Thermostat Tips To Stay Cool In a Minnesota Summer
We love spending time outdoors in the summer in Minnesota, but on a really sizzling day, most of us try to find relief inside in the air conditioning. However, when it comes to setting your thermostat, finding the happy medium can be a challenge for many of us. Instead of playing a game of thermostat high-low all summer, let’s look some thermostat tips to get you through the heat!
The Outdoor Temperature Factor
Before you get too excited about summer, make sure the outside temps are consistently above 60 degrees before turning on the AC. Note that you never want to run the air conditioner if outside air is below that temperature or it may cause major damage to your unit.
“It’s very bad for the unit as it actually works too efficiently and cools the indoor too much,” says Keith Hill, manager, technical support, for Minnesota Air. “The indoor coil will quickly drop below 32 F and then the freezing starts. Frost and ice forms on the coil, blocking the airflow, and if it’s not discovered soon may lead to compressor damage or even internal failure.”
No matter the reason for wanting to run your air conditioner on a milder day vs. opening a window or using fans (allergies, windows painted shut, home security, etc.), just make sure it’s above 60. And remember to also turn it off on those summer nights where the temperature drops down below 60, as well.
The Indoor Temperature Factor
Just as outdoor temperature plays a factor in your thermostat setting, indoor temperature does too. You may be tempted to drop your thermostat down to a temperature setting that was common for your home in the wintertime (68-70 degrees), but in the summer you have to think efficiently.
“Do not run the AC unit below 70 degrees indoor temp,” says Keith, “for the same reasons – it can freeze the evaporator coil.”
Keith says with some systems, that number might be 65 degrees, others 68; but it depends on other factors, including airflow and indoor humidity. That’s why never going below 70 degrees is a safe number.
“I’m not sure why anyone would operate his or her AC so cold, but we do hear about it,” he says. “Maybe they think it helps an allergy condition or they like to wear sweaters in the summer, but it’s not good for the equipment, and it will drive up your energy bill.”
Keith also notes that having the correct fan/auto settings can save you big money.
Remember The Humidity Is More Uncomfortable Than The Temp
If you find yourself constantly trying to find a good set point for your thermostat when you are home in the summer – or arguing about it with a spouse – Keith says ‘think higher.’
“My advice is always pick the highest set point where you are comfortable. Realize it’s not all about the temperature, it’s also the humidity,” he says.
Humidity is the factor that makes us feel sticky and sweaty. When moisture sticks to our skin, that makes us uncomfortable. If you have a dehumidified home, you may be able to move the set point up even higher, as dry, warmer air is quite comfortable.
Use A Programmable Thermostat
Programmable thermostats are great additions to any energy efficient house. In the summer, you can program higher settings during the day, when you know the home is empty and everyone is away; and use a programmed schedule to make sure it’s comfortable in your house before you step through the door in the evening.
A programmable thermostat will not only save you energy and money, but newer models – like Carrier’s Côr Thermostat – are made to be intuitive and know how to keep you comfortable beyond what a regular thermostat can do
“If you have a spiffy thermostat like the Côr, you can better control the humidity in your home,” says Keith. “The Côr is actually a thermostat and dehumidistat combined, and can maximize comfort by controlling both temperature and humidity.”
The Côr Thermostat allows for custom control of your home’s comfort. It can boost the air conditioning dehumidification capacity by controlling airflow, and because it’s a system that you can control with an internet-connected tablet, computer, or smart phone, you can do it anywhere in the world.
The efficiency of the Côr will keep you cool, and keep that cold, hard cash in your wallet!
For more energy saving and home comfort tips, visit StayComfyMinnesota.com! Stay Comfy, Minnesota is your Minnesota resource for air conditioning repair, furnace repair and HVAC tips and advice.