When the sweltering summer heat arrives, everyone scrambles to the nearest thermostat to get the cold air flowing. But the right air conditioner temperature isn’t just about keeping comfortable. It’s also about energy efficiency and reducing your power bills. So, what’s the magic temperature? The answer depends on your specific needs and the time of day. Explore the ideal air conditioning temperatures when you’re at home, out or when you are sleeping.
The Best AC Temperature When You’re at Home
The recommended daytime, at-home temperature for a home's air conditioner is 78 degrees. This amount may seem surprisingly high, but the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) claims it balances comfort and energy efficiency. Here are a few tips to help keep your home comfortable at 78 degrees:
- Use fans: Whether you're using a ceiling fan or a desk fan, the flowing air actually makes the room feel about 4 degrees cooler. Plus, fans cost pennies on the dollar to operate compared to your air conditioning unit.
- Dress lightly: What you have on significantly impacts your comfort level. Choosing light-colored, loose-fitting clothes made of breathable fabrics will help you be cool in the summer.
- Block out the sun: Sunlight streaming through the windows will often heat a room tremendously. To stop your home from becoming a greenhouse, hang curtains or blinds to block out the sun, at least during the peak afternoon hours.
- Stay hydrated: Water consumption has a big part in controlling your body temperature. Avoiding dehydration boosts your body’s self-cooling processes.
- Cook smart: Cooking creates a surprising amount of heat, forcing your HVAC system to work harder, so avoid using the oven or stove during the heat of the afternoon. Instead, make use of the microwave, prepare cold meals on hot days or grill out on the porch of patio 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 not home for eight hours, which can save up to 10 percent on your cooling expenses. Setting up a programmable thermostat is the simplest method to save without relinquishing comfort.
This technology allows you to automatically modify the temperature at different times of the day or week based on your schedule, lowering your energy bills without sacrificing comfort. The trick is to make use of your programmable thermostat in the correct way. Here are some tips for taking advantage of its full potential:
- Set it and forget it: Schedule your thermostat to automatically turn the thermostat up to your away temperature about a half hour 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 just as you walk in the door in the evening.
- Use the vacation setting: If you’re not going to be home for several days, use the “vacation” or “permanent” hold to keep the “away” temperature for days at a time. This stops excessive heat and humidity buildup without needlessly using energy on cooling an empty house.
- Make gradual adjustments: Your air conditioning system works smoothly and efficiently at steady speeds. Plus, a significant 10-degree drop doesn't actually cool your home any faster. If you need to, decrease the temperature by just one degree and start up a fan or remove a layer of clothing to help you feel more comfortable.
- Leverage smart capabilities: If you have a smart thermostat, take advantage of its programming capability and advanced features. Some brands can learn from your behaviors and adjust the temperature accordingly or be managed remotely for exceptional comfort and convenience.
The Best AC Temperature When You’re Sleeping
When it’s time to go to bed, the DOE advises that you should consider setting the temperature four degrees higher than your usual setting. However, a lot of people find it tough to sleep in a warm room. This makes achieving the right sleep temperature a real challenge. Thankfully, you can try several techniques to beat the heat while you drift off to sleep:
- Sleep in lightweight pajamas and breathable bed sheets: Just like your daytime attire, your choice of night clothes affects how hot or cold you feel. Your bed sheets also influence your comfort level. In both cases, light and breathable cotton is the ideal choice.
- Run a fan: Similar to during the day, a fan can provide a cool breeze in your bedroom at night, making sleep more comfortable.
- Open a window: If it cools down at night, take advantage of this by sleeping with the windows open.
- Take a warm shower before bed: It may sound counterintuitive, 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 quickly.
Schedule AC Services this Summer in Columbia
Balancing a home’s comfort and energy efficiency can be tricky. Why spend all summer guessing at the right AC temperatures when Midland Air Service Experts can help you make the most of your home cooling technology? Our high-quality, cost-effective AC services in Columbia are supported by a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee, so you can choose us with total confidence. Call 803-399-7208 today to schedule the HVAC services you need with Midland Air Service Experts.