Best Temperature for Your AC in the Summer
When the sweltering summer heat arrives, everyone scrambles to the nearest thermostat to get the cold air flowing. But the right AC temperature isn’t just about getting comfortable. It’s also about energy efficiency and reducing your utility costs. So, what’s the magic temperature? The answer depends on your specific needs and the time of day. Explore the best AC temperatures when you’re at home, out and about or when you are sleeping.
The Best AC Temperature When You’re at Home
The recommended daytime, at-home temperature for your AC is 78 degrees. This temperature setting may seem remarkably high, but the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) states it balances comfort and energy efficiency. Here are a few tips to help keep yourself cool 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 use compared to your air conditioning unit.
- Dress lightly: What you are wearing greatly influences your comfort level. Choosing light-colored, loose-fitting clothes made of breathable fabrics will help you keep cool when it's hot outside.
- Block out the sun: Sunlight streaming through the windows can easily heat a room a lot. To keep your home from becoming a greenhouse, draw the curtains or blinds to block out the sun, particularly during the peak afternoon hours.
- Stay hydrated: Water intake plays a huge part in managing your body temperature. Avoiding dehydration improves your body’s natural cooling processes.
- Cook smart: Cooking generates considerable heat, forcing your AC to work harder, so don't use the oven or stove during the hot afternoon. Instead, use the microwave, prepare cold meals on hot days or grill outdoors until the weather isn't so hot.
The Best AC Temperature While You’re Away
The DOE recommends setting the temperature back 7 to 10 degrees when you’re going to be out of the house for eight hours, a strategy experts say can save up to 10 percent on your cooling costs. Setting up a programmable thermostat is the easiest strategy to save without giving up comfort.
This technology allows you to automatically modify the temperature at different times of the day or week based on your schedule, lowering your energy bills without sacrificing comfort. The trick is to use your programmable thermostat properly. Here are some tips for harnessing its full capabilities:
- Set it and forget it: Configure your thermostat to automatically turn the thermostat up to your away temperature about half an hour or so 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 away from home for several days, use the “vacation” or “permanent” hold to use the “away” temperature for days at a time. This prevents excessive heat and humidity buildup without needlessly using energy to cool an empty house.
- Make gradual adjustments: Your air conditioner works the best at steady speeds. Plus, a big 10-degree drop won’t cool your home more rapidly. If you must, lower the temperature by a single degree and start up 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 extra features. Some designs can learn from your behaviors and adapt the temperature accordingly or be operated remotely for exceptional 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, many people find it hard to sleep in a warm room. This makes achieving the suitable sleep temperature a real challenge. Thankfully, you can try several strategies to beat the heat while you drift off to sleep:
- Sleep in lightweight pajamas and breathable bed sheets: Just like your daytime wardrobe, your choice of pajamas impacts 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 very best option.
- Run a fan: As it does during the day, a fan can provide a cool breeze in your bedroom at bedtime, making sleep more comfortable.
- Open a window: If it gets cooler at night, reap the benefits of this by sleeping with the windows open.
- Take a warm shower before bed: It may sound odd, but a warm shower truly cools you down faster 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 Austin
Balancing a home’s comfort and energy efficiency can be tricky. Why spend all summer guessing at the ideal AC temperatures when Strand Brothers Service Experts can help you make the most of your home cooling technology? Our reliable, cost-effective AC services in Austin are supported by a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee, so you can choose us with complete confidence. Call 512-592-3072 today to schedule the HVAC services you need with Strand Brothers Service Experts.