Best Temperature for Your AC in the Summer

When the sweltering summer heat strikes, everyone hustles to the nearest thermostat to get the cold air flowing. But the right air conditioning setting isn’t just about getting comfortable. It’s also about energy efficiency and reducing your utility costs. So, what’s the right number? The answer is based on your unique needs and the time of day. Explore the optimal AC temperature range when you’re at home, out and about or when you are sleeping.

The Best AC Temperature When You’re at Home

The suggested daytime, at-home temperature for a residence's AC is 78 degrees. This amount may seem surprisingly high, but the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) states it balances comfort and energy efficiency. Here are a couple of tips to help keep your home nice and cool at 78 degrees:

  • Use fans: Whether you're using a ceiling fan or a desk fan, circulating air will make the room feel about 4 degrees cooler. Plus, fans cost pennies on the dollar to run 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 will help you keep cool when it's hot outside.
  • Block out the sun: Sunlight beaming 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, at least 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 avoid using the oven or stove during the heat of the afternoon. Instead, cook food in 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 proposes 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. Setting up a programmable thermostat is the quickest way to save without relinquishing comfort.

This technology allows you to automatically modify the temperature at different times of the day or week depending on your schedule, decreasing your energy bills without sacrificing comfort. The key is to use your programmable thermostat properly. Here are some recommendations for taking advantage of its full potential:

  • Set it and forget it: Configure 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, program the schedule 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 maintain the “away” temperature for days at a time. This avoids excessive heat and humidity buildup without needlessly using energy to cool an empty house.
  • Make gradual adjustments: Your air conditioning system works smoothly and efficiently at consistent speeds. Plus, a significant 10-degree drop won’t cool your home more rapidly. If you need to, lower the temperature by a single degree and start up a fan or remove a layer of clothing to help you feel more comfortable.
  • Leverage smart capabilities: If you buy a smart thermostat, take advantage of its programming capability and advanced features. Some brands can learn from your behaviors and change the temperature accordingly or be managed remotely for outstanding comfort and convenience.

The Best AC Temperature When You’re Sleeping

When it’s time for bed, the DOE advises that you should consider setting the temperature four degrees higher than your typical setting. However, many people find it hard to sleep in a hot room. This makes finding the suitable sleep temperature a struggle. Thankfully, you can use several methods 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 sleepwear affects 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: As it does during the day, a fan can generate a cool breeze in your bedroom at bedtime, 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 strange, but a warm shower really cools you down more than a cold shower. It works 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 Louisville

Striking a balance between your home’s comfort and energy efficiency is sometimes difficult. Why spend all summer guessing at the ideal AC temperatures when Becht/Givens Service Experts can help you make the most of your system? Our high-quality, cost-effective AC services in Louisville are backed by a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee, so you can choose us with total confidence. Call 502-785-8230 today to schedule the HVAC services you need with Becht/Givens Service Experts.

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