Reasonable people agree that the perfect temperature for a home is within 65 degrees to 79 degrees. Anyone outside of those perimeters has lost their right to an opinion and should be dealt with like a child who chooses chicken fingers at a steak restaurant. They talk but we all just give a patronizing nod and go back to adult discussion. But there are other considerations on this topic. For example, when considering money, humidity, the environment, morale, and the existential crises that swarm your head when it’s 100 degrees outside but you need to mow the yard, perhaps we should ask the pros, “What temperature should I set my air conditioner at in summer?”
It’s an easy question to ask but harder to answer. What are your goals? Comfort, health, money, hosting, sleeping, eco-responsibility, rule-following, or peer pressure? There are too many to address here when we’re writing for free taxed for time. The pros (the Department of Energy and Schnelle Heating & Air) say 78 degrees; well, to be honest, we prefer 77.8, which allows 2/10ths of a degree leeway for when your talkative, know-it-all friend comes over. 78 degrees is a perfect temperature in that it is relatively cost-effective yet it still keeps the humidity down by running the air conditioner, even if it’s less than it would under cooler settings.
If you ask Al Gore or Greta Thunberg, they will say just open the windows instead of running the air. If you ask the electric company what the perfect temperature is they will lie and say 78 degrees, but what they really want is for you to put the thermostat on 55 and open the windows. So, for summary, the Scandavian girl, the energy CEO, and mosquitos all agree you should leave your windows open. Assuming you don’t want to do that, here are some strategies for keeping yourself comfortable without breaking the bank or the environment:
- Use fans. Ceiling fans and others are lifesavers. A little wafting of air can make a huge difference. Plus, they are great at cooling the area you are in without having to cool the entire home.
- Reduce your use of heating appliances. Stoves, ovens, water heaters, etc. generate heat. Maybe you could grill outside a little more than usual or use less hot water.
- Block light. Get some opaque window covering to keep the sun from warming the room directly.
- Cancel the clothes. That’s right, sleep in the nude (unless you’re a sleepwalker or have the habit of answering video calls). The National Library of Medicine says the perfect temperature for sleeping with a blanket is around 66 degrees, whereas nudies have a perfect temperature of 86 degrees or so. We also know now that you shouldn’t Google this one.
- Weatherseal the home. Cooling loss through a fixable leak is not great. The return on investment for caulk and adjusting doors and windows is huge.
- Utilize a programmable thermostat. Keeping the home warmer when you are away can keep your energy use down. Keeping the temp higher when you sleep is also beneficial.
In the end, you’re going to pick a perfect temperature based on a combination of the factors you value, and you also have to make other people happy sometimes even when they are wrong. So, there’s no judgment here. At Schnelle Heating & Air, we are for you, no matter what you decide a perfect temperature is, even if you want to match the temperature of your grandma’s house on Thanksgiving. We have more than enough experience, knowledge, and give-a-darn to serve you well!
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