Everyone wants to achieve the perfect balance between energy savings and home comfort. Having a home where cool air beats the summer heat is a perfect ideal. While system maintenance tasks such as changing the AC filter or hiring a technician to tune up the unit make a positive impact, something as simple as adjusting the temperature setting plays a big part in your electric bill.
So, what temperature should I set my air conditioner in summer?
According to the Department of Energy, 78 degrees Fahrenheit is the sweet spot for air conditioners to balance energy savings and comfort when people are at home and need cooling. But in actuality, the answer to this question varies.
Deciding the right figure for you will need some experimentation and questioning. Are you more interested in getting a lower electricity bill, or you’re more concerned about the comfort level, or a balance of both?
There are many factors that can affect your home temperature. They are the following:
Number of people at home
Amount of direct sunlight
Amount of physical activity
Outdoor humidity or climate
Number of windows
Other factors that add to the heat in the environment
Ultimately, the perfect AC setting for your home is the one that balances your cost and comfort.
The Ideal Air Conditioner Temperature Setting Is 22-26°C (71-78°F)
For most people, a temperature range of 22-26°C is the right temperature, not too cold yet not too hot.
Best AC Temperature for Sleeping
A temperature of 78⁰ F (25⁰ C) is an ideal set up when you’re at home and awake. But it is not good for sleeping. Actually, bedroom temperatures that are too hot or too cold can cause restless sleep. A general recommendation is that the optimal temperature for sleeping is between 60⁰ and 67⁰ F.
In order to fully maximize your savings and comfort, check out these tips:
- Set the thermostat at a higher temperature when you’re away
According to the studies, you can save 3-5% on the cooling cost for each degree that you raise the thermostat. When you’re not home during the day, you can possibly increase your energy savings even more if you set the temperature 7° to 10°higher. Installing a programmable thermostat, you can potentially save as much as 10% on your energy cost. On the other hand, completely turning off the AC might actually cost you money due to the extra energy it takes to cool your home back down to your comfort level.
Refrain from setting the thermostat on a colder setting to cool the home down faster after being away for some time. The temperature will cool at the same rate but will run longer until it reaches the lower temperature. You can invest in a programmable thermostat or even a smart thermostat in order to automatically set the temperature to high when you’re not at home and reset the system to cool when you come back. A smart thermostat can be connected to your devices such as a smartphone or tablet making it easy for you to adjust the settings wherever you go.
- Turn on the ceiling fan (and other natural solutions to cool the home)
If you have a ceiling fan in your home, use it to increase and circulate the airflow. You can also use the help of a stand-alone fan to spread the airflow faster. In fact, running a fan takes less energy than running the air conditioner.
If you’re cooking inside the house, you can turn on your oven’s ventilation fan and keep it on until you’re finished. The same goes for your exhaust fan in the washroom or shower.
Here are supplemental comfort-enhancing (and money-saving) suggestions that you can practice:
Add weather stripping to window and door openings to better seal in cool air and seal out the heat.
Close down the window coverings during the day to reduce heat from sunlight.
Avoid using heat-generating appliances such as an oven, your clothes dryer, hairdryers, etc., especially during the day.
Turn off your AC and open windows at night to naturally cool your home. Shut the windows during the day to seal in the cooler air.
- Perform regular maintenance on your air conditioner
Just like your car, your central AC operates more efficiently with regular maintenance and system check-ups. For instance, a dirty, clogged air filter can restrict air circulation, possibly causing reduced energy efficiency, while also putting a strain on the system’s parts.
You must regularly check your system and troubleshoot simple issues that you can handle. However, if the concern is way beyond your capacity, then calling an experienced tech professional is the way to go.
- Adjust your sleeping routine
If you can set a little higher temperature during bedtime, you can even reduce the energy cost more.
Although warmer temperatures make it harder for anyone to sleep, not the case if you slightly tweak your sleeping habits. Generally, our ideal sleeping temperature is between 16-20°C when wearing pajamas and covered by a sheet. But the study shows that wearing lighter, more breathable fabrics and not using blanket sheets can make you comfortable sleeping at a higher temperature.
- Avoid using your appliances as much as possible
Appliances and lights can raise the temperature in your home because of the heat that they are emitting. It is recommended to avoid using any appliances inside the house during the hottest time of the day.
- Keep blinds down during the hottest time of the day
Invest in good blinds that cover your sun-facing window. Keep them closed while away. In this way, you can prevent heat coming from the sun entering your home.
- Take cooler showers and hang laundry outside
Hot showers and wet clothes add dampness to the air and will cause the temperature to rise. You may restrict your lukewarm showers to a short length of time, or choose to have a cool shower.
As much as possible, hang dry your clothes outside to keep the excess moisture out of your house. This moisture can add up dampness in the ambiance causing the temperature to rise a little bit.