Best Temperature for Your AC in the Summer

When the scorching summer heat strikes, everyone hustles to the nearest thermostat to get the cold air flowing. But the right AC temp isn’t just about staying comfortable. It’s also about energy efficiency and limiting your energy bills. So, what’s the right number? The answer depends on your specific demands and the time of day. Explore the optimal air conditioner temperature range when you’re at home, out 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 shockingly high, but the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) claims it balances comfort and energy efficiency. Here are a couple of tips to help keep yourself nice and cool at 78 degrees:

  • Use fans: Whether you're using a ceiling fan or a desk fan, moving air actually makes the room feel about 4 degrees cooler. Plus, fans cost a surprisingly small amount of money to run compared to your air conditioner.
  • Dress lightly: What you have on drastically influences your comfort level. Dressing in light-colored, loose-fitting clothes made of breathable fabrics can help you keep cool when it's hot outside.
  • Block out the sun: Sunlight beaming through the windows can heat a room tremendously. To keep your home from becoming a greenhouse, pull out the curtains or blinds to block out the sun, especially during the peak afternoon hours.
  • Stay hydrated: Water intake plays a big part in regulating your body temperature. Avoiding dehydration enhances your body’s natural cooling processes.
  • Cook smart: Cooking generates a sizable 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 outside until the weather gets cooler.

The Best AC Temperature While You’re Away

The DOE proposes 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 costs. Installing a programmable thermostat is the simplest method to save without giving up comfort.

This improvement allows you to automatically change the temperature at different times of the day or week depending on your schedule, reducing your energy bills without sacrificing comfort. The trick is to use your programmable thermostat in the correct way. Here are some guidelines for harnessing its full power:

  • Set it and forget it: Set up your thermostat to automatically turn the temperature up about half an hour or so before you leave for work or school in the morning. Then, time the recovery period so a comfortable temperature resumes when you walk in the door when you get home.
  • Use the vacation setting: If you’re going to be out of your home for an extended period, use the “vacation” or “permanent” hold to use the “away” temperature for days at a time. This stops too much heat and humidity buildup without throwing away energy to run your air conditioner in an empty house.
  • Make gradual adjustments: Your AC works smoothly and efficiently at consistent speeds. Plus, a big 10-degree drop won’t cool your home more quickly. If you must, drop the temperature by only one degree and switch on a fan or remove a layer of clothing to help you feel more comfortable.
  • Leverage smart capabilities: If you buy a smart thermostat, capitalize on its programming capability and extra features. Some designs can learn from your behaviors and change the temperature accordingly or be controlled remotely for exceptional comfort and convenience.

The Best AC Temperature When You’re Sleeping

When it’s time for bed, the DOE suggests setting the temperature four degrees higher than your typical setting. However, a lot of people find it difficult to sleep in a hot room. This makes getting the ideal sleep temperature a real challenge. Thankfully, you can use several techniques to beat the heat while you are trying 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 influence your comfort level. In both cases, light and breathable cotton is the best option.
  • Run a fan: As it does during the day, a fan can create 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 going to bed with the windows open.
  • Take a warm shower before bed: It may sound counterintuitive, but a warm shower actually 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 rapidly.

Schedule AC Services this Summer in Saint Charles

Balancing indoor comfort and energy efficiency can be challenging. Why spend all summer searching for the right AC temperatures when Golden Seal Service Experts can help you make the most of your air conditioning? Our reliable, cost-effective AC services in Saint Charles come with a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee, so you can choose us with absolute confidence. Call 630-246-2698 today to schedule the top-notch services you need with Golden Seal Service Experts.

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