dewy glow, it definitely makes the air feel even hotter than it is. You can combat this to some degree with your central AC, but you might want to think about better ways to account for humidity than fiddling with the thermostat. For example, you might consider installing dehumidifiers around the house as a way to pull moisture from the air and decrease the feeling of sweltering heat in your home.
- Use fans. Many people harbor the misconception that fans cool the air. In fact, they merely push air around, whether it’s hot or cold. The cooling effect is produced by air moving across your skin, which accelerates your body’s natural cooling abilities. So use fans whenever possible, with the full realization that they have their limitations. This way you can temper your thermostat settings.
- Check your HVAC. Regardless of how you intend to control the temperature in your home, it’s imperative that you conduct annual inspections of your HVAC system to ensure that everything is working efficiently. You can go it alone with a few tutorials under your belt, but hiring a reputable company like http://www.keefes.com/ should make the process much easier, and produce better results, to boot.