Do You Know About the ’20-Degree Rule’ for Air Conditioners?
It doesn't take any type of meteorological degree to know that it's stinking hot outside. And for some of us, it's hot inside too.
Regarding that part about it being hot indoors, there may be something you can do to help with that.
Now, it does involve being disciplined and sacrificing a little comfort, but the financial assistance could make it worth it.
Have you ever heard of the 20-degree rule?
The 20-degree rule of air conditioning says that you should always keep your AC unit at no more than 20 degrees lower than the outside temperature. So, if it's 95 degrees outside, you should set your thermostat at no less than 75 degrees.
The logic behind this has to do with how the AC unit functions. When your system starts cooling, it removes the heat but also dehumidifies the air. However, when the system has to cool your home by over 20 degrees, its capacity to do both diminishes. As a result, your AC has to work harder and uses more energy to do so. In turn, this will lead to faster wear and tear, which can drastically reduce the lifespan of the unit.
What should your thermostat be set on when it's really hot?
Whenever it's stupid hot (re: this week in Acadiana) and temperatures soar in the triple-digit range, it's best to set your AC somewhere between 75 and 80 degrees. One power company spokesperson we chatted with recommends a 78-degree setting.
This expert said not to fiddle with the dial and simply set it and forget it.
"That way it doesn't click on as often and have to work so hard to cool your house down each time," said the power company spokesperson.
(Of course, we know most of you won't want to adhere to this suggestion because you just aren't used to those kinds of temperatures in your house. We get it!)
What are some other ways to help cool your home?
There are still plenty of other ways to help keep your home cool. Here are a few tips:
- Turn your fan switch to the "on" position instead of leaving it on "auto." This will help circulate the air in your home and also should help rooms that are too hot or too cool.
- Keep the shades on the sunny side of the house closed.
- Close off unused rooms to conserve energy.
- Use ceiling fans to keep cool, making sure the fans are rotating the proper way.
- Don't use appliances on extremely hot days. If you need to run laundry or the dishwasher, try doing that during off-peak hours to conserve heat and energy. Or even try to hang clothes to dry.
All in all, is there anything we can really do to stay cool during the dog days of summer? We're not too sure of that...besides moving to Alaska for the season. But for the sake of not going totally broke, it may be worth trying one or two of these tips from the pros.
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