Many people have heard that by setting their thermostats a couple of degrees higher in the summer, they can save money on their energy bills. However, there are others who set them extremely high – at 80 degrees or more – for the eight or more hours that they are gone to work. Believe it or not, this may not be the best idea. Here’s why:
How Heat Works
Physics tells us that heat takes the place of cold, so it’s right to assume that warm air is going to find its way into your home somehow. When a homeowner opens up the front door to a nicely cooled building, it isn’t the cold air that’s rushing outdoors; it’s the warm outdoor air that is rushing inside to take the place of the cooled air. So, when people turn up their thermostats a great deal before leaving their homes, they’re essentially allowing this warm air to come into their homes through windows, floors, walls and other surfaces – and it doesn’t take long for a home to warm up significantly.
When people think of their air conditioners, they know that these are devices that are designed to pump the heat out of the air and replace it with cooled air. What some people fail to understand is that all of the objects in their homes, including floors, furniture and other everyday items, actually acclimate to these cool temperatures. When the thermostat is raised a great deal, more than the air warms up. All of these objects start to heat up again, and this can certainly pose a problem. The greater the difference in temperatures after setting the thermostat, the faster this heat transference will take place.
Now, imagine coming in from work and walking into a home, condo or apartment that is a searing 82 degrees. It’s unlikely that anyone will be really comfortable unless it happens to be an arid day and the windows can be opened, but that doesn’t happen too often in Florida. Most people are going to go to the thermostat and quickly set it at 70 degrees or so in anticipation of cooling the home quickly. Of course, what they aren’t realizing is that it takes time to pump all of the heat out of the home, especially since heat has been transferred to other objects, and such extreme temperature changes can actually overwhelm an air conditioner.
When to Turn It Up
People who are interested in saving money have the right idea by turning up their thermostats, but they need to do so with discretion. Jumps of 10 degrees or more are not recommended unless no one will be inside the home for more than a week at a time. For the most part, it’s best to set the thermostat two degrees higher than normal permanently and only raise the temperature by two to three degrees when they will not be home. This way, when it comes time to get back to that comfort level, the air conditioner doesn’t have to work so hard because there isn’t as much heat in the home to remove.
Saving money on air conditioning costs is important, but turning up the thermostat too much can actually ruin the comfort level your unit was designed to provide. The best way to save money is by purchasing an incredibly energy-efficient unit, and here at A Superior Air Conditioning, we are always here to help you choose the right one for your home.Print Story