What’s the Best Temperature to Set Your Thermostat to in the Summer?

When the heat waves of summer begin to roll in, you want a comfortable space to provide cooling relief. In order to keep your energy bill in check, it may take some trial and error before deciding the best temperature to set your thermostat in the summer. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) says in order to be energy-efficient while cooling your home appropriately, set the air conditioner to 78 degrees.

While the DOE’s recommended indoor temperature may be where efficiency meets effective cooling, the proper thermostat setting isn’t one size fits all. If a 78-degree home in the summer months is too warm for your family, there are several ways to keep your energy bill in check while still relaxing comfortably.

Best indoor temp for summer

Start small. If shifting your thermostat to 78 degrees would be a major change, start with a one-to-two-degree increase. For example, if your indoor temperature is typically set to 73 degrees, modify the setting to 74 or 75 degrees. You’ll save up to 3% on your cooling costs for each degree above 72 you increase your indoor temperature.

Reducing your cooling cost is important, but you also want to create a space you can enjoy. If you remain comfortable with a one or two-degree increase, continue to bump up the setting until you notice a difference. Then, implement some of these simple summertime energy-saving tips to naturally cool your home.

Monitor indoor humidity

High levels of indoor humidity can make the space feel hotter than it is. The muggy stickiness created by moisture in the air can be combated by a whole home dehumidifier. As the summer season often brings an increase in humidity, your dehumidifier will remove excess moisture, complementing the cooling effects of your air conditioner.

Ideal thermostat temperature while away

A programmable thermostat will help you save energy and money each month. Use the device to increase the temperature when you head out for the day and lower the temperature to your desired setting before you return home. Schedule the setting to increase by seven to 10 degrees while you’re out for the day and save as much as 10% on your monthly energy costs.

When your family is away for summer vacation, usually three or more days, increase the indoor temperature for optimal energy savings. The DOE says the ideal thermostat setting while you’re away is 85 degrees. Avoid setting the thermostat any higher than 90 degrees to protect temperature sensitive appliances, like your refrigerator. Using a smart thermostat will allow you to lower the temperature to 78 degrees before you arrive home.

Ceiling fan direction in summer

The breeze from a ceiling fan won’t replace your home’s air conditioner, but it can decrease the temperature in a room up to four degrees. Most fans have a switch that allows you to change the direction the blades circulate.

Ceiling fan blades should spin counterclockwise during the summer months. This direction allows the fan to push air down and create a cool breeze. The room will feel cooler, and the temperature will be more consistent throughout the day. Plus, you can increase the thermostat setting and save on your monthly energy bill.

Summer AC tune up

Keeping your air conditioning unit in optimal working condition will support less energy use and extend the life of the system. Just as you would prepare your vehicle for a road trip or changing seasons, you should do the same for your AC system.

A scheduled summer AC tune up is the preventative maintenance your unit needs to ensure it is cooling at maximum efficiency. Conditions you may not even notice, like overgrown landscaping around your air conditioner, can affect its performance. United Heating Cooling and Plumbing can complete a thorough check-up on your system or support you with replacing an antiquated unit.

Invest in energy efficient air conditioning

If your AC unit is more than 10 years old or you’re investing in constant repairs to the system, it may be time to consider a new, energy-efficient model. In order to lower your energy usage and monthly spend, select an Energy Star-qualified unit.

An air conditioning system with a high Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) rating will be up to 15% more efficient than older, less energy-conscious models. Higher SEER rating systems often operate a two-stage cooling or variable speed fan, keeping your home at a cooler, more consistent temperature on a lower setting. A variable speed air conditioner also runs longer, eliminating the constant starts and stops of a single-stage unit. It can operate at less than full functionality, requiring much less energy to keep your home consistently comfortable.

Make your home naturally cooler

Aside from increasing your indoor temperature and scheduling routine AC maintenance, these simple tips allow you to reduce your energy use and cost starting today:

  • Keep blinds, curtains, and shades pulled closed during the day to reduce the sun’s heat. Use blackout shades and curtains for a bigger impact.
  • Consider turning off your air conditioner at night and opening windows to naturally cool your home.
  • Install new or replace warped weatherstripping around doors and windows.
  • Avoid increasing your indoor temperature by only using heat-generating appliances like your stove, oven, or clothes dryer after 8pm. These appliances can increase your indoor temperature by up to 10 degrees.

Contact a United Heating Cooling and Plumbing Comfort Specialist today to find out how your home can be the ideal temperature this summer! 

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