How cold is too cold? During a hot summer, it’s easy to think that there’s no such thing. Crank the thermostat down as low as it will go and let waves of cold air rescue you from the relentless heat. Unfortunately, that’s bad for your energy bill, bad for your HVAC system, and even bad for your home comfort. Let’s take a look at why and definitively answer the question: How cold is too cold?
The Dangers of “Too Cold”
The first problem with setting your thermostat too low is that it forces your AC to work harder. The system has to run longer to get your home to that lower temperature, which not only wastes energy but wears the system out more quickly, leading to frequent repairs and ultimately shortening the unit’s life span.
Additionally, lower settings can cause your evaporator coil to freeze. There isn’t enough heat exchange, so ice forms on the coil, causing the system to stop working until it defrosts. Any temperature below about 68 degrees puts you in danger of freezing.
Finding Your Ideal Temperature
The ultimate answer to, “How cold is too cold?” may be 68 degrees, but to maintain home comfort without wasting energy, keep your thermostat between 72 and 78 degrees. If you’re comfortable at 78, then try bumping it up to 79 … and then 80.
If 78 turns out to be too hot, you can try the same thing in reverse. Lower the thermostat one degree at a time until your house is cool enough. However, before doing that, there are a few things you can try to maximize comfort.
Supplement your AC with ceiling fans, which make the air feel cooler than it is while using less energy. Also try opening your windows at night to let cool air in. Then during the day, close the blinds and draw the shades to keep direct sunlight out. There are plenty of ways to stay cool in summer while keeping your energy bills low.
For help finding the ideal comfort level for your home, i.e, how cold is too cold, contact us at Detmer and Sons. We keep Dayton homes cool while saving them energy.