Now that just doesn’t make sense! Actually, if you research this, it has something to do with Romans, stars, and a period of summer starting only July 3rd and ending on August 11th. (That’s the condensed version.) Dog days are the worst temperatures and humidity of most summers.
When we have crazy high temperatures and humidity your air conditioner doesn’t get much of a break; and it shouldn’t if sized properly.
How all this affects your home…
During these extreme conditions, there is not much room for error. Small problems can grow to large ones very quickly. If you’re paying attention to the meteorologist, you will hear the term “heat index” or “feels like” temperatures. This is used when there is elevated humidity levels and the same is true for inside your home! When your home has an oversized air conditioning unit, leaking ductwork, leaking windows, leaking doors, etc., you can have a problem with excessive moisture inside your home. Most home owners will keep their thermostat around 74-75 degrees, with 50-55% humidity levels inside. If you’re having to run the temperature on your thermostat down to 68-72 degrees to be comfortable in your home, you might have an issue or two with humidity that needs addressed!
Humidity is key!
Remember, 75 degrees outside during the spring or fall with low humidity feels great! Okay, now go outside during the hot summer months when temperatures drop to 75 degrees at night. It’s sticky and sometimes feels miserable. It’s the same way inside your home. Not nearly as extreme, but enough to make it uncomfortable and cause you to lower your thermostat. Now, you are paying more to utility companies!
Take time to clean and service your air conditioning system. Or, have a qualified HVAC company take care of it for you, and always keep your filters cleaned or replaced. Raise your thermostat 1-2 degrees during the extreme heat. The long run times of your air conditioning unit will already be removing more moisture from inside, making your home more comfortable even at a temperature a few degrees higher. Raising thermostat temperatures and keeping filters changed can make a noticeable difference in your electric bill! In addition, make sure to always keep the fan switch on your thermostat set to the “auto” position, never move it to “on”. If the fan on your air conditioning unit gets set to “on” it will run even when condenser is off. This circulates air from your home back over the wet evaporator coil, causing the air to become more and more humid. This will make your home feel miserable, and can cause a lot of problems with moisture!
What you can do?
There are several ways to avoid unnecessary heat in your home, and help your air conditioner be as efficient as possible!
- Close blinds and window treatments during daytime hours to block sun
- Hang laundry to dry if possible, and limit dryer use during the day
- Cook outside, go out to dinner, or cook later in the evening when the outside temperature has dropped
- Keep all air conditioning vents open, closing them can cause your unit to freeze
- Keep filter clean; dirty filters restrict airflow into your unit making it much less efficient
- Keep lights off when not needed; some light bulbs can produce quite a bit of heat
- Use fans to keep air circulating through home
- Turn off computers, TV’s, etc., when not in use
- Keep foundation vents closed unless you have moisture problems under your house
- Make sure there is adequate moisture barrier in your crawl space
- Check attic space to make sure it is well insulated
- Have your HVAC system checked, including ductwork
If we can help you in any way, please call!