Heat Wave 2022

turbodog

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Not just you. I see a lot of people with 72 mentioned. 72... and I mean a real/true 72, especially indoors, is _cold_.
 

knucklegary

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Some people are naturally cold-blooded like snakes. I know my ex-wife sure was, lol
 

bykfixer

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Like KG said the shock to the system is a reason to keep the thermostat up in summer or down in winter. And yes it saves a lot of money.
When I walk in the house from outside in summer it feels comfy, same in winter. Walk back outside and it's not such a shock.
 

jtr1962

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Not just you. I see a lot of people with 72 mentioned. 72... and I mean a real/true 72, especially indoors, is _cold_.
Mine are at 80 or 81. That's about as warm as I can tolerate but since AC removes the humidity it's still a lot more comfortable than the high 80s to mid 90s, high humidity outside.
 

idleprocess

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Not just you. I see a lot of people with 72 mentioned. 72... and I mean a real/true 72, especially indoors, is _cold_.
I'm comfortable across a range of temperatures myself. ~60F - ~85F I'm generally OK for desk work with modest adjustments to layers. Benefit of making it cold in the morning is the air conditioning doesn't cycle much and it's often past 18:00 until it starts to run heavily.

There's a vocal component of locals that insist 70F is the absolute maximum they can tolerate - I do not doubt that some refrigerate down to 60F. I suspect said demographic ventures outside rarely since they likely are also all North Faced up in the non-summer months whenever temperatures drop into the 60s.
 

Poppy

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The temps reached 97F today, and when I got home at 6:30 PM it was still 91F.
Although the central AC was set at 71, it couldn't keep up and the inside the house temp was 75F. The attic fan was still running (set ON at 103F, OFF at 95F). I think it went off some time between 7:30 and 8:00.

Thankfully I had the 14,000 BTU portable unit in the family room running, set at 72F. Otherwise the failure to keep up, of the central unit, would have been much more obvious.

The sun set at about 8:30 and now at 9:15 the house is at about 72. The units will start cycling on and off, when set at 71. Yeah, I'll be under the covers, but the house is on a slab, so it will act as a 'heat sink/COLD sink"

Life is good when you have electricity, and air conditioning.
 

turbodog

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...it couldn't keep up and ...

If my hvac could not keep up I'd start looking at causes/solutions.

Check the temp coming from the vents. If you find a 'hot' one... maybe throw some extra insulation around that duct segment.

Last year I called it quits and replaced the 4 ton unit, did an airflow analysis, added a return, enlarged the existing return, added some dampers, and installed a nice 2 stage compressor w/ variable speed blower.

To date... in the MS heat, it's only kicked into high mode about 12 hours, staying in low mode 99.9% of the time. And, the house is cooler, more consistent, and has a lower humidity level than before. And it's not oversized for the sq ft of the house either. I mark this as some of the best money spent in a LONG time.
 

bykfixer

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Mine is more about humidity reduction than cooling. Living in a 50+ year old, nearly all original home means it's asking an awful lot from a climate control system to keep the place more than 20 degrees cooler than the outside air. I would suppose many out there have a similar situation.

Investing in attic insulation, better sealed windows and doors, and for winter floor insulation is worth every penny, but man that's a lot of pennies most do not have all at once.

My system kicked into high yesterday. I'm sure it has before but it was the first time I was outside when it did. And the nearby electric meter went from a slow 33 rpm album looking crawl to a 78 rpm single record spinning. For a brief moment I thought I could hear "cha ching cha ching" cash register sounds and a celluar phone ringtone "we're in the money" song playing from the now digital electric meter.
 

Poppy

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And what's the deal with 72F??? I'm not cold natured but could not imagine a house that cold. I'm set at 75 24x7x365 and am considering moving to 76.

If my hvac could not keep up I'd start looking at causes/solutions.

Check the temp coming from the vents. If you find a 'hot' one... maybe throw some extra insulation around that duct segment.
You make good points.
My system probably CAN keep up if I had it set to 75F. Personally, I've become somewhat heat intolerant. All my adult life, I've lived and worked in AC environment. All my life I suffered from seasonal allergies. I found that if I kept the house cooler, my allergies affected me less.

Like bykfixer's house, this one is 50-60 years old. It had blown in insulation in the attic which has settled a bit, so now it is only 3-4 inches thick. I've considered lying down more, but the joists are covered with planks of wood, pieces of plywood, doors, table tops, anything that is flat that would allow one to put some storage on top. AND it is full of storage!

Improvements I made included:
1. ducting a whole house attic fan, and putting it on a thermostat.
2. cleaning the condenser coil to the central AC unit (boy was that needed)
3. Installing reflective mylar sunscreen material on the South Facing sliding patio doors, and the West Facing bay window in the living room.

Problems with the house:
1. it is under insulated
2. It is a Ranch style, with no shade trees (except at the North side of the house where I don't need it.)
3. The family room is an addition, which is also under insulated. It has a cathedral pitched roof, with a skylight, all aiming South, which maximizes Solar gain.

It is currently 87F under mostly cloudy skies, the AC is set at 71F and is cycling on and off. I don't think that it would cycle off if there was full direct sun.

Regarding humidity issues, I was told that it is better to have a slightly undersized unit that runs constantly to remove the humidity. If it is oversized, it may cool the room/house too quickly and then you'll have a cool damp house. So with that being said, one should strive to have a properly sized unit.
 

