How to Know When to Turn the Air Conditioner On

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Air conditioning dates back to the 1830s, when a Florida physician created a machine to blow cool air over hospital patients afflicted with malaria and yellow fever. Home air conditioning began to appear in the early 1900s as a series of improvements helped create appliances that could cool homes in more efficient ways. Sales of window units took off particularly after World War II. Today, air conditioning is ubiquitous in many parts of the United States. When to turn on air conditioning is largely a personal decision based on your own comfort, although you can also look for other clues.

Things You'll Need

  • Household thermometer
  • Take note of how you feel during the day. Are you overly hot in your un-air conditioned home or do you feel comfortable most of the time? Use your comfort level as a gauge of when to turn on the air conditioner.

  • Note your sleeping habits over several nights and whether you wake up with blankets wrapped around you or on the floor. If you are regularly throwing off your blankets during the night, you may be overheating. Consider turning on your air conditioner at that point.

  • Ask any housemates the same questions about personal comfort level and sleeping habits. People react to temperature fluctuations differently, and what is comfortable to you may be overly warm to those who share your home. Turn on the air conditioner if anyone shows signs of discomfort.

  • Monitor your pets for signs of overheating, such as excessive panting or lethargic behavior. Turn on the air conditioner if your animal show signs of overheating.

  • Check your house plants for signs of wilting, yellowing or soil that dries faster than normal. The house plants may be reacting to an overly warm home, and it is time to turn on the air conditioner.

  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
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