Air conditioning has become an essential resource in our daily life, especially in summer. On a hot August day we could not last 5 minutes in the car, in the office, in a restaurant or in the cinema without the freshness that it provides.
While it is a faithful ally against heat, air conditioning can also harm your health and your pocket if not used correctly.
Air conditioning and your health
The Spanish Pneumology Society states that 20% of colds and half of sick leave due to colds are in the summer. Although not solely responsible, the temperature of the air conditioning is largely to blame.
The problems begin when a dry environment (below 30% relative humidity) is combined with a temperature difference of more than 10ºC from that on the street. This is when your throat and your entire respiratory system begin to suffer.
A badly used air conditioner is more than enough to turn your home into a cold, dry place. Pharyngitis, laryngitis, sinusitis, otitis... the list of afflictions is long and it includes muscular problems (cramp) and migraines if the cold air is directed at a person's head or back.
What is the optimal temperature to set your air conditioning at?
Air conditioning: ideal temperature:
You must know what the ideal temperature is, and control it. Both for your comfort and for your health.
In reality, it is not efficient to set the air conditioner below 25ºC. Your comfort will not increase, but both the energy consumption (increasing both energy and economic costs) and the consequences for your health will skyrocket.
The ideal recommended temperature is usually between 24ºC and 26ºC in the summer months, so adjusting the air conditioning to these values is usually the most optimal and most efficient point. The most common is 26ºC.
Air conditioning and your pocket
It is estimated that in the month of July alone, average electricity consumption increases by about 7 kWh due to the use of air conditioning, which is equivalent to approximately 30 euros more on your bill.
If the situation lasts into August and September, summer can be expensive. To ensure your electricity bill does not leave you shivering, it is better to follow these 4 tips:
- Keep the temperature stable at around 25ºC.
- Be sure to close doors and windows so that the warm outside air does not enter. Use curtains or awnings and lower the blinds. Less light, less heat.
- Service your air conditioner: a dirty system, leaking refrigerant gas or a malfunction can increase your bill by up to 20% because you will need to use more power.