When the blistering summer heat arrives, everyone hustles to the nearest thermostat to get the cold air flowing. But the right air conditioning setting isn’t just about keeping comfortable. It’s also about energy efficiency and lowering your energy expenses. So, what’s the secret number? The answer depends on your unique demands and the time of day. Explore the optimal air conditioning thermostat settings when you’re at home, away or when you are sleeping.
The Best AC Temperature When You’re at Home
The suggested daytime, at-home temperature for your air conditioner is 78 degrees. This temperature setting may seem remarkably high, but the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) claims it balances comfort and energy efficiency. Here are some tips to help keep yourself comfortable at 78 degrees:
- Use fans: Whether it is a ceiling fan or a desk fan, circulating air makes the room feel about 4 degrees cooler. Plus, fans cost pennies on the dollar to run compared to your air conditioning unit.
- Dress lightly: What you have on significantly influences your comfort level. Choosing light-colored, loose-fitting clothes made of breathable fabrics can help you keep cool in the summer.
- Block out the sun: Sunlight beaming through the windows can heat a room significantly. To stop your home from becoming a greenhouse, hang curtains or blinds to block out the sun, especially during the peak afternoon hours.
- Stay hydrated: Water intake plays a huge part in controlling your body temperature. Staying hydrated improves your body’s natural cooling processes.
- Cook smart: Cooking generates 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, cook food in the microwave, prepare cold meals on hot days or grill outdoors until the weather cools off.
The Best AC Temperature While You’re Away
The DOE recommends setting the temperature back 7 to 10 degrees when you’re not going to be home for eight hours, a move that can save up to 10 percent on your cooling bills. Setting up a programmable thermostat is the quickest way to save without sacrificing comfort.
This improvement allows you to automatically change the temperature at different times of the day or week according to your schedule, decreasing your energy bills without sacrificing comfort. The trick is to make use of your programmable thermostat properly. Here are some guidelines for making sure you're using its full capabilities:
- 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 as soon as you walk in the door when you get home.
- Use the vacation setting: If you’re away from home for several days, use the “vacation” or “permanent” hold to maintain the “away” temperature for days at a time. This prevents extreme heat and humidity buildup without wasting energy to cool an empty house.
- Make gradual adjustments: Your air conditioning system works smoothly and efficiently at consistent speeds. Plus, a dramatic 10-degree drop doesn't actually cool your home more quickly. If you need to, decrease the temperature by a single degree and switch on a fan or remove a layer of clothing to help you feel more comfortable.
- Leverage smart capabilities: If you choose a smart thermostat, take advantage of its programming capability and enhanced features. Some models can learn from your behaviors and adjust the temperature accordingly or be controlled 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 advises that you should consider setting the temperature four degrees higher than your normal setting. However, many people find it difficult to sleep in a hot and stuffy room. This makes achieving the right sleep temperature a real challenge. Thankfully, you can use several strategies to beat the heat while you go to sleep:
- Sleep in lightweight pajamas and breathable bed sheets: Just like your daytime clothing, your choice of sleepwear 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 better solution.
- Run a fan: Similar to during the day, a fan can provide a cool breeze in your bedroom in the evening, making sleep more comfortable.
- Open a window: If it cools off at night, reap the benefits of this by going to bed with the windows open.
- Take a warm shower before bed: It may sound odd, but a warm shower really cools you down better than a cold shower. It works by elevating your blood circulation, bringing heat to the surface of your skin, where it radiates away faster.
Schedule AC Services this Summer in Edmonton
Balancing indoor comfort and energy efficiency can be challenging. Why spend all summer trying to find the perfect AC temperatures when Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning can help you make the most of your air conditioning? Our trustworthy, cost-effective AC services in Edmonton are backed by a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee, so you can choose us with absolute confidence. Call 587-404-0790 today to schedule the HVAC services you need with Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning.