Best Temperature for Your AC in the Summer

When the blistering summer heat hits, everyone hustles to the nearest thermostat to get the cold air flowing. But the right air conditioning temperature isn’t just about keeping comfortable. It’s also about energy efficiency and reducing your energy costs. So, what’s the secret temp? The answer relies upon on your specific demands and the time of day. Explore the ideal AC thermostat settings when you’re at home, out and about as well as when you are sleeping.

The Best AC Temperature When You’re at Home

The optimal daytime, at-home temperature for your air conditioner is 78 degrees. This amount may seem very high, but the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) states it balances comfort and energy efficiency. Here are some tips to help keep yourself comfortable at 78 degrees:

    • Use fans: Whether it’s a ceiling fan or a desk fan, moving air will make the room feel about 4 degrees cooler. Plus, fans cost pennies on the dollar to operate compared to your air conditioner.
    • Dress lightly: What you have on drastically impacts your comfort level. Wearing light-colored, loose-fitting clothes made of breathable fabrics will help you be cool when it’s hot outside.
    • Block out the sun: Sunlight beaming through the windows will often heat a room a lot. To keep your home from becoming a greenhouse, pull out the curtains or blinds to block out the sun, particularly during the peak afternoon hours.
    • Stay hydrated: How much water you drink has a huge part in regulating your body temperature. Staying hydrated boosts your body’s normal cooling processes.
    • Cook smart: Cooking generates a surprising amount of heat, forcing your air conditioner to work harder, so avoid using the oven or stove during the heat of the afternoon. Instead, cook food in the microwave, prepare cold meals on hot days or grill out on the porch of patio 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, which can save up to 10 percent on your cooling expenses. Installing a programmable thermostat is the simplest strategy to save without sacrificing comfort.

This improvement allows you to automatically change the temperature at different times of the day or week based on your schedule, decreasing your energy bills without sacrificing comfort. The trick is to utilize your programmable thermostat properly. Here are some recommendations for making sure you’re using its full potential:

    • Set it and forget it: Set up your thermostat to automatically set the temperature back about a half hour before you leave for work or school in the morning. Then, program the schedule so a comfortable temperature resumes when you walk in the door in the evening.
    • 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 stops too much heat and humidity buildup without throwing away energy to cool an empty house.
    • Make gradual adjustments: Your air conditioning system works the best at regular speeds. Plus, a significant 10-degree drop won’t cool your home more rapidly. If you need to, drop the temperature by just one degree and turn on a fan or remove a layer of clothing to help you feel more comfortable.
    • Leverage smart capabilities: If you have a smart thermostat, capitalize on its programming capability and extra features. Some brands can learn from your behaviors and change the temperature accordingly or be controlled remotely for superior 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 4 degrees higher than your normal setting. However, a number of people find it tough to sleep in a warm room. This makes getting the right sleep temperature a real challenge. Thankfully, you can employ several methods to beat the heat while you go to sleep:

    • Sleep in lightweight pajamas and breathable bed sheets: Just like your daytime attire, your choice of night clothes impacts how hot or cold you feel. Your bed sheets also influence your comfort level. In both cases, light and breathable cotton is the best solution.
    • Run a fan: Similar to during the day, a fan can provide a cool breeze in your bedroom at bedtime, making sleep more comfortable.
    • Open a window: If it cools down at night, make the most of this by sleeping with the windows open.
    • Take a warm shower before bed: It may sound strange, but a warm shower really cools you down more than a cold shower. It achieves this by increasing your blood circulation, bringing heat to the surface of your skin, where it radiates away more rapidly.

Schedule AC Services this Summer in the U.S.

Balancing a home’s comfort and energy efficiency is sometimes difficult. Why spend all summer trying to find the perfect AC temperatures when Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing can help you make the most of your home cooling technology? Our reliable, cost-effective AC services in the U.S. come with a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee, so you can choose us with total confidence. Call 866-397-3787 today to schedule the HVAC services you need with Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing.

Savings For You

See All Offers Here >


  • Save $50 on a Paid Service
  • Written 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
  • Plus, ask how to save an additional 15% and waive your trip charge!


  • Upgrade to Worry-Free Comfort with the Advantage Program and make NO payments for 30 days!

© 2024 Service Experts, Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning, and the Service Experts logo and design are registered trademarks of Service Experts LLC and used under license by SE Canada Inc. All Rights Reserved. *Not applicable to the Advantage Program. See your signed Advantage Program Agreement for full details and exclusions. 100% Satisfaction Guarantee is subject to certain restrictions and limitations as set forth in the applicable Terms and Conditions.

Chat with a Service Experts Professional