Being comfortable in your Marin, Sonoma, or Napa County home is important, but your family’s comfort levels can come with increased energy bills. There is a delicate balance between your family’s preferred indoor temperatures and the money you are paying to keep up with them. If you are trying to find the right place to land, when it comes to your home’s air conditioning temperatures, you are not alone. What temperature should you keep your home at during the summer? Let’s review.
What Temperature Should you Keep Your Home at During the Summer?
Having your air conditioning set to a very low temperature can not only cost you more, it can put extra strain on your system, leading to an increase in breakdowns and shortening its life. As the summer sets in and the warmer temperatures stick around, you and your family of course want to escape the heat from the outside, inside of your home; you can do so, without blasting the air.
To stay comfortable and save money this summer, the U.S. Department of Energy recommends setting your thermostat to 78°F (26°C) when you are home. Setting your air conditioner to this level will allow you to stay cool and avoid an unusually high electricity bill. We know, that may seem much too high for most people; however, the smaller the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the lower your overall cooling bill will be.
Turning your thermostat up seven to 10° F higher while you are away at work, or any time you're out of the house for more than two hours, can help you save as much as 10 percent on cooling costs. With that being said, what temperature you should keep your home at during the summer, depends on if you are there are not. To save money and energy while you're away, set your thermostat to 88°F. The higher interior temperature actually slows the flow of heat into your home, so it won't take as much energy to cool things back down when you return home.
Tips for Keeping Your Home Comfortable While Saving Money
If you are looking to still maintain comfort levels in your home, while following the above temperature recommendations, there are some things you can do to avoid needing to turn the temperature setting down. These include:
As we said, when it comes to what temperature you should keep your home at during the summer, we know that there is a balance between comfort and costs. At Bragg Cooling, Heating & Plumbing, our goal is to ensure that you are comfortable in your home all year long. We can help you find the right HVAC unit for your home and family, repair AC issues you may be facing, tune up your cooling system so it works at its best, and more. When it comes to your comfort, you deserve the best solutions at the best value. All of our technicians and installers are Bragg employees dedicated to providing you with personalized solutions that meet your goals and budget.
With summer here, while you and your family may be spending less time indoors, indoor air quality should still be something you think about, as it can impact your entire household’s health. What’s in your home’s air can vary by the home, its occupants, and the seasons. Is indoor air quality worse in the summer?
What is Indoor Air Quality and Why Does it Matter?
Indoor air quality refers to the air quality within and around buildings and structures, especially as it relates to the health and comfort of building occupants (EPA). Poor indoor air quality has been linked to continued sickness, reduced productivity, and impaired learning and thought processes. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rates poor indoor air quality as an area of major concern, noting that common contaminants, endlessly redistributed by a central air system, can contribute to allergy symptoms and sickness.
Your home’s indoor air quality is important, because it can directly impact the health and well-being of the people who are in your home. There can be short-term and long-term effects. Immediate effects typically are similar to those of colds and other viral infections, while some long-term effects may include respiratory diseases, heart disease, cancer, and more.
Is Indoor Air Quality Worse in the Summer?
The EPA advises that, “Most people in the United States spend about 90% of their time indoors. The air we breathe indoors, and ultimately our health, can be impacted by many factors, including the air quality outdoors, people’s activities indoors, and the design, construction, operation and maintenance of a building”. While the summer may mark a time of the year that you are outside more, indoor air quality still plays a major role on your family’s health and well-being.
As heat and humidity set in, indoor air quality can be impacted. Is indoor air quality worse in the summer? In most home’s the answer is, “No”. Winter is usually the worst season for indoor air quality, but that doesn’t mean that summer just gets a free pass.
Summers are filled with many things outdoors that can directly impact the air that is indoors. Things like fireworks, bonfires, forest fires, increased travel, open windows, use of central air conditioning, and more can affect the air that you breathe while inside your Marin, Napa, or Sonoma County home.
When it’s hot outdoors, while your North Bay Area cooling system will try to keep up, the heat and humidity can creep inside and into your system. Increased indoor dampness and humidity can lead to increases in mold, dust mites, bacteria, and other biological contaminants indoors. Extreme weather events can also create conditions that support increases in the spread of pests and infectious agents that can make their way indoors (EPA).
Tips for Better Summer Indoor Air Quality
Indoor air quality may not be worse in the summer than the colder and drier months of the year, but it is still something you should pay close attention to for you and your family’s health and comfort. There are some things you can do to try and improve your home’s air quality in the warmer months of the year.
