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Best Temperature To Set A Thermostat in Summer

Summer is around the corner, so it’s time to think about your residential air conditioning system. While we love the cooling effects of home AC, we don’t always look forward to higher utility bills. Luckily, there are ways to keep your space cool without inflating your energy costs. Our HVAC contractors share ideal AC temperature settings and more to help keep you comfortable all summer long.

What is the Best AC Temperature for Summer?

Homeowners might think setting thermostats to the lowest temperature is the fastest solution to cooling their space down quickly. However, air conditioning units can only effectively cool the air 15 to 20 degrees below the outside temperature. This is due to how AC units function. They don’t make the air cold, but rather they help remove heat from the air. So, if it’s 90 degrees outside, dropping your thermostat to 58 means you’ll constantly be running your HVAC unit, but won’t be able to achieve an indoor temperature of 58 degrees. Not only does this add unnecessary wear and tear to your AC system, but it can also skyrocket utility bills in the summer. 

Is 72 a Good Temperature for Air Conditioning in Summer?

Our HVAC technicians are often asked what the ideal air conditioning setting is during our summer months. Recommendations can vary based on personal preference, exposure to direct sunlight, and insulation. While most people might prefer to set their thermostats in the low 70s,, there are a few standard suggestions to help keep you cool and your energy costs low.

Thermostat graphic: Setting home thermostats to 78 degrees can boost energy efficiency.

According to the U.S Department of Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, setting home thermostats to 78 degrees can boost energy efficiency. The Department of Energy also recommends setting your thermostat between 80 and 82 degrees while sleeping.

If those temps seem incompatible with your comfort levels, play around with temperatures to achieve better cooling.  Studies have found that each degree over 72 can save homeowners as much as 3% on cooling costs. So, if 78 still feels a little too warm, drop your programmable thermostat a few notches until you find that perfect spot between indoor comfort and utility savings.

Additional Tips for Staying Cool

In addition to setting your thermostat to 78 degrees, there are a few other tactics to cool down when temperatures are high:

  • 30% of indoor heat comes from your windows, so keeping blinds closed during the day can help cool down a room efficiently. 
  • Home ovens can quickly heat an already-warm room, so avoid turning on your oven during the hottest parts of the day.
  • Adjust ceilings fans so that they rotate in a counter-clockwise direction. This pushes air directly downward for a refreshing cool breeze.
  • Rinse off with a cool shower before bed to chill down.

30% of indoor heat comes from your windows.

If you try all of the ideas above, but still aren’t achieving your desired indoor air climate or are experiencing increased utility costs, it might be time to call in the professionals. Faulty components, older HVAC units, and incorrect thermostat placement can affect your energy output.

A NATE-Certified technician can perform a diagnostic assessment and recommend a course of action like:

Portland and Beaverton HVAC Contractors for Your AC Needs

At AAA Heating and Cooling, we pride ourselves on exceptional customer service. From recommendations on certified ENERGY STAR equipment to performing routine maintenance, our HVAC installers are dedicated to helping you achieve energy efficiency and maintain your ideal indoor climate. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.