Summer is here. Along with grilling, vacations, and afternoons by the pool, you’re sure to experience major heat waves. Depending on your location, 90-100º temperatures may be the norm for three or more months out of the year. A rising heat index leaves you questioning what temperature to set the thermostat in the Summer?!
During the Summer, setting your thermostat might be a battle between comfort and energy savings. When relaxing at home, it isn’t ideal to be wilting nor is it efficient to be wrapped in your Winter sweater. Let’s explore how to set your home to the ideal temperature for being home, away, and sleeping while preventing your electricity bill from going through the roof!
First…What Your Air Conditioner Can – and Cannot – Do
We’ve all walked into our home, a vacation rental, hotel room, etc. on a hot day and wanted relief right away…so we crank the thermostat down to the 50’s or 60’s. It may seem like setting your thermostat to 58º when you are looking to escape the sweltering heat and humidity is a quick fix to cool a space. But understanding what your air conditioning can – and cannot do – is important to both staying comfortable and keeping your utility bills in check.
An air conditioner can only cool the air 15 to 20 degrees cooler than the outside temperature. Think about that. If it’s 95º out, your air conditioner will only cool your home to about 75º. So setting your thermostat to 58º doesn’t make it cool any faster…it just makes it WORK harder. What you will get is a nice large utility bill and potentially overwork your air conditioning system leading to possible break-downs.
So…What is the Best Temp for Your Thermostat while At Home?
Every season has an ideal thermostat temperature and for Summer the U.S. Department of Energy suggests that when home, 78º is the sweet spot between staying cool and keeping your energy bill low. While 78º may be the recommended thermostat setting for saving money, it may be a little warm for some members of your house. Factors like the location of the home, direct sunlight, windows, and insulation all play a part in how your home can feel. Personally, we keep our air conditioner set to 74º during the day when we’re home. Keep in mind, each degree set above 72º can save you up to 3% on your cooling costs.
At night, when everyone is sleeping, you might experiment with a higher temperature setting. The Department of Energy recommends 80 to 82º. Our body temperature drops while we sleep so some of us can tolerate higher room temperatures with lightweight pajamas and no blankets. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all, so experiment with at-home settings until you find a comfortable temperature you and your family can tolerate that still keeps your bills low.
What is the Best Temp for Your Thermostat When You’re NOT at Home?
Naturally, when the heat increases outdoors, your AC system works harder to maintain your ideal indoor temperature. While you’re away, however, your set temperature doesn’t need to be quite so low.
Adjust the thermostat while you’re away to a higher setting. Installing a smart thermostat will make adjusting the indoor temperature even easier. Schedule the setting to increase by seven to 10 degrees while you’re at work or away for the day. With the ability to control the thermostat from your smartphone, you can easily adjust the temperature to a cooler setting before arriving home. Increasing the temperature when you’re away can help save up to 10% on your energy bill.
If you have pets at home remember that birds, cats, dogs, and small mammals may need indoor air temperatures lower than 85º so adjust your thermostat settings accordingly. Ceiling fans can help you and your pets feel cooler and redistribute cool air throughout the home.
What is the Best Location for a Thermostat?
Where your thermostat is located plays a huge role in how your home feels. A thermostat placed in the sun, in warm kitchens, or above air vents will give a false reading and make it harder to keep your home at your desired temperature.
If your thermostat isn’t located in a great spot, consider having an expert re-locate it to a better position to maximize home comfort and savings. And if you don’t have one already, this is a perfect time to upgrade to a smart thermostat for more control over your energy use and costs.
Tips to Help STAY COOL at Home:
In addition to bumping up the thermostat a few degrees during Summer months, there are a few simple ways to help make your home feel cooler:
- Use your ceiling fans! During the Summer months, your ceiling fan blades should spin counterclockwise. By spinning in this direction, your fan creates a cool breeze by pushing air down. You’ll find that the room feels up to four degrees cooler and stays consistent throughout the day. Plus, you can increase your air conditioner temperature by two to three degrees thanks to the fan’s cool down.
- Close shades, blinds and curtains to keep the sun out during the day. Blackout shades and curtains work wonders.
- Weatherstrip doors and windows to keep cool air in and hot air out.
- Only use heat-generating appliances like your stove, oven, dryer and hair dryer after 8pm to avoid heating up an already hot house during the day.
- Dine Out! Whether you’re grilling a great meal outside or treating yourself to dinner at your favorite restaurant, steering clear of your kitchen in the Summer can reduce your energy bill. Using kitchen appliances can raise the temperature by 10 degrees.
