Best Temperature for Your AC in the Summer

When the sweltering summer heat strikes, everyone scrambles to the nearest thermostat to get the cold air flowing. But the right air conditioning temp isn’t just about keeping comfortable. It’s also about energy efficiency and lowering your power costs. So, what’s the magic temp? The answer depends on your distinct needs and the time of day. Explore the ideal air conditioning temperature range when you’re at home, away or when you are sleeping.

The Best AC Temperature When You’re at Home

The optimal daytime, at-home temperature for your air conditioning 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 few tips to help stay cool at 78 degrees:

  • Use fans: Whether you're using a ceiling fan or a desk fan, moving air makes the room feel about 4 degrees cooler. Plus, fans cost pennies on the dollar to use compared to your AC.
  • Dress lightly: What you have on greatly affects your comfort level. Dressing in light-colored, loose-fitting clothes made of breathable fabrics can help you stay cool in the summer.
  • Block out the sun: Sunlight radiating through the windows can heat a room tremendously. To prevent 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 big part in regulating your body temperature. Making sure you keep yourself hydrated boosts your body’s self-cooling processes.
  • Cook smart: Cooking produces considerable heat, forcing your HVAC system to work harder, so don't use the oven or stove during the hottest part of the afternoon. Instead, make use of the microwave, prepare cold meals on hot days or grill outside until the weather cools off.

The Best AC Temperature While You’re Away

The DOE advises setting the temperature back 7 to 10 degrees when you’re not home for eight hours, which can save up to 10 percent on your cooling costs. Installing a programmable thermostat is the simplest way to save without relinquishing comfort.

This upgrade allows you to automatically adjust the temperature at different times of the day or week according to your schedule, lowering your energy bills without sacrificing comfort. The trick is to make use of your programmable thermostat properly. Here are some recommendations for making sure you're using its full power:

  • Set it and forget it: Set up your thermostat to automatically set the temperature back about 30 minutes before you leave for work or school in the morning. Then, program the schedule so a comfortable temperature resumes just as you walk in the door when you get home.
  • Use the vacation setting: If you’re not going to be home for a long time, use the “vacation” or “permanent” hold to maintain the “away” temperature for days at a time. This avoids excessive heat and humidity buildup without needlessly using energy to run your air conditioner in an empty house.
  • Make gradual adjustments: Your air conditioner works most efficiently at normal speeds. Plus, a significant 10-degree drop doesn't actually cool your home more quickly. If you need to, lower 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 choose a smart thermostat, take advantage of its programming capability and extra features. Some models can learn from your behaviors and adjust the temperature accordingly or be controlled remotely for superior comfort and convenience.

The Best AC Temperature When You’re Sleeping

When it’s time for bed, the DOE recommends setting the temperature four degrees higher than your normal setting. However, lots of people find it hard to sleep in a hot room. This makes finding the suitable sleep temperature a struggle. Thankfully, you can use 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: Just like during the day, a fan can generate a cool breeze in your bedroom in the evening, making sleep more comfortable.
  • Open a window: If it gets cooler at night, take advantage of this by snoozing with the windows open.
  • Take a warm shower before bed: It may sound odd, but a warm shower actually cools you down more than a cold shower. It works by boosting your blood circulation, bringing heat to the surface of your skin, where it radiates away more rapidly.

Schedule AC Services this Summer in Grand Island

Finding a compromise between a home’s comfort and energy efficiency can be tricky. Why spend all summer guessing at the right AC temperatures when McElroy Service Experts can help you make the most of your system? Our high-quality, cost-effective AC services in Grand Island are backed by a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee, so you can choose us with total confidence. Call 308-210-4398 today to schedule the premium services you need with McElroy Service Experts.

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