When the scorching summer heat strikes, everyone hustles to the nearest thermostat to get the cold air flowing. But the right AC setting isn’t just about keeping comfortable. It’s also about energy efficiency and decreasing your utility expenses. So, what’s the magic temperature? The answer depends on your specific needs and the time of day. Explore the optimal air conditioner thermostat settings when you’re at home, out and about and when you are sleeping.
The Best AC Temperature When You’re at Home
The recommended daytime, at-home temperature for your air conditioner is 78 degrees. This amount may seem surprisingly high, but the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) says it balances comfort and energy efficiency. Here are some tips to help keep yourself comfortable at 78 degrees:
- Use fans: Whether you're using a ceiling fan or a desk fan, moving air makes the room feel about 4 degrees cooler. Plus, fans cost very little to use compared to your AC.
- Dress lightly: What you are wearing greatly impacts your comfort level. Wearing light-colored, loose-fitting clothes made of breathable fabrics can help you keep cool in the summer.
- Block out the sun: Sunlight radiating through the windows can easily heat a room a lot. To stop 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: Water consumption has a big part in managing your body temperature. Making sure you keep yourself hydrated improves your body’s self-cooling processes.
- Cook smart: Cooking generates considerable heat, forcing your AC to work harder, so don't use the oven or stove during the hottest part of the afternoon. Instead, use the microwave, prepare cold meals on hot days or grill outside until the weather cools off.
The Best AC Temperature While You’re Away
The DOE recommends setting the temperature back 7 to 10 degrees when you’re not going to be home for eight hours, a move that can save up to 10 percent on your cooling costs. Installing a programmable thermostat is the quickest strategy to save without relinquishing comfort.
This upgrade allows you to automatically adjust the temperature at different times of the day or week depending on your schedule, lowering your energy bills without sacrificing comfort. The key is to utilize your programmable thermostat in the correct way. Here are some recommendations for making sure you're using its full capabilities:
- Set it and forget it: Configure your thermostat to automatically set the temperature back 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 when you walk in the door when you return.
- Use the vacation setting: If you’re away from home for a long time, use the “vacation” or “permanent” hold to use the “away” temperature for days at a time. This prevents too much heat and humidity buildup without needlessly using energy to cool an empty house.
- Make gradual adjustments: Your air conditioner works most efficiently at normal speeds. Plus, a big 10-degree drop doesn't actually cool your home more rapidly. If you have to, lower 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 buy a smart thermostat, make the most of its programming capability and advanced features. Some models can learn from your behaviors and adapt the temperature accordingly or be controlled remotely for exceptional comfort and convenience.
The Best AC Temperature When You’re Sleeping
When it’s time for bed, the DOE recommends setting the temperature four degrees higher than your usual setting. However, many people find it tough to sleep in a warm room. This makes achieving the right sleep temperature a problem. Thankfully, you can employ several strategies 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 pajamas impacts how hot or cold you feel. Your bed sheets also affect your comfort level. In both cases, light and breathable cotton is the ideal option.
- Run a fan: As it does during the day, a fan can create a cool breeze in your bedroom in the evening, making sleep more comfortable.
- Open a window: If it cools down at night, reap the benefits of this by snoozing with the windows open.
- Take a warm shower before bed: It may sound counterintuitive, but a warm shower really cools you down better than a cold shower. It does this by boosting your blood circulation, bringing heat to the surface of your skin, where it radiates away more quickly.
Schedule AC Services this Summer in Charleston
Striking a balance between a home’s comfort and energy efficiency can be tricky. Why spend all summer searching for the right AC temperatures when Pardee Service Experts can help you make the most of your home cooling technology? Our reliable, cost-effective AC services in Charleston come with a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee, so you can choose us with absolute confidence. Call 843-410-6103 today to schedule the premium services you need with Pardee Service Experts.