When the sweltering summer heat hits, everyone scrambles 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 reducing your utility costs. So, what’s the right number? The answer is based on your particular needs and the time of day. Explore the ideal air conditioning thermostat settings when you’re at home, out or when you are sleeping.
The Best AC Temperature When You’re at Home
The suggested daytime, at-home temperature for your air conditioning is 78 degrees. This temperature setting may seem surprisingly high, but the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) says it balances comfort and energy efficiency. Here are a few tips to help keep yourself cool at 78 degrees:
- Use fans: Whether you're using a ceiling fan or a desk fan, moving air actually makes the room feel about 4 degrees cooler. Plus, fans cost very little to operate compared to your AC.
- Dress lightly: What you have on greatly influences your comfort level. Dressing in light-colored, loose-fitting clothes made of breathable fabrics will help you keep cool during the summer months.
- Block out the sun: Sunlight radiating through the windows can easily heat a room tremendously. To stop your home from becoming a greenhouse, draw the curtains or blinds to block out the sun, at least during the peak afternoon hours.
- Stay hydrated: Water consumption has a huge part in regulating your body temperature. Avoiding dehydration improves your body’s self-cooling processes.
- Cook smart: Cooking generates a sizable amount of heat, forcing your AC to work harder, so try not to use the oven or stove during the heat of the afternoon. Instead, make use of 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 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 expenses. 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 according to your schedule, lowering your energy bills without sacrificing comfort. The important part is to use your programmable thermostat properly. Here are some guidelines for making sure you're using its full capabilities:
- Set it and forget it: Set up 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 just as you walk in the door when you get home.
- Use the vacation setting: If you’re going to be out of your home for a long time, use the “vacation” or “permanent” hold to maintain 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 AC works smoothly and efficiently at steady speeds. Plus, a dramatic 10-degree drop will not cool your home more quickly. If you need to, drop the temperature by only one degree and switch on a fan or remove a layer of clothing to help you feel more comfortable.
- Leverage smart capabilities: If you buy a smart thermostat, capitalize on its programming capability and extra features. Some models can learn from your behaviors and adjust 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 normal setting. However, a lot of people find it tough to sleep in a warm room. This makes finding the ideal sleep temperature a real challenge. Thankfully, you can try several strategies 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 night clothes impacts how hot or cold you feel. Your bed sheets also affect your comfort level. In both cases, light and breathable cotton is the better choice.
- Run a fan: Just like 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 off at night, take advantage of this by snoozing with the windows open.
- Take a warm shower before bed: It may sound counterintuitive, but a warm shower truly 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 Indianapolis
Balancing your home’s comfort and energy efficiency can be tricky. Why spend all summer guessing at the ideal AC temperatures when Broad Ripple Service Experts can help you make the most of your air conditioning? Our trustworthy, cost-effective AC services in Indianapolis are backed by a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee, so you can choose us with total confidence. Call 317-527-0271 today to schedule the premium services you need with Broad Ripple Service Experts.