When deciding what temperature to set your air conditioner at in the summer, it’s a balancing act between comfort and energy bills. You want to be comfortable in your home, but you also don’t want high energy bills. This means there’s no one-size-fits-all approach.
Department of Energy Recommendation
The U.S. Department of Energy researched this issue and recommends people set their air conditioners to 78 degrees. They also said to set it to 82 degrees if you have a ceiling fan and set it even higher when you’re not home.
While their recommendation saves money on energy bills, many people will be very uncomfortable with temperatures in their homes that high. Their recommendation may not be right for you.
Realistic AC Temperature
You can arrive at a more realistic air conditioner temperature while still keeping your home comfortable and energy bills down. If you find 70 degrees ideal, try turning it up to 72. If you’re still comfortable, set it to 74.
Once you set a temperature at which you no longer find your home comfortable, set it back a degree. If your home becomes uncomfortable at 76, set your air conditioner at 75. Set it a little lower at night, unless opening a window and turning on fans keeps you comfortable.
What About When You’re Away From Home?
You shouldn’t turn your air conditioner off when you’re not home as you’ll likely be greeted by a sweltering house. Set it at 80 degrees when you’re gone. This will save you money on your energy bills while not allowing your home to get too hot.
You can install a programmable or smart thermostat to make these changes automatic. By using one of these thermostats, you don’t have to constantly fiddle with the temperature in your home.
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