Air conditioning systems are marvelous devices. For centuries, people had methods to add heat to their homes but didn’t have a standard method to cool them down. Mechanical air conditioning was invented in the early 20th century but didn’t start to have a significant impact on homes until the 1950s. Now it’s hard for us to imagine making it through a summer without using the cooling power of ACs.
You may have wondered about the performance of your own air conditioning system. For example, how cool can an AC make a house? There must be an upper limit, but what is it? We’ll look at these questions in this post because this knowledge can help you understand how best to run your AC and set the thermostat.
The Thermostat Doesn’t Control the Limits of Your AC
First, let’s take a look at the thermostat in your house to see how low you can set it. If you have a standard thermostat, you’ll probably find that the lowest it goes is 60°F. Is that how cool your AC can make your house?
No, it’s not. The thermostat doesn’t have any connection to the limitations of the air conditioner. It’s simply a switch designed to control when to turn the AC on and off. An air conditioner will run until the thermostat registers the house has reached the set temperature, and then the thermostat will cycle down the AC. If the thermostat is set beyond the limits of the AC, the air conditioner will not reach the target temperature and will continue to run.
The Temperature Differential Is Your AC’s Limit
What you need to think about is not the limits on the thermostat, but the air conditioner’s temperature differential. This is the maximum amount of degrees your AC can lower the temperature of the air inside the house. The temperature differential for all residential ACs is 20°F.
An example of this in action: On a 90°F day, the inside of your house may be around 85°F. (This depends on several factors, such as the levels of insulation, light exposure on windows, and appliances running in your house—it could be hotter or cooler than 85°F.) The air conditioning system can lower the temperature as far as 65°F. This is probably colder than you want it—in general, we don’t recommend lowering the thermostat below 68°F, and the best energy-saving setting is 78°F.
As you can probably tell by this, the 20°F differential is usually enough to keep your home at a comfortable temperature. It helps to have the house well insulated and to close shades over windows with sun exposure to help prevent extra outdoor heat from getting in; this makes it easier for the AC to cool the house without straining the outside edges of its temperature differential. On extremely hot days, try to keep the thermostat around 78°–80°F. As long as the interior of your house isn’t getting up to 100°F, the AC will have no trouble keeping you cool.
We offer air conditioning service in Mansfield, LA and throughout the Shreveport Area that will help your AC work its best. We’re ready with 24-hour emergency repair service, and we can replace your aging cooling system with an energy-efficient new one. Reach out to us today to arrange for AC repairs, maintenance, and more.
Moon’s Air has provided whole-home comfort since 1971. Call us for service today—it’s good to be Mooned!