MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — We are expected to see 90-plus degree weather over the next few days. That will have a lot of air conditioners working overtime.

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And it seems that everyone has a certain number in mind for staying cool when the weather gets hot.

Wayne Jensen is a master technician for CenterPoint Energy. He and his crew become very popular in the summer. And like a good baseball team, they have a magic number in mind.

“Anywhere between 72 and 78 degrees I would say,” Jensen said.

That’s where CenterPoint recommends you set your thermostat. Federal recommendations are on the warm side of that.

“Federal guidelines suggest 78 for cooling and 68 for heating in the winter time,” Jensen said.

Those numbers are based on foot traffic in and out of a home, and average comfortability.

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Nationally, about 65 percent of homes have central air. In Minnesota, that number is closer to 70 percent due to our high humidity.

“Not only is it important to maintain your filter, it’s also very important to maintain your condensing unit out there,” Jensen said.

Centerpoint says keeping vegetation away from your outside unit will go a long way toward being energy efficient.

But for comfort, Jensen says one of the worst things you can do is open your windows at night and then shut them during the day.

“Best thing to do if you know it’s going to be hot tomorrow, leave your windows shut and leave the air conditioner on,” Jensen said.

Having a ceiling fan can help, too.

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Using a fan and your AC at the same time would allow you to raise your thermostat about four degrees without it feeling any warmer.

John Lauritsen