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The Consequences of a Chilly Thermostat
The weather in Florida can be unbearably hot and humid during the spring and summer months. It’s tempting to crank down the thermostat in an attempt to cool down your home, but there are negative impacts to consider. Here’s a list of what happens when your thermostat is set too cold:
Keeping your home colder than necessary means that the walls, ceiling, floors, and windows will also be colder. This creates the perfect environment for mold to grow, especially when there’s water vapor present. Mold can even thrive when humid outdoor air enters the house and the indoor humidity is low.
When you lower the temperature in your house, the metal AC vents become chilly as well. When these surfaces are cooler than the dew point, condensation starts to form. Additionally, running the AC for extended periods makes the ducts colder. In attics with high dew points, these ducts tend to drip. Insulated attic ducts are especially prone to condensation, which can lead to water spots on the ceiling and foster mold growth.
Increased Energy Use
Running your AC for longer periods translates to higher energy consumption. So, if you keep your thermostat too cold, you’ll see an increase in your energy bills.
Increased Duct Leakage
The more you rely on your AC, the more likely it is to develop leaks. If your ducts are already leaky, they’ll be wasting more cool air and working harder to keep your home at the desired temperature set on your thermostat.
Frequent Air Filter Changes
Using your AC system frequently means you’ll need to change your air filters more often to maintain proper air filtration.
In severe cases, excessively cold temperatures can lead to moisture from the outside seeping into the walls, floors, and ceiling. This moisture can cause wood rot and create a breeding ground for mold within your home.
In Florida, your air conditioning system plays a crucial role in maintaining a comfortable home. It is recommended to set your thermostat to around 75 degrees with 50% relative humidity. However, if you prefer a slightly cooler indoor temperature, that’s perfectly acceptable. Just remember that 75 degrees is the recommended guideline.
If you still want a colder home, it’s important to pay attention to the indoor and outdoor dew points. A moisture meter can be a handy tool to determine if your walls are excessively wet. Another way to cool your house without setting your thermostat too cold is by combining your AC with the air circulation provided by ceiling fans. For more information on thermostat operation recommendations, visit 5 WS.
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