It can be tempting to crank the temperature setting on your air conditioner down in the summer heat. Unfortunately, this can lead to shockingly high energy bills. Luckily, with a proactive approach, you can find a thermostat setting that ensures both home comfort and affordable energy bills.
What’s the Best Summer Thermostat Settings?
When You’re Home
78-degrees Fahrenheit is the temperature setting recommended by air conditioning companies and the U.S. Department of Energy to help you stay cool and comfortable while avoiding an abnormally high electric bill.
When You’re Away
Turning your thermostat up to 7-10-degrees, to 85-88-degrees Fahrenheit while you’re away, offers significant savings. Those who make this adjustment whenever they’re away from the home for more than 2-hours could save up to 10% on cooling costs.
Tips for Getting the Most Bang for Your Air Conditioning Buck
If the temperature settings above leave you wanting more, look to our tips for making the most of summer air conditioner use.
Enlist the help of a programmable thermostat.
If the thought of keeping up with ever-changing home thermostat settings wears you out, enlist the help of a smart programmable thermostat. There are many affordable models available to help you balance the comfort and energy savings goals of your family.
Don’t air condition the entire neighborhood.
Sealing leaks can help keep cool, conditioned air inside your home. Check your home carefully, installing weather stripping or applying spray foam or caulk around windows and doors, outlets and wiring, and around plumbing fixtures.
Keep the heat out.
Enlist the help of heat and sunlight deflecting window treatments, especially on west and south facing windows.
Avoid using appliances that generate heat, like the oven and stove, until the cooler morning and evening hours. Better yet – cook outside on the grill.
Lose the covers.
At night when you go to sleep, lose the covers and don light pajamas, setting your thermostat to a higher temperature setting of 80-degrees or more.
Install ceiling fans. Heating and cooling companies know energy efficient ceiling fans can make occupants in the room feel up to 7-degrees cooler than the ambient temperature thanks to the ‘wind chill effect.’
Your body struggles to stay cool when humidity levels are high (over 60% relative humidity), as the added moisture in the air makes it difficult for sweat to evaporate and cool off your body. If your home is constantly muggy, adding a whole house dehumidifier can help you gain control of excess moisture using much less energy than your HVAC system. This can allow you to raise the temperature setting on your thermostat and remain more comfortable at higher temperatures.
Upgrade your system.
If your heating and cooling system is a dinosaur, you’ll see a significant comfort improvement, coupled with surprising energy savings, when you upgrade to a newer, higher SEER energy efficient model.