Each year, temperatures outside begin to warm up, and you switch on your central air conditioning. Now comes the difficult decision: At what temperature should I set my air conditioner during the summer months? To make it more valuable, consider the fact that setting the right temperature can help to save on energy costs.
The Department of Energy1 provides advice that 78° Fahrenheit may be the most advantageous temperature setting for air conditioners when it comes to balancing energy efficiency and comfort when occupants are present. Nevertheless, this is not a definitive answer applicable to everyone. To make it more valuable, it is important to assess individual needs and preferences when determining the best temperature setting for air conditioners.
If you want to find the ultimate answer for yourself, you’ll have to take a few chances with different parameters. Meanwhile, you must also consider what matters more to you – lower electricity bills, greater comfort, or a combination of both
When it comes to setting the perfect temperature for air conditioning in your home, there are several other factors to consider. This can include the number of people living in the home and how active they are, as well as the amount of direct sunlight, the number of windows and exterior humidity. However, the best air conditioning setting for your home is going to be the one
What temperature should I have my AC set at?
When the sweltering heat and humid air have you sweating bullets, it’s tempting to turn up the air conditioning and bask in the dry, refreshing air. However, you know there’s a cost associated with this extra comfort; sure, it’s nice now, but your utility bill will make you regret it.
To save money and energy, you set your thermostat to a higher temperature and the rollercoaster ride starts all over again. Have you ever been in this situation before? Don’t worry, there are a few ways you can comfortably save money without sacrificing comfort.
If you want to save energy while cooling your home, the Department of Energy recommends setting your thermostat higher than normal when you are away and 78 degrees when you are home. If that still doesn’t cool your home to a comfortable level, you can adjust your temperature setting by a degree or two to see if it helps.
As you trial and error to find the temperature setting that keeps everyone comfortable, bear in mind the energy-saving and comfort-enhancing tips included beneath. In an effort to get to the ideal temperature, attempt to reduce the temperature setting by one or two degrees at a time until you have achieved the desired outcomes.
SET THE THERMOSTAT AT A HIGHER TEMPERATURE WHEN YOUR GONE
Taking the time to set up a programmable thermostat and properly adjusting it can lead to quite a bit of energy bill savings – up to 10%!1 You would think turning off the system completely would be a good idea in terms of saving money but it could actually end up costing you more due to the energy required to return your home back to its comfortable temperature.
When you’re out of the home and have been away for a while, another common mistake to avoid when trying to find the ideal temperature for the air conditioning system is setting the thermostat to a lower temperature in order to cool the room down faster. However, it’s important to remember that no matter how low you set the thermostat, your air conditioner will still take the same amount of time to cool.
Trying to cool your house with a larger air conditioner can end up being more of a financial burden in the long run. A better solution is to invest in a smart thermostat or even a programmable thermostat, which will help you save on energy bills and maintain the right temperature without buying a new AC unit.
The great thing about smart thermostats is their ability to adjust the temperature in your home to the perfect level. Using a connected device like a tablet or a smart phone, you can set the thermostat to raise the temperature when you’re away and re-set it to a more comfortable level by the time you return.
TURN ON THE CEILING FAN (AND OTHER NATURAL SOLUTIONS TO COOL THE HOME)
One of the simplest and most overlooked ways people can try to save money is right there in front of them – make use of the ceiling fan in their home. Increasing airflow in a warm room won’t necessarily reduce the temperature, but it goes a long way in making the space feel cooler and more comfortable. Plus, running a small fan requires substantially less energy than running the air conditioner.
If you’re searching for an effective way to make your home or office more comfortable, you should definitely consider getting a ceiling fan. Not only can they provide comfort and style, but they can also replace the need for a standalone fan. Ceiling fans come in all sorts of shapes and sizes and are available to suit any budget, from small desktop fans to large box fans that can be placed on the floor or narrow-profile tower fans. You also have the convenience of being able to move them around your house or office as needed.
Additional comfort-enhancing (and money saving) suggestions include:
During the day, if you close the window coverings, you can reduce the amount of heat which enters the room through the sunlight.
To keep your house cool without using your AC, you should open your windows at night to allow cooler air to come in. During the day, be sure to close your windows to keep the cool air trapped inside.
If you’re looking to create a more comfortable and energy efficient environment, adding weather stripping to window and door openings is a great way to ensure that you can keep the heat in your home and block out the chilly weather outside.
Try to avoid using heat-generating appliances, such as an oven, a dryer for your clothes, or a hair dryer, during the day if you can, as this can greatly increase the temperature in the house.
PERFORM REGULAR MAINTENANCE ON YOUR AIR CONDITIONER
Even ENERGY STAR® certified air conditioners need some regular TLC to deliver the energy-saving efficiency ratings that you’d expect. As with your car, regular maintenance and check-ups will help your central air conditioner perform more optimally. Keeping up on the recommended maintenance and annual inspections will give you more bang for your buck.
