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It is not difficult to see that air conditioning has become an essential part of our modern lifestyle. This provides us with a comfortable lifestyle and working environment throughout the seasons.
Although air conditioning is mainly linked with cooling down the air when the heat during the summer months becomes unbearable, it can also provide warmth for people during the cold winter months.
To enjoy your air conditioner in winter when there is extreme cold, you should find out how to set it at the optimal temperature.
Why Set Your Air Conditioner Correctly?
It would be best if you understood how to set your air conditioner at the right temperature for several reasons. Some of these reasons include maintaining a comfortable indoor environment, energy efficiency, and helping to save money on energy bills.
By setting your AC at an improper temperature, there could be an overuse of energy, resulting in higher energy bills for you. It could also lead to unnecessary strain on your HVAC system.
What Temperature is Ideal During Winter?
During the winter months, you should note that ensuring that your home continues providing comfort and warmth is vital. This needs to be done while maintaining good energy efficiency. For most homes during the winter, the ideal temperature is roughly 68 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit (20-22 degrees Celsius).
Most people find this range quite comfortable while maintaining good energy efficiency. However, this temperature range is not a standard and can vary depending on several factors. Some of these factors include outside temperature, personal preferences, and insulation. For example, suppose you live in a poorly insulated or older home.
In that case, you will likely need to set the temperature higher, which will help you keep a comfortable indoor temperature. If your home is well-insulated, you can maintain a lower temperature and feel comfortable. You must consider extreme temperatures' effects on you and your home.
If you set the temperature too low during the winter, water pipes may become frozen, potentially leading to damage. On the other hand, setting the air conditioner's temperature too high can lead to increased energy consumption, and ultimately, there would be higher utility bills to contend with.
The Benefits of Setting the Right Temperature
You can derive numerous benefits from setting your air conditioner at the right temperature in your home.
Comfortable indoor environment
First, this will help you maintain a comfortable indoor environment. Keeping a warm environment within your home is essential because it will help prevent health issues like hypothermia. This is particularly important in homes with young children and older adults.
Save on energy bills
By setting air conditioners at the right temperature, a lot of money can be saved on energy bills. From the Department of Energy's available energy information, you can save up to 1% on your energy bill by lowering the thermostat during the winter. By reducing the temperature from 72 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit (22-20 degrees Celsius), you should be able to save up to 4% on your energy bill.
Prevent equipment breakdown
In addition, by setting your air conditioner at the right temperature, you can prevent equipment breakdown. Take note that when you put the temperature too low, it could mean your heating system will be made to work harder than necessary to have a temperature that makes you comfortable.
This can lead to extensive wear and tear on the equipment, which may cause system failure eventually. When you set the temperature at the recommended range, your heating system will operate more efficiently and should also last longer.
Factors that Affect Indoor Temperature
Different factors affect your indoor temperature, whether in your office or home. Often, these make it challenging to ascertain the right temperature to set your air conditioning, especially during the cold winter months. These are some of the most critical factors you need to bear in mind:
Insulation and air leakage
In homes with poor insulation and air leakage, heat can begin to escape to the outside. This can lead to a lower indoor temperature, and if this occurs during the time when more heat is needed, there are some unpalatable consequences that occupants of the home may have to contend with. You must ensure that all your windows, walls, and doors are properly sealed and insulated to prevent heat loss.
Sun exposure and shading
Increased sun exposure can lead to elevated temperatures in your home or office, while shading can significantly reduce temperature. If your windows face the sun, you should use blinds or curtains to prevent additional heat from seeping into your home or office.
Use of appliances and electronics
Even if you have air cons switched on, if you continually use appliances and electronics, they can generate heat, increasing the indoor temperature. It is, therefore, vital that you turn off all appliances when they are not in use.
Tips for Achieving Optimal Temperature
If you have been struggling to achieve the optimal temperature in your home or office during the cold months of winter, the following tips can help you along this line;
Use of programmable thermostats
With programmable thermostats, you can regulate the temperature of your home or office more efficiently. These thermostats can be programmed to lower the temperature at certain times of the day when you are not in the office or at home. The temperature can again be adjusted when you return to these places.
Zoning and HVAC zoning systems
With zoning and HVAC zoning systems, you can control the temperature of different locations in your office or home separately. This may be very useful if you have rooms in your home that are not used frequently or need different temperature levels.
Proper use of ceiling fans and other tools
Ceiling fans are helpful and can help cycle air currents in your home. They can circulate warm air and make rooms more comfortable during the winter. They can be set to turn clockwise and push warm air further down in the room. Some other tools, like humidifiers, can also be used to improve indoor air quality and regulate indoor temperature.
Regular maintenance and inspection of HVAC systems
Creating a regular maintenance and inspection schedule for your HVAC system will help it function more efficiently and optimally. This can prevent equipment breakdowns and reduce the costs for repairs or replacements.
Misconceptions About Setting Temperature in Winter
You may have heard quite a few misconceptions about setting the right temperature in your home during the winter. Here are some of the most prevalent ones;
Lowering the temperature saves energy and money
Lowering the temperature can help you to save some energy and money. However, beyond this point, you will discover that it becomes counterproductive to lower the temperature.
By setting the temperature too low, more burden is placed on your heating system, and it is made to work harder to maintain the required temperature. This can result in higher energy bills which you were trying to avoid initially.
Higher temperatures are always better for heating
Setting the temperature as high as possible should make their home more comfortable and warmer. On the contrary, higher temperatures can cause overheating, which could make anyone uncomfortable and is also wasteful. Achieving optimal comfort and energy efficiency and comfort requires finding the right temperature balance.
Consult an Air Conditioner Expert
The optimal temperature range is flexible; as already mentioned, different factors can make this vary from place to place. Whether you use a split system, reverse cycle, or a ducted air conditioner in your home doesn't matter.
If you can take all necessary precautions, such as ensuring your home is well insulated. Following proper maintenance procedures, you can rest assured that you will have the right temperature throughout the winter. Alternatively, and most preferably, consult an air conditioning expert.