Best Temperature for Your AC in the Summer

When the sweltering 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 decreasing your power costs. So, what’s the right temperature? The answer depends on your specific requirements and the time of day. Explore the optimal air conditioner temperatures 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 recommended daytime, at-home temperature for a residence's AC is 78 degrees. This number may seem surprisingly high, but the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) claims it balances comfort and energy efficiency. Here are a few tips to help stay nice and cool at 78 degrees:

  • Use fans: Whether it is a ceiling fan or a desk fan, the flowing air makes the room feel about 4 degrees cooler. Plus, fans cost a surprisingly small amount of money to operate compared to your air conditioner.
  • Dress lightly: What you wear greatly impacts your comfort level. Wearing light-colored, loose-fitting clothes made of breathable fabrics will help you stay cool in the summer.
  • Block out the sun: Sunlight beaming 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, especially during the peak afternoon hours.
  • Stay hydrated: Water intake plays a big part in regulating your body temperature. Making sure you keep yourself hydrated improves your body’s self-cooling processes.
  • Cook smart: Cooking produces considerable heat, forcing your AC 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 outdoors until the weather gets cooler.

The Best AC Temperature While You’re Away

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

This technology allows you to automatically modify the temperature at different times of the day or week depending on your schedule, lowering your energy bills without sacrificing comfort. The trick is to use your programmable thermostat correctly. Here are some recommendations for making sure you're using its full capabilities:

  • Set it and forget it: Schedule your thermostat to automatically turn the thermostat up to your away temperature 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 just as 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 maintain the “away” temperature for days at a time. This avoids too much heat and humidity buildup without wasting energy to run your air conditioner in an empty house.
  • Make gradual adjustments: Your air conditioner works the best at consistent speeds. Plus, a significant 10-degree drop doesn't actually cool your home more rapidly. If you must, lower 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 choose a smart thermostat, capitalize on its programming capability and enhanced features. Some brands can learn from your behaviors and adapt the temperature accordingly or be controlled remotely for outstanding 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 typical setting. However, lots of people find it tough to sleep in a warm room. This makes achieving the right sleep temperature a struggle. Thankfully, you can employ several methods to beat the heat while you are trying to sleep:

  • Sleep in lightweight pajamas and breathable bed sheets: Just like your daytime wardrobe, your choice of sleepwear impacts how hot or cold you feel. Your bed sheets also influence your comfort level. In both cases, light and breathable cotton is the better option.
  • Run a fan: As it does during the day, a fan can provide a cool breeze in your bedroom at night, making sleep more comfortable.
  • Open a window: If it cools off at night, reap the benefits of this by sleeping with the windows open.
  • Take a warm shower before bed: It may sound counterintuitive, but a warm shower really cools you down better than a cold shower. It achieves 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 Nashville

Finding a compromise between indoor comfort and energy efficiency is sometimes difficult. Why spend all summer guessing at the perfect AC temperatures when Donelson Air Service Experts can help you make the most of your air conditioning? Our trustworthy, cost-effective AC services in Nashville come with a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee, so you can choose us with complete confidence. Call 615-953-9885 today to schedule the top-notch services you need with Donelson Air Service Experts.

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