An AC tuneup will save real money this summer
Now that the summer heat has permeated northeast Florida, hardly a day goes by when a customer does not call Charlie’s Tropic Heating and Air Conditioning, Inc., to ask, “What’s the best way to set my thermostat in this heat?”
This is a loaded question – and one not to be taken at face value. A tempting answer might be, “Everybody has a different tolerance for heat, so set your thermostat to suit your comfort level.” But Charlie’s reads between the lines, assuming that the question is driven by the arrival of the season’s first electric bills, which tend to produce their own form of shock. So what people often mean is, “What’s the best way to set my thermostat and still feel comfortable in this heat?”
Charlie’s is always happy to share the “industry standard” with regard to indoor temperatures. Whether people choose to follow it is completely their choice. We’re adamant, though, about the value of summertime air conditioner maintenance because we know beyond any doubt that a tuned-up air conditioner will run more efficiently – saving you money on your electric bills and also providing genuine comfort in myriad ways.
How warm is too warm for you?
It may help to know that all those “indoor air quality” experts generally agree that an indoor temperature of 78 degrees is about as high as most healthy people consider tolerable during the summer. Only you can say whether you agree, but this baseline number explains why many experts – and notably those at the Consumer Energy Center – recommend that you set your thermostat at 78 degrees when you’re home and 85 degrees when you’re away from home during the summer.
Further, they recommend that when it’s 90 degrees outside, you set your thermostat at 80 degrees or higher. And when it’s 95 to 100 degrees outside, they say you should set your thermostat at 85 degrees or higher.
Will your home feel warm when you walk through the door at the end of the day? Undeniably. But a properly tuned-up air conditioner should cool down your home quickly. And this strategy, while temporarily uncomfortable, is still better than turning off your air conditioner and waiting even longer for your home to cool off.
If you’re someone who prefers a chilly indoor temperature – or one that hovers in the low 70s or even high 60s – keep in mind that you don’t have to make these temperature adjustments overnight. Try increasing the number on your thermostat by 1 or 2 degrees per day. You’ll also seize the advantage of feeling less jarred by the temperature swings that often occur when you move between the outdoors and indoors during the summer.
Higher summer settings save money
The U.S. Department of Energy has long made the case for thermostat adjustments to save energy. Experts there say that when you can adjust your thermostat by between 10 and 15 degrees for at least eight hours during the summer, you can save between 5 and 15 percent on your electric bill.
Put in other ways:
- The longer your air conditioner runs, the higher your electric bills will be.
- The lower you set your thermostat in the summer, the longer your air conditioner will run to meet that temperature and the higher your electric bills will be.
- The more you can shrink the disparity between the temperature outdoors and the temperature indoors, the less your air conditioner will run and the lower your electric bills will be.
A Charlie’s AC tuneup will lead to added comfort
Give yourself every opportunity to reap energy savings by ensuring that your air conditioner operates as smoothly and efficiently as possible. In addition to inspecting the all-important filter and cleaning key components during a tuneup, Charlie’s licensed technicians will:
- Check the refrigerant level and the unit for refrigerant leaks
- Tighten the electrical connections and measure the voltage and current on the motors
- Lubricate all moving parts
- Clean and adjust the blower components
- Check the condensate drain
In addition to keeping you cool, reducing humidity and saving energy, a properly tuned air conditioner also should enhance the quality of your indoor air. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says that clean, filtered indoor air can result in:
- A reduced risk of contracting a respiratory disease
- Fewer colds and viruses
- Cold and viruses that are less intense and shorter in duration
- More manageable allergy and asthma symptoms
- Better sleep, which contributes to better health
No matter how you set your thermostat this summer, only a fully tuned air conditioner will improve the quality of your indoor air and enhance your comfort. We’ll take note of your favorite number; be sure to take note of Charlie’s: 904-685-8937.