Best Temperature for Your AC in the Summer

When the sweltering summer heat arrives, everyone scrambles to the nearest thermostat to get the cold air flowing. But the right air conditioning setting isn’t just about keeping comfortable. It’s also about energy efficiency and decreasing your energy costs. So, what’s the right number? The answer depends on your unique demands and the time of day. Explore the ideal air conditioner 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 conditioning is 78 degrees. This temperature setting 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 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 very little to run compared to your air conditioning unit.
  • Dress lightly: What you are wearing greatly affects your comfort level. Wearing light-colored, loose-fitting clothes made of breathable fabrics can help you be cool in the summer.
  • Block out the sun: Sunlight radiating through the windows can heat a room significantly. To prevent your home from becoming a greenhouse, hang curtains or blinds to block out the sun, especially during the peak afternoon hours.
  • Stay hydrated: How much water you drink has a huge part in managing your body temperature. Making sure you keep yourself hydrated enhances your body’s self-cooling processes.
  • Cook smart: Cooking generates considerable heat, forcing your AC to work harder, so try not to use the oven or stove during the hot afternoon. Instead, cook food in the microwave, prepare cold meals on hot days or grill outside until the weather gets cooler.

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, which can save up to 10 percent on your cooling costs. Buying a programmable thermostat is the easiest strategy to save without relinquishing comfort.

This technology allows you to automatically modify the temperature at different times of the day or week according to your schedule, lowering your energy bills without sacrificing comfort. The trick is to use your programmable thermostat in the correct way. Here are some tips for taking advantage of its full capabilities:

  • Set it and forget it: Configure your thermostat to automatically turn the temperature up about a half hour before you leave for work or school in the morning. Then, time the recovery period so a comfortable temperature resumes just as you walk in the door when you get home.
  • Use the vacation setting: If you’re not going to be home for an extended period, use the “vacation” or “permanent” hold to use the “away” temperature for days at a time. This prevents excessive heat and humidity buildup without wasting energy on cooling an empty house.
  • Make gradual adjustments: Your air conditioning system works most efficiently at normal speeds. Plus, a significant 10-degree drop doesn't actually cool your home more rapidly. If you must, decrease the temperature by just one degree and turn on a fan or remove a layer of clothing to help you feel more comfortable.
  • Leverage smart capabilities: If you choose a smart thermostat, make the most of its programming capability and enhanced features. Some models can learn from your behaviors and adjust the temperature accordingly or be controlled 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 four degrees higher than your normal setting. However, lots of people find it difficult to sleep in a hot and stuffy room. This makes getting the ideal sleep temperature a problem. Thankfully, you can try several techniques to beat the heat while you are trying to sleep:

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

Schedule AC Services this Summer in Roanoke

Finding a compromise between a home’s comfort and energy efficiency can be challenging. Why spend all summer guessing at the right AC temperatures when Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning can help you make the most of your system? Our trustworthy, cost-effective AC services in Roanoke are supported by a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee, so you can choose us with absolute confidence. Call 540-302-8645 today to schedule the top-notch services you need with Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning.

chat now widget box