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How to Set Your Thermostat for Very Hot Days: the 20 Degree Rule

We are in the dog days of summer, where temperatures are over 90 and the humidity matches. These are the days when your whole home air conditioning system works its hardest, which is also the time when it is most likely to breakdown if it has been experiencing problems. Keeping the stress off of your AC system can be a challenge when it is very hot out, but there is a simple rule that can help: the 20 degree spread.

The Rule

Your whole house AC is designed to keep you comfortable, not frigid. This means that as the temperature outside rises, you have to set your thermostat accordingly. What the 20 degree rule says is this: when it is very hot outside, don’t set your thermostat any lower than 20 degrees less than the outside temperature. For instance, if it is 96 degrees outside, don’t set your thermostat lower than 76 degrees. Why is this important? No matter how new, energy efficient or fabulous your air conditioner is, pushing it to cool consistently more than 20 degrees lower than the outdoor temperature is more than the system was made to do. What you may end up with is an AC that overheats, malfunction and/or breaks down instead of cooling your home.

Other Steps You Can Take

In addition to the 20 degree rule, you can also do some simple things to help keep your home cool without tremendous effort:

  • Use shades or long drapes to block the sun
  • Use a whole home dehumidifier
  • Install and use ceiling fans
  • Use a programmable thermostat

Little steps can add up to a lot for both your comfort and the preservation of your air conditioning system. If you need more help keeping cool in Fairfield, CT, call the experts at Celco Heating and Air Conditioning today!

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