If you fall into the ranks of the 64.8% of Americans that are homeowners, you've likely experienced difficulty with the temperature of your home. From the changing of seasons to the needs of different family members to electric bill considerations, there are, after all, a lot of factors to consider. Whether you're a new or experienced homeowner, it's crucial to your health and happiness that you optimize the temperature of your home. Still, it's hard to know what the optimal temperature is when you likely don't know how the AC works (and have likely argued with your spouse about what exactly the best temperature is.)
Luckily, we're here to help! Read on to learn all you could ever want to know about air conditioner temperature control as well as all the factors that go into optimizing the temperature of your home.
How Does an AC Work?
Before you can optimize the temperature of a room or building, it's crucial to first understand the inner workings of an AC unit. After all, you can't truly understand what air conditioner settings you need if you aren't sure of what you're controlling. In this section, you'll learn the parts of an AC and how they work, so read on to learn more!
What are the Parts of an AC?
To start out, it's important to understand what parts of an AC unit are responsible for making it run. A basic air conditioner runs using five crucial parts: a fan, a filter, a chemical refrigerant, a hot condenser coil, and a cool evaporating coil. Half of the AC unit that contains the evaporator coil and filter are contained inside your home, while the other half that contains the rest of the parts resides outside.
These parts work together to make your AC unit run smoothly. The cold side of the air conditioner blows cool air over the chilled coils and filters it into the room you're living in. The warm side of the air conditioner uses an expansion valve in taking whatever hot air might be inside your home and filtering it outdoors.
What Type of AC Do You Have?
While this is a pretty basic way to understand how an AC works, it's overall accurate in the vast majority of cases. When choosing a setting at which this air should be filtered through a building, however, it's important to consider the setting that you're cooling as well as the AC's workings.
AC units generally come in two types: residential and commercial. A residential AC unit is smaller and ventilates air specifically into your own home. This means it works at a faster and more consistent pace than it would if it had more air to ventilate.
On the other hand, commercial air conditioners are larger and cool the air inside buildings like department stores, strip malls, and office buildings. If you have a commercial AC, you might need to tinker with it a bit more since you want to optimize temperature in various parts of a building. Sometimes, multiple commercial air conditioners are needed if you want to have temperature control over specific areas.
So, What's the Best Temperature, Anyway?
Alright, so you get how your AC works. Now it's time to get into the nitty-gritty and actually adjust the air conditioner's settings to make sure you're not too hot in your home. There are more factors that go into your AC temperature control than you can find in a simple Google search, though, so read on to learn what temperature is likely right for you.
The Basic Stats
To start out, let's talk about some basic statistics that you've likely been waiting to hear.
According to the American Society for Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers, the optimal temperature is about 76 degrees in the summer and 72 in the winter. This may seem counter-intuitive- wouldn't you want to be warm and cozy when it's cold outside? Well, extreme temperature changes are in fact no good for your body, so it makes sense that the winter setting would be lower than the summer one.
This temperature also changes at different times of day based off the activities you're engaging in. When sleeping, for example, the suggested temperature is a low 67 degrees. That's 10 degrees warmer than the recommended one in the daytime!
Do these numbers seem arbitrary to you? You may be right. Read on to learn how to optimize the temperature for yourself, specifically, and your lifestyle.
Considering Your Own Needs
The numbers are easy to know intellectually, but in practice a "comfortable temperature" means something different to different people. Some people are intolerant to cold because their bodies have less muscle mass and make them always run cold anyway. These people will find higher temperatures more comfortable- temperatures that may make others sweat and take off as many clothes as possible.
Conversely, many people feel more productive when temperatures are colder. People with more fat or muscle mass are likely to want a cooler setting on the AC because they run hot. In the end, comfort varies from person to person.
This variation is heavily dependent not just on your physical constitution, but on your lifestyle as well. Those who live a more sedentary lifestyle may like warmer temperatures, while more active people may prefer cooler temperatures since they're burning heat and calories more quickly. It's ultimately up to you!
Cleanliness and Temperature
It's a simple fact that a dirty and poorly maintained AC unit is not going to do the best possible job at circulating air. Since this is the case, your temperature settings need to be adjusted based off how clean your air conditioner is. Read on to learn why this is and how it works.
What if an AC is Dirty?
If your AC unit is dirty, it's no secret that it isn't going to be ventilating air through your house as effectively or quickly as it otherwise would be. When all its coils are jammed or the coolant fluid is used down to the dregs, it's nearly impossible for this complex machine to do the job you want it to perform.
You may notice yourself needing to lower the temperature of your home even further than you otherwise would to make up for the lack of ventilation. If your optimal temperature is 70 degrees, you may be setting it to 65 if your AC is poorly taken care of. This means that you're using more energy and likely wracking up a high electric bill.
Keeping Things Tidy
Fortunately, cleaning an air conditioner is easy and effective. First, you're going to want to clean the indoor unit or your centralized AC system. This means replacing the (likely clogged) filter, eliminating and vacuuming dust and debris from the inside of the unit, and cleaning out the drain tube with a small bristled brush. Make sure that the unit is off before you begin so you don't hurt yourself, and make sure to restart the unit when you finish!
You'll also need to tidy up the outside part of your AC unit. Shut the power of your AC off entirely before beginning to vacuum the condenser coils out to eliminate dust. Use water to clean out the top ventilating fan of the air conditioner and dry it out. Reassemble the unit, restart the power after 24 hours, and voila! Instant cleanliness.
While you can clean your AC on your own in the most basic sense, there are simply some things you can't do without the help of a professional. Since you aren't an expert, it may be unclear to you which parts need to be removed or replaced if there are any. It also is a huge challenge to disassemble the unit in the first place- you may not even have the tools to do so.
Luckily, there are knowledgeable professionals out there who can help you. For a low price, we perform seasonal maintenance on your air conditioner to make sure everything is running smoothly. It's important that you do maintenance with each changing season since the different outdoor temperatures lead to different intensity at which your AC performs.
Air Conditioner Temperature Control Services
While optimizing your air conditioner temperature control sounds like a simple feat, it is in fact no easy task. Factors like the unit's cleanliness, the season, the time of day, and your lifestyle all impact the setting that you're going to want to set it to.
Now that you know how to optimize the temperature of your home, it's time to get some AC maintenance done. This will make sure that you can follow all the tips you've learned today without worrying about cleanliness or overheating. Contact us to learn more about the many services we provide at an affordable rate!
Good luck and stay chill!
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