Best Temperature for Your AC in the Summer

When the sweltering summer heat strikes, everyone runs to the nearest thermostat to get the cold air flowing. But the right air conditioning temp isn’t just about staying comfortable. It’s also about energy efficiency and limiting your power costs. So, what’s the secret number? The answer relies upon on your specific needs and the time of day. Explore the ideal AC temperature range when you’re at home, away as well as when you are sleeping.

The Best AC Temperature When You’re at Home

The optimal daytime, at-home temperature for a residence's AC is 78 degrees. This number may seem very high, but the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) says it balances comfort and energy efficiency. Here are some tips to help stay comfortable at 78 degrees:

  • Use fans: Whether it’s a ceiling fan or a desk fan, circulating air makes the room feel about 4 degrees cooler. Plus, fans cost a surprisingly small amount of money to use compared to your AC.
  • Dress lightly: What you wear significantly affects your comfort level. Choosing light-colored, loose-fitting clothes made of breathable fabrics will help you be cool during the summer months.
  • Block out the sun: Sunlight radiating through the windows will often heat a room a lot. To stop your home from becoming a greenhouse, hang curtains or blinds to block out the sun, at least during the peak afternoon hours.
  • Stay hydrated: Water consumption has a huge part in managing your body temperature. Staying hydrated boosts your body’s natural cooling processes.
  • Cook smart: Cooking produces a surprising amount of heat, forcing your HVAC system to work harder, so don't 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 out on the porch of patio until the weather cools off.

The Best AC Temperature While You’re Away

The DOE advises 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 easiest strategy to save without relinquishing comfort.

This technology allows you to automatically modify the temperature at different times of the day or week based on your schedule, decreasing your energy bills without sacrificing comfort. The trick is to utilize your programmable thermostat correctly. Here are some tips 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 30 minutes before you leave for work or school in the morning. Then, time the recovery period so a comfortable temperature resumes just as you walk in the door in the evening.
  • 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 stops too much heat and humidity buildup without needlessly using energy to run your air conditioner in an empty house.
  • Make gradual adjustments: Your air conditioning system works the best at steady speeds. Plus, a significant 10-degree drop will not cool your home more quickly. If you must, lower the temperature by only one degree and turn on a fan or remove a layer of clothing to help you feel more comfortable.
  • Leverage smart capabilities: If you have a smart thermostat, take advantage of its programming capability and enhanced features. Some models 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 to head off to bed, the DOE recommends setting the temperature four degrees higher than your usual setting. However, a lot of people find it hard to sleep in a warm room. This makes finding the right sleep temperature a real challenge. Thankfully, you can employ several techniques to beat the heat while you drift off to sleep:

  • Sleep in lightweight pajamas and breathable bed sheets: Just like your daytime clothing, your choice of night clothes influences 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 best option.
  • Run a fan: Similar to 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 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 really cools you down better than a cold shower. It achieves this by elevating your blood circulation, bringing heat to the surface of your skin, where it radiates away more quickly.

Schedule AC Services this Summer in Sharonville

Balancing your home’s comfort and energy efficiency can be tricky. Why spend all summer guessing at the right AC temperatures when Knochelmann Service Experts can help you make the most of your system? Our reliable, cost-effective AC services in Sharonville are supported by a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee, so you can choose us with complete confidence. Call 859-905-0834 today to schedule the HVAC services you need with Knochelmann Service Experts.

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