Repsol600rr

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Both mine are programmed to let it get warmer during the day and then I start to ramp it down as I get closer to bed time. So it'll be 78 during the day when I'm not there and it doesn't matter. It still kicks on to knock down some humidity. As it gets dark and the outside cools it starts ramping down towards 75 and then about an hour before I normally go to bed it goes for 72. I sleep much better when it's cold so 72 is nice a comfy. On weekends when I'm home it's nice and cool in the basement where I have my nice setup so I don't need to cool the rest of the house as much then either. I also close all the doors to the upstairs rooms to the cold takes longer to reach the thermostat making my room actually colder than the 72 set. I don't really ever heat above 68 in the winter either unless I'm feeling a bit under the weather. Seems to be pretty efficient especially now that I have a new upstairs ac unit after a tree fell on the old one.. The units are both on the north side of the house shaded the entire day pretty much and the garage is on the south so there are no south facing windows at all which I think helps some as well.
 
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bykfixer

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You make good points.
My system probably CAN keep up if I had it set to 75F. Personally, I've become somewhat heat intolerant. All my adult life, I've lived and worked in AC environment. All my life I suffered from seasonal allergies. I found that if I kept the house cooler, my allergies affected me less.

Like bykfixer's house, this one is 50-60 years old. It had blown in insulation in the attic which has settled a bit, so now it is only 3-4 inches thick. I've considered lying down more, but the joists are covered with planks of wood, pieces of plywood, doors, table tops, anything that is flat that would allow one to put some storage on top. AND it is full of storage!

Improvements I made included:
1. ducting a whole house attic fan, and putting it on a thermostat.
2. cleaning the condenser coil to the central AC unit (boy was that needed)
3. Installing reflective mylar sunscreen material on the South Facing sliding patio doors, and the West Facing bay window in the living room.

Problems with the house:
1. it is under insulated
2. It is a Ranch style, with no shade trees (except at the North side of the house where I don't need it.)
3. The family room is an addition, which is also under insulated. It has a cathedral pitched roof, with a skylight, all aiming South, which maximizes Solar gain.

It is currently 87F under mostly cloudy skies, the AC is set at 71F and is cycling on and off. I don't think that it would cycle off if there was full direct sun.

Regarding humidity issues, I was told that it is better to have a slightly undersized unit that runs constantly to remove the humidity. If it is oversized, it may cool the room/house too quickly and then you'll have a cool damp house. So with that being said, one should strive to have a properly sized unit.
You describe my attic (andprobably millions of Americans). I used to have air flow but over time as it became a storage shed all that changed.

The calculations for my house AC were in between ton sizes for the brand I chose so we went with slightly undersized for the reason you cited. The brand I chose has 1/2 ton incriments and my "optimum size" was a 0.72 so we went with the 0.5 incriment. It's a much higher SEER with a low mode so although it runs longer it ends up costing less each month than the previous unit that cooled the house quickly but cycled on/off constantly.

If you are up for the task you can lower your ceiling indoors and insulate between the original ceiling and new one. I've seen folks with 10 foot ceilings build a frame, add insulation and sheet rock over the frame and end up with 9 foot ceilings but with 8 foot ceilings a frame of 2x4's would result in about 7'6" ceilings.
 
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bridgman

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What we really need is some kind of "summer sweater" that you could put on and feel a few degrees cooler.
 

bykfixer

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We're receiving our annual mid-August reprieve for the next few days. Some years we don't but I remember going back to my child hood days that around mid-August a cool snap comes in for a few days with low humidity and chilly nights.

I think it was around 2006 it did not happen. That was the year it was 98 degrees on Halloween day.
 

Poppy

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Yeah, we just completed nine consecutive days of actual temps above 90F with high humidity so that it felt like 95-105F. Our lows were in the mid 70's and humid.

This morning I opened a few windows, it was only 61F outside. Wow!!! fresh air!

A couple of nights ago, we had a thunderstorm roll through, just long enough to knock the power out in a couple of sections of town. I called a friend of mine who lives in one of the sections, to offer him use of my generator, but he hadn't lost power.
 

Chauncey Gardiner

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Yeah, we just completed nine consecutive days of actual temps above 90F with high humidity so that it felt like 95-105F. Our lows were in the mid 70's and humid.

This morning I opened a few windows, it was only 61F outside. Wow!!! fresh air!

A couple of nights ago, we had a thunderstorm roll through, just long enough to knock the power out in a couple of sections of town. I called a friend of mine who lives in one of the sections, to offer him use of my generator, but he hadn't lost power.

Poppy, You're a great American! 👍 👍
 

bykfixer

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The guy on the radio said "record humidity" last week. I did not know they kept statistics on humidity levels. Lows in mid-70's is normal in July and August in my area. Sometimes the low is 78/79. But yeah, the air was noticeably "thicker".
 

jtr1962

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Yeah, we just completed nine consecutive days of actual temps above 90F with high humidity so that it felt like 95-105F. Our lows were in the mid 70's and humid.

This morning I opened a few windows, it was only 61F outside. Wow!!! fresh air!

A couple of nights ago, we had a thunderstorm roll through, just long enough to knock the power out in a couple of sections of town. I called a friend of mine who lives in one of the sections, to offer him use of my generator, but he hadn't lost power.
The relief this week has been welcome. I was coughing and otherwise feeling under the weather after days of breathing recirculated air. I've tried literally everything to keep the mold and mildew in the ACs at bay but nothing really works 100%. By August I usually start getting sick from it. It's been nice to give the ACs a rest the last few days.

I hope we're done with the long stretches of 90+ this year. This is one of the most difficult summers in my memory.
 

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