Best Temperature for Your AC in the Summer

When the sweltering summer heat hits, everyone runs to the nearest thermostat to get the cold air flowing. But the right air conditioning setting isn’t just about staying comfortable. It’s also about energy efficiency and limiting your utility expenses. So, what’s the magic number? The answer relies upon on your unique needs and the time of day. Explore the optimal air conditioner temperatures when you’re at home, away and when you are sleeping.

The Best AC Temperature When You’re at Home

The optimal daytime, at-home temperature for a home’s air conditioning is 78 degrees. This number may seem shockingly high, but the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) says it balances comfort and energy efficiency. Here are a couple of tips to help stay nice and cool at 78 degrees:

    • Use fans: Whether it’s a ceiling fan or a desk fan, moving air actually makes the room feel about 4 degrees cooler. Plus, fans cost pennies on the dollar to operate compared to your AC.
    • Dress lightly: What you have on drastically impacts your comfort level. Dressing in light-colored, loose-fitting clothes made of breathable fabrics will help you be cool when it’s hot outside.
    • Block out the sun: Sunlight streaming through the windows can heat a room tremendously. To prevent your home from becoming a greenhouse, pull out the curtains or blinds to block out the sun, particularly during the peak afternoon hours.
    • Stay hydrated: How much water you drink has a huge part in managing your body temperature. Staying hydrated improves your body’s normal cooling processes.
    • Cook smart: Cooking creates considerable heat, forcing your AC to work harder, so don’t use the oven or stove during the heat of the afternoon. Instead, use the microwave, prepare cold meals on hot days or grill outdoors until the weather isn’t so hot.

The Best AC Temperature While You’re Away

The DOE advises setting the temperature back 7 to 10 degrees when you’re going to be out of the house for eight hours, a strategy experts say can save up to 10 percent on your cooling expenses. Buying a programmable thermostat is the quickest method to save without giving up comfort.

This technology allows you to automatically change the temperature at different times of the day or week according to your schedule, reducing your energy bills without sacrificing comfort. The important part is to make use of your programmable thermostat properly. Here are some recommendations for harnessing its full power:

    • Set it and forget it: Configure your thermostat to automatically turn the temperature up about 30 minutes before you leave for work or school in the morning. Then, set the thermostat to start bringing the temperature back down so a comfortable temperature resumes as soon as you walk in the door when you return.
    • Use the vacation setting: If you’re going to be out of your home for a long time, use the “vacation” or “permanent” hold to use the “away” temperature for days at a time. This avoids too much heat and humidity buildup without needlessly using energy on cooling an empty house.
    • Make gradual adjustments: Your AC works the best at steady speeds. Plus, a significant 10-degree drop won’t cool your home more rapidly. If you have to, lower the temperature by only one degree and switch on a fan or remove a layer of clothing to help you feel more comfortable.
    • Leverage smart capabilities: If you buy a smart thermostat, make the most of its programming capability and enhanced features. Some designs can learn from your behaviors and adapt the temperature accordingly or be managed remotely for superior comfort and convenience.

The Best AC Temperature When You’re Sleeping

When it’s time to go to bed, the DOE suggests setting the temperature 4 degrees higher than your typical setting. However, a number of people find it hard to sleep in a hot and stuffy room. This makes achieving the right sleep temperature a real challenge. Thankfully, you can try several strategies to beat the heat while you go to sleep:

    • Sleep in lightweight pajamas and breathable bed sheets: Just like your daytime attire, your choice of pajamas influences how hot or cold you feel. Your bed sheets also can be a factor in your comfort level. In both cases, light and breathable cotton is the better choice.
    • Run a fan: Just like during the day, a fan can provide a cool breeze in your bedroom in the evening, making sleep more comfortable.
    • Open a window: If it gets cooler at night, take advantage of this by going to bed with the windows open.
    • Take a warm shower before bed: It may sound strange, but a warm shower actually cools you down more than a cold shower. It works by increasing your blood circulation, bringing heat to the surface of your skin, where it radiates away more rapidly.

Schedule AC Services this Summer in the U.S.

Finding a compromise between your home’s comfort and energy efficiency can be tricky. Why spend all summer guessing at the ideal AC temperatures when Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing can help you make the most of your air conditioning? Our reliable, cost-effective AC services in the U.S. come with a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee, so you can choose us with complete confidence. Call 866-397-3787 today to schedule the HVAC services you need with Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing.

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