When the blistering summer heat arrives, everyone scrambles to the nearest thermostat to get the cold air flowing. But the right AC setting isn’t just about staying comfortable. It’s also about energy efficiency and reducing your energy expenses. So, what’s the right temperature? The answer depends on your unique demands and the time of day. Explore the optimal AC temperatures when you’re at home, away 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) claims it balances comfort and energy efficiency. Here are some tips to help keep yourself cool at 78 degrees:
- Use fans: Whether it is a ceiling fan or a desk fan, the flowing air will make the room feel about 4 degrees cooler. Plus, fans cost very little to use compared to your air conditioning unit.
- Dress lightly: What you are wearing drastically impacts your comfort level. Dressing in light-colored, loose-fitting clothes made of breathable fabrics can help you stay cool during the summer months.
- Block out the sun: Sunlight streaming through the windows will often heat a room tremendously. To prevent your home from becoming a greenhouse, hang curtains or blinds to block out the sun, at least during the peak afternoon hours.
- Stay hydrated: Water consumption has a huge part in managing your body temperature. Staying hydrated enhances your body’s self-cooling processes.
- Cook smart: Cooking creates considerable heat, forcing your AC to work harder, so try not to use the oven or stove during the hot afternoon. Instead, use the microwave, prepare cold meals on hot days or grill out on the porch of patio until the weather cools off.
The Best AC Temperature While You’re Away
The DOE proposes setting the temperature back 7 to 10 degrees when you’re not home for eight hours, a strategy experts say can save up to 10 percent on your cooling costs. Installing a programmable thermostat is the quickest method to save without giving up comfort.
This upgrade allows you to automatically adjust the temperature at different times of the day or week based on your schedule, reducing your energy bills without sacrificing comfort. The important part is to make use of your programmable thermostat correctly. Here are some guidelines for taking advantage of its full capabilities:
- Set it and forget it: Configure your thermostat to automatically set the temperature back about half an hour or so before you leave for work or school in the morning. Then, set the thermostat to start bringing the temperature back down so a comfortable temperature resumes as soon as you walk in the door when you return.
- Use the vacation setting: If you’re away from home for an extended period, use the “vacation” or “permanent” hold to keep the “away” temperature for days at a time. This stops extreme heat and humidity buildup without needlessly using energy to cool an empty house.
- Make gradual adjustments: Your air conditioning system works most efficiently at steady speeds. Plus, a big 10-degree drop will not cool your home more quickly. If you have to, drop the temperature by only one degree and turn on a fan or remove a layer of clothing to help you feel more comfortable.
- Leverage smart capabilities: If you choose a smart thermostat, capitalize on its programming capability and extra features. Some designs can learn from your behaviors and adjust the temperature accordingly or be controlled remotely for exceptional comfort and convenience.
The Best AC Temperature When You’re Sleeping
When it’s time to head off to bed, the DOE suggests setting the temperature four degrees higher than your usual setting. However, many people find it tough to sleep in a warm room. This makes finding the ideal sleep temperature a real challenge. 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 clothing, your choice of sleepwear affects how hot or cold you feel. Your bed sheets also affect your comfort level. In both cases, light and breathable cotton is the best solution.
- Run a fan: Just like during the day, a fan can generate a cool breeze in your bedroom at night, making sleep more comfortable.
- Open a window: If it cools down at night, take advantage of this by sleeping 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 does this 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 Elkhart
Finding a compromise between indoor comfort and energy efficiency is sometimes difficult. Why spend all summer trying to find the ideal AC temperatures when BW/Cook Service Experts can help you make the most of your system? Our trustworthy, cost-effective AC services in Elkhart are backed by a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee, so you can choose us with absolute confidence. Call 574-218-6404 today to schedule the premium services you need with BW/Cook Service Experts.