It sounds like a joke but seasonal changes in temperature can really turn up the heat inside the home. Disagreements about thermostat settings have been well documented in recent years. A poll done by the thermostat brand Honeywell found that 30-34% of couples fight over the temperature in the house and nearly the same amount admits to changing the set temperature behind the other’s back. Marriage counselors even warn about the friction this issue can cause, leading to heated discussions about utility bills which ignite arguments about money and threats of divorce.
Though it may seem like a small detail, finding the ideal temperature for a shared living space can be a big problem. The house is where many of us spend most of our time; just a few degrees higher or lower than what one spouse prefers can make that time miserable. Plus, adjusting the temperature changes the household energy costs, and we all know that finances are a touchy subject.
So, what should couples do to find harmony when it comes to the thermostat? How can housemates fight less and come to an agreement on the perfect inside temperature?
What Is a Good Thermostat Temperature for the Summer?
A house divided by temperature preferences is an unhappy occurrence. People can be very particular about their comfort and become frustrated when that is challenged. Whether it’s cold toes or night sweats, the thermostat can be a hotly contested device. Americans can vary in their ideal temperature anywhere in the range between 69 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
But, in contrast, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, 78°F (26°C) is the most efficient temperature for cooling the home during the summer. This is the recommended thermostat setting for times when you and your family are in the home. It may seem high to some homeowners, but with the right humidity control setting, maintaining this temperature can provide comfort and energy savings.
How to Set the Thermostat to Save Money in the Summer While Away
While you’re gone, that temperature can be set even higher to help decrease wasted energy consumption and lower utility costs. If you leave for summer vacation – or even just the day – it’s best to set your thermostat as high as 85-90° F, or even turn it off.
Learn more about How to Cool Your House and Keep Expenses Low in the Summer.
How to Limit Arguments about the Thermostat this Summer
Some like it hot. And some do not. Summer can really get people boiling about the right air conditioning setting. Here are some strategies for decreasing this tension in your home.
1. HVAC Maintenance & Air Balancing
Any HVAC tech will advise regular service checks, changing out the filter, air duct cleaning, and air balancing to keep you A/C system running well. Maintaining good HVAC performance is an easy way to keep the utility bills low and the house cooled to the set temperature.
2. Increase Air Flow
By using ceiling fans and mobile fans, you can make the room feel more comfortable without lowering the thermostat temperature. Airflow gives the impression that the indoor space is 4 to 8 degrees cooler which can be enough to put the hot-blooded part of the family at ease.
3. Trade Places
If your spouse insists on keeping the house too cold and you are concerned about the cost of energy during the summer, try switching responsibilities. Ask him or her to pay the utility bills for a few months to better understand your concerns.
4. Dress for the Occasion
You shouldn’t need to wear a winter coat in the house, but if you tend to feel chilly, it is reasonable to dress in layers. Putting on a robe, light sweater or sweatshirt while in the house for long periods can go a long way to avoiding arguments about the thermostat.
5. Trick Your Senses
Some couples swear by tricks like taking a hot or tepid shower before bed, drinking iced or warm drinks to offset the difference in temperature. It also helps if you take breaks throughout the day to go outside. Not only does it lift your mood to get some air and vitamin D, but the house feels even cooler when you step back in later.
6. Use a Programmable Thermostat
Try agreeing on a compromise; it seems simple right? Using a programmable thermostat can help your family find peace by maintaining a temperature in between the two extremes under your roof.
A programmable thermostat also makes it possible to decrease the air conditioning operation while you and your family are away. Then, you can set it to ensure that it cools the house sufficiently before you return. Programming the thermostat to lower the humidity levels in the house can also make it feel cooler than the actual temperature reading.
Watch this video to see the top programmable thermostats available on the market this year.
7. Upgrade to Home Automation
Similarly, smart thermostats can be programmed to learn and respond to your family’s daily routine and cooling needs. Home automation systems work with these types of smart devices to regulate temperatures throughout the day, week, and changing seasons. In this way, the cooling output can be set to decrease while you are at work or away for the weekend, then increase again to cool the home right before you return home.
Air Conditioning Services to Keep You Cool this Summer
Don’t sweat the small stuff this summer. Call AQM to make sure that your HVAC system is running at peak performance and can efficiently keep you and your family cool in every room of the house. Contact us at (610) 363-3940 or get an estimate online.