It plays out like an old Western movie. You look at your target, fingers wiggling in anticipation. Across the room, your opponent does the same. You prepare to strike, the air sizzling with tension. It’s a modern duel, and only one person can be the winner. Who is it going to be?
We’re talking, of course, about the classic thermostat battle. You prefer one temperature; your partner prefers another. All winter long, the temperature soars anywhere up to a tropical 80 degrees before plunging back down to a brisk 60 degrees. Rinse and repeat. Who needs to travel the world when you can experience so many climates inside your own home?
As the Mat-Su Valley’s HVAC experts, we know a thing or two about thermostats. In this blog, we’re going to reveal the ideal temperature inside your home (and more importantly, WHY), and some things you can do to maximize the efficiency of your system while we wait for the snow to melt.
Want to make sure your system is working at its best? Contact us today.
Ideal Temperature Inside Your Home Revealed
There are lots of variables that go into setting the ideal temperature inside your home.
Overnight, for example, a temperature between 60 and 72 degrees will help you snuggle in and get a great night’s sleep. If you’re working, however, you might need it to be a little warmer – especially if you’re working at a desk. Studies of school students suggest girls perform best when it’s warmer, while boys perform best when it’s cooler. That may not be a great surprise, given the battle of the sexes that usually accompanies thermostat control. Most experts agree that 75 degrees is the optimal learning and working temperature for females, while 69 degrees is the best for males.
But those aren’t the only factors. What about health? The World Health Organization recommend balancing the thermostat somewhere between 64 and 69 degrees if you and your family are not very young or very old. This is cool enough to minimize the risk of nasty contaminants like mold and fungi growing in your home but warm enough to keep you all healthy.
And what about the cost of your energy bills? A temperature of about 78 degrees will keep you comfortable in summer, while dropping the thermostat down to about 68 degrees will help you keep your bills in check during the cold winter months without freezing to death.
Let’s add them up quickly. The average temperature, based on the figures above, is 69 degrees. Of course, that doesn’t factor in personal preference, but it’s a good benchmark.
How to Achieve the Ideal Home Temperature
When was the last time you had your HVAC system serviced? Most Alaskan homes have a furnace with baseboard heaters, and we often forget they exist. They’re kind of tucked away out of sight, and out of mind, until something goes wrong. If you’re doing some quick mental math right now, that’s probably a sign your system is due for a check-up.
It’s like getting an annual physical check-up from your doctor. Just because things are working doesn’t mean they’re working well. If you’re suffering through high blood pressure or lower back aches – okay, you can still function, but you can also treat the issues and improve your quality of life. Your HVAC system might be firing up every time you press the button, but there could be issues like faulty parts, old wiring, clogged vents, or a range of other things affecting its output. Yes, it still works, but it doesn’t work nearly as efficiently or effectively as it could.
That’s why we recommend you add HVAC to your list of home maintenance tasks to complete every spring. Regular maintenance will increase the longevity of your furnace and will significantly reduce the risk of costly repairs or replacement. Looking after your system should be just as routine as cleaning gutters, fixing damaged siding, packing away your winter clothes, and vacuuming that worrying area behind the couch that you’ve been steadfastly ignoring all winter.
There are also a number of other things you can do to improve your indoor temperature:
Clean Your Air Ducts
Here’s another gross thing we like to add to the jumble of thoughts right at the very backs of your minds: air ducts. Air ducts are havens for all kinds of mold, fungi, bacteria, mildew, and microbes to not just collect and flourish, but recirculate around your home. Aside from the obvious impact on the health of you and your family (fancy breathing some dead skin cells? No? How about recycled pet danger?), clogged ducts and vents can reduce the efficiency of your HVAC system.
Alaskan furnaces run a lot. We have long, cold winters, that make warm air necessary not just for comfort, but survival. Airborne contaminants are pulled into your air ducts every time your furnace runs, so scheduling a duct cleaning service will restore your system to full capacity, lessen running time, reduce your bills, and ensure your home can warm up to an ideal temperature.
Invest in a Smart Thermostat
A great way to resolve the age-old battle over the temperature is to invest in a smart thermostat. We recommend the iComfort S30, which is a programmable thermostat that is compatible with smart home systems like Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant, and more. It can be controlled remotely and uses active monitoring designed to help you save money and live comfortably by constantly optimizing and adjusting the temperature inside your home.
For example, it has a function called “Feels Like,” which creates the temperature you want to feel, not just the temperature you set, accounting for things like the indoor/outdoor temperature variance and fluctuations in the humidity level. It’s a great addition to every household.
Consider Upgrading Your System
If any part of your HVAC system is wheezing into the final few days or months of its life, don’t delay replacing it. There’s nothing worse than waiting until the temperature plunges next fall to turn it on and realize it’s dead. (Trust us, it’s a common very trap that makes fall our peak season.) You’re definitely not going to think your home is at an ideal temperature if icicles are forming INSIDE.
Here at HeatSource Mechanical, we are Lennox Premier dealers, so we can give you a great deal on the latest high-efficiency home heating systems. This includes furnaces, as well as air purification systems, humidifiers, and more. We’ll help you find the right option to stay comfortable.
Adjusting the Temperature
Fighting about the temperature is cute in the early stages of your relationship, but it gets tedious pretty quickly. If you want to make sure your home is always comfortable, with air circulating somewhere around that perfect 69-degree mark, talk to your local HVAC experts at HeatSource Mechanical. We can review your system and let you know how well it’s working, as well as giving you an estimate for maintenance, repairs, or replacement to keep you comfortable. You can also join our Comfort Club to save 10% on repairs, enjoy pre-paid maintenance, and get priority scheduling and reduce after-hours dispatch fees. We’re looking forward to working with you.
Want to talk to our technicians? Schedule an appointment now.