Don’t Touch Your Thermostat During a Heatwave: A Guide to Staying Cool in Pittsburgh

Jun 20, 2024

Jun 20, 2024

Here at Phillips Heating & Air Conditioning, we know Pittsburgh summers can get brutal. The last thing you want during a heatwave is a malfunctioning air conditioner or the urge to crank down the thermostat.

In fact, we recommend you avoid adjusting your thermostat too much during these scorching periods.

During a heatwave, it’s important to not change your thermostat by more than 3 degrees.

When it’s hot outside your air conditioner has to work hard to recover frequent temperature changes initiated by you. Changing the thermostat takes an air conditioner system hours to make the correction. It is better to let your air conditioner manage the same temperature over time and not shock the system with drastic temperature changes.

Why Constantly Adjusting the Thermostat is Counterproductive

    • Strain on your HVAC System: Constantly lowering the temperature puts a significant strain on your HVAC system. It shortens its lifespan and increases energy consumption, leading to higher utility bills.
    • Inefficiency: HVAC systems work in cycles. When you adjust the thermostat significantly, it throws the cycle off and reduces efficiency. The system might run constantly but struggle to reach the desired temperature.
    • Diminishing Returns: There’s a limit to how cool your air conditioner can make your home. Setting the thermostat unrealistically low won’t cool your home any faster, but it will make your system work much harder.

Alternatives to Constantly Adjusting the Thermostat

    • Set It and Forget It: Choose a comfortable temperature and leave it there. Your body will eventually adjust to this temperature.
    • Weatherize Your Home: Seal air leaks around windows and doors to prevent hot outdoor air from seeping in. Consider adding weather stripping or caulking if necessary.
    • Utilize Blinds and Curtains: You can close blinds and curtains on the sunny side of your house during the day to block out heat. Open them at night to allow cooler air to circulate.
    • Ceiling Fans: Ceiling fans set to counter-clockwise circulation create a windchill effect, making you feel cooler without lowering the thermostat.

Phillips Heating & Air Conditioning: Your Partner in Beating the Heat in PittsburghIt’s much easier to maintain a comfortable temperature if you start air conditioning before temperatures rise to an uncomfortable level. Unlike the air conditioner in your car, a properly sized residential air conditioning unit isn’t designed to lower temperatures rapidly. It will perform much better if you set the thermostat for your desired comfort level and let the AC come on as needed to maintain that level.

Turning on the AC in an already overheated house (like when you come home from work) will probably prevent temperatures from rising any more, but it will take a number of hours and possibly overnight to lower temperatures significantly.

You may think you are saving money by keeping your air off during the day while you are away, but you are spending more money having you’re A/C run longer to recover to a comfortable temperature.

Phillips Heating & Air Conditioning: Your Partner in Beating the Heat

If your air conditioner is struggling to keep up during a heatwave, there might be an underlying issue. Don’t wait until your system completely fails! Contact Phillips Heating & Air Conditioning for a comprehensive inspection and tune-up. Our certified technicians will ensure your AC is running efficiently and can offer recommendations to keep your Pittsburgh area home cool all summer long.

Here Are Some Additional Tips to Beat the Heat:

    • Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay cool and prevent dehydration.
    • Limit Strenuous Activity: Avoid excessive exercise or exertion during the hottest part of the day.
    • Light, Loose Clothing: Wear lightweight, loose-fitting clothing made from breathable fabrics like cotton.
    • Cook Smarter: Opt for meals that don’t require heating up the oven or stovetop. Consider grilling outdoors or enjoying refreshing salads.

By following these tips, you can stay cool and comfortable during Pittsburgh’s heatwaves without putting undue stress on your HVAC system.

For expert AC maintenance and repair services, contact Phillips Heating & Air Conditioning today!

Call us at 412-431-6563 or contact us here ›


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