The majority of Americans love summer. It’s the perfect time to get out and do some of the things you love. However, you always have to return to your residence, which means dealing with the heat. Generally, during spring and summer, people put their air conditioners to work the hardest. While that may not appear to be an immediate problem, it will be when you receive your energy bill. Naturally, the cooler you set your air conditioner, the more energy you consume, resulting in higher costs. We’ll provide a suitable answer to the question, “To what temperature should I set my air conditioner in the summer?”
To keep your energy costs to a minimum, you may want to go easy on the air conditioner, but that will inevitably lead to family squabbles where you feel the wrath of the rest. It requires some experimenting with the temperature to reach a suitable compromise. According to the Department of Energy, for every degree you raise the temperature of your air conditioner, you reduce your utility bill by approximately three percent.
What temperature should I set my air conditioner in the summer?
Is there an answer to the question, “What temperature should I set my air conditioner in the summer?” It depends on who’s asking the question. The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Agency suggests that for the best cooling and energy efficiency, you should find a temperature with which you’re comfortable while at home and awake. When you’ve gathered the family and agreed upon a setting, you should raise the thermostat by 4° F while you’re asleep and when you’re not in the house, take it up by 7° F.
According to a Consumer Reports survey in 2021, Americans keep their thermostat set at 71 degrees throughout the day and night. If you feel more tolerant about heat, try raising the temperature by a single degree at a time to see how it affects your comfort levels. Conversely, if you can’t handle the heat, decrease the temperature one degree at a time until you’re cool before going down further.
Smart and programmable thermostats can assist you with regulating the temperature in your home. You can dictate what temperatures you need and at what time. If you don’t have one of these, you should manually adjust the thermostat with these temperatures being the optimum:
- When you’re at home, set it to 78° F
- When you’re away at work or out for the day, set the thermostat to 85° F
- During the sleep hours, keep the thermostat at 82° F
Other Home Cooling Options
Apart from working with the thermostat and your air conditioner, you can implement other changes around the home to keep internal temperatures ideal. If you have a ceiling or box fan, don’t be reluctant to use it as it can deliver a decent chill effect provided the humidity levels aren’t too high. Bear in mind that fans don’t cool rooms but people, so avoid operating one when nobody is in the room as this will increase your energy bill for no reason.
Living in an area with moderate temperatures won’t demand constant use of the air conditioner. Capitalize on cooler evening temperatures by opening your windows and allowing natural air into the home. Close them in the morning and try to keep your curtains or shades drawn to prevent the sun’s rays from piercing through the interior.
Lighting is another factor that can contribute to warmer temperatures in the evening. Perhaps, you should invest in lighting options that operate at cooler temperatures or turn them off towards the evening to keep the space cool. Doing this will help save on your utility bill.
Several household appliances generate heat while operating, which will lead to an uncomfortable room temperature. Be selective when turning on the television or using other appliances such as the stove or oven. Not only are you creating a warmer environment for yourself, but you are contributing to increasing your utility bill. For this reason, try to either cook earlier in the day when the air conditioner is operating at full capacity or take the cooking outside during the summer with a barbeque.
Don’t Forget Regular AC Maintenance
The critical factor that the majority of homeowners forget is the proper maintenance of their cooling system. Without scheduled maintenance, the system won’t cool down the space as you require because it’s working harder to achieve the desired result, which will lead to a spike in your energy bill. Additionally, avoid placing appliances such as your television near the thermostat as it will harm the air conditioner. The constant heat from the TV indicates to the AC that it’s not generating enough cool air, demanding that it delivers more. Consequently, your energy consumption increases which eventually reflects on your utility bill.
If you’re unsure about the ideal temperature after following this guide, then you should call a reputable HVAC contractor. Having professional advice regarding your air conditioner, whether it’s about the placement of the thermostat, the settings, or maintenance, should help increase efficiency and keep energy costs down.