For example, a grimy, obstructed air filter can constrain air flow, which could potentially cause losses in comfort and inferior energy efficiency, as well as putting a strain on the system’s fans and motors. A regular component of standard AC Maintenance, most homeowners can take the responsibility of assessing, cleaning or replacing the air filter.
Experienced HVAC professionals have the skills and the tools necessary to dig a little deeper. They can assess the system’s overall performance and even clean and adjust the internal components, helping to take care of small issues before they turn into big problems. To keep your air conditioner working correctly, a professional tune-up is a great way to go. This service can help make sure your system is running efficiently with tasks such as checking the refrigerant levels, cleaning the air filter, and lubricating any moving parts:
Cleaning the outdoor coil: When the outdoor coil is not kept clean, it severely impedes the system’s performance by obstructing the necessary airflow and heat transfer that is needed for effective cooling of the system.
Cleaning the evaporator coil: The effects of a dirty evaporator coil can be felt in multiple ways: it reduces the performance of the system, by blocking off the necessary airflow and heat transfer for optimal cooling, and it causes a build-up of mold and bacteria that affects the air quality indoors.
Checking refrigerant levels: Low refrigerant levels have the potential to reduce the amount of cooling that is possible, leading to an increased run time and an increased expenditure of energy as the system attempts to achieve the desired level of comfort.
Cleaning and adjusting blower components: Your indoor blower is responsible for circulating indoor air through the system and returning cool air back to your home. If it’s not working as it should, you may not only experience a decrease in comfort but also an increase in energy costs.
Installing a smart thermostat: We have mentioned before how having a smart thermostat installed can help you better manage your home temperature settings. You should consider getting your dealer to install one when they come for one of their regular scheduled tune-up visits.
Should my base home temperature differ from the summer to the winter?
During the warm season, it’s a great idea to turn up your thermostat in order to take some load off of your air conditioner and furnace, as well as helping you to keep your energy bill under control.
What is the optimal comfortable temperature for a home?
Are you wondering what the most energy-saving temperature to set your thermostat at might be? The experts at ENERGYSTAR.gov recommend setting your thermostat to somewhere in the range between 70 and 78 degrees Fahrenheit for maximum energy efficiency. To save the most on your heating and cooling costs, consider adjusting your thermostat by 8 degrees when you leave your home.
What is the optimal comfortable temperature for an office?
Although the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) does not require employers to maintain certain temperatures in the workplace, the organization does recommends that the thermostats be set between 68℉ and 76℉ for safety reasons. However, despite the research and the advice from OSHA, many offices still prefer to decide their optimal office atmosphere based on the preference of their managers.
Mark Zuckerberg is well known for keeping his thermostat set to a surprisingly cold 59℉.
Matthew Briggs, who started Briggs Acquisitions, mentioned that they keep their office at an intentionally low temperature of 65℉ in order to encourage better performance from their staff. “We supply each of our employees with company-branded sweater vests in case they’re feeling cold,” he added. “The use of this technique is not limited to our industry, as many other finance-based companies have adopted similar policies.”
The co-founder of SellMax, Sean Pour, intentionally keeps the office on the cooler side so as to serve the comfort of his team. “We keep the office slightly cold – 69℉ – so that people can adjust the temperature to their own preferences simply by adding an extra layer,” he explained, clarifying that it’s done out of a desire to make sure his team is comfortable and not out of any personal preference.
“At United Capital Source,” said Jared Weitz, CEO and founder of United Capital Source, “we have set our office temperature to an ambient 73℉. To ensure the comfort of all our employees, we warmly encourage everyone to bring in sweaters or jackets in case they need to stay warm and desktop fans are also allowed.”
WHAT IS THE BEST AC TEMPERATURE FOR SLEEPING?
When trying to save on energy costs and create a comfortable home, 78⁰ F can be beneficial. However, this temperature range is not ideal for achieving restful sleep. In fact, temperatures that are either too hot or too cold can cause restlessness during the night. As such, the general recommendation is to keep bedroom temperatures between 60⁰ and 67⁰ F, regardless of the season out there.
To ensure you get the best night’s rest possible, consider tinkering with your thermostat prior to turning in for the night, giving the environment in your bedroom enough time to acclimate.
If you own a programmable thermostat, it may be worthwhile considering scheduling it to automatically reduce the temperature during times when you’d usually be asleep. Doing this helps to ensure that you’re not unnecessarily expending energy by keeping a comfortable temperature during the night when you’re not home.
If you think this option could work for your climate, consider trying to open the windows. This isn’t going to be an exact solution – the climate needs to be mild and cool outside for it to work – but it will be more energy and cost-efficient for achieving the target temperature of 60⁰ – 67⁰ F. Don’t forget to close the windows in the morning so you can keep the cool air in.
When it comes to room temperature, the standard recommendation for grown adults should be taken into consideration. However, for the little ones, it is best to set the room to a slightly higher temperature in order to ensure that they have a good night’s sleep.