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Reduce Stress on Your Air Conditioner with the 20 Degree Rule

This is the time of year when we really feel the heat and humidity, prompting many people to find relief in their whole home air conditioners. While it is your AC’s job to keep you cool, it’s important to be smart about temperature setting. Keeping your air conditioner at 70s degree when it’s over 90 degrees outside can really push your system to the limit for a long period of time. Your best approach to reducing stress on your AC while also maintaining indoor comfort is to use the 20 degree rule.

What’s the 20 Degree Rule?

Simply put, the 20 degree rule states that you should set your thermostat no more than 20 degrees less than the outdoor temperature for cooling. For instance, if it is 92 degrees outside, your thermostat shouldn’t be any lower than 72 degrees.

Why Is the 20 Degree Rule Important?

Every air conditioner cools by doing two things at once: removing heat and dehumidifying your indoor air. However, once your AC is in a position of having to cool more than 20 degrees, its ability to do both diminishes. This forces your air conditioner to work harder, and in turn, it uses more energy. It also operates under considerable stress which contributes to excessive wear and tear and premature aging.

What If I Am Still Not Comfortable?

There are a few things you can do to help cool your home without stressing your air conditioning system excessively:

  • Hang drapes or blinds to reduce daytime heat gain
  • Install and use a programmable thermostat (if you don’t already have one)
  • Install ceiling fans
  • Install a whole home dehumidifier

Increasing the size of your air conditioner is not necessarily the answer, as many think. In fact, an air conditioner that is too big will cool your home but not dehumidify it, making your indoors feel cool and clammy.

The experts at Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling are here to help with all of your air conditioning needs in New Hope, PA – just give us a call!

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