If you want to ensure that the air you and are family are breathing every day is safe, Bragg Cooling, Heating & Plumbing can help. We can assess your current IAQ situation by performing a fast and easy air quality test that measures the level of particulate concentration in your air. We will then make recommendations based on our findings.
Let our comfort specialists help you breathe in clean indoor air. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about your options.
Are you looking out your window to embrace the spring views, while still trying to stay cool in your North Bay Area home? It may look great outdoors, but if your air conditioning isn’t working inside, it can be miserable. While the May weather in Marin, Sonoma, and Napa counties isn’t too hot just yet, the heat will be here before we know it, and one of the most important things is ensuring that your air conditioning is ready to take on the task of keeping you and your family comfortable. We are going to review some of the most common AC problems for spring and summer, so you can proactively keep your eyes peeled that a problem may be looming.
The Most Common AC Problems for Spring and Summer
Air conditioning, in this day and age, isn’t just a convenience, it has shifted to more of a “must have”. When your home’s AC isn’t working or isn’t up to par, it can create an uncomfortable situation and make your home less enjoyable. By knowing and watching for signs of an issue, you can try to stop a problem before it becomes much larger.
Below we take a look at some of the most common AC problems for spring and summer that we see many of our customers face.
Your AC is running, but there’s no cool air coming out. If you hear your AC running, but don’t feel any air, or warm air is coming out, there is likely an issue. There are multiple reasons why this may be occurring, and some are easier than others to identify and fix. Some of the main causes of this issue include: a dirty air filter, an air duct obstruction, the condenser or belts have an issue, refrigerant is low, or something else.
Your system is making loud and unusual noises when it turns on and off. Your AC should not be making loud noises and should be no louder than a hum. New sounds indicate an issue. If you notice a hissing, clicking, thumping or rattling, screeching, or buzzing, that is not normal. The new noises could indicate that there is a refrigerant leak, blower or motor issue, the condenser fan motor has a problem, there are loose parts, you have faulty electrical, or more. For any of these problems, you’ll want to contact a HVAC professional as soon as possible.
The system is short cycling (constantly turning on and off). One of the most coming AC problems we receive calls about is when a system is short cycling. This means that instead of completing a full cooling cycle, the AC starts up over and over. This is a serious issue that can damage the compressor. This problem may be caused by something as simple as clogged air filters or thermostat issues, or it could be a much larger concern.
There is liquid or it looks like something is leaking around your AC unit. It’s usually rather simple to spot when you have liquid somewhere in your home where it shouldn’t be; however, an AC refrigerant leak may appear within the unit, so it’s not as easy to detect. If you notice colored stains or liquid near your air conditioner unit, you likely have a problem. It is okay to see some condensation on the outside of the unit, but there should never be excessive moisture or colored stains. These types of leaks can be caused by multiple reasons, and usually always require the help of a professional to resolve the problem.
Your AC will not turn on at all. Talk about a problem! One of the most common AC problems for spring and summer is when your air conditioner just will not turn on at all. The first step to diagnosing this issue is checking your thermostat. Ensure it has power, is set to the right setting, and that the temperature is low enough for it to kick on. If all is well there, check your circuit breaker and power source to ensure it hasn’t tripped and that the unit has power. If that is not the issue, you may have loose wiring or another issue and should call in a North Bay Area cooling expert for help.
There are new unpleasant odors coming from your system. If you find yourself plugging your nose when your AC is on, there is a problem. Whether it’s a burning or musty smell, something isn’t right. Electrical and smoky odors may mean that the motor has wiring issues. If your air filters are clogged, it can cause the system to overheat, leading to burning smells. Mildew smells are related to improper drainage. If you detect a burning smell, turn the AC off right away. Check the air filters. If they look dirty, replace them.
The above are some of the most common AC problems you may face this spring and summer; however, you could have other issues with your air conditioning as well. If you are having trouble with your air conditioner, don’t hesitate to contact Bragg Cooling, Heating & Plumbing, for professional cooling troubleshooting. We will take the time to explain what’s causing your cooling problem and discuss your options for repair.
At Bragg Cooling, Heating & Plumbing we offer annual HVAC service agreements that include comprehensive AC tune ups every spring. This all-inclusive service covers coil cleaning, refrigerant inspections, and more. We are here for you and all of your Marin, Sonoma, and Napa county AC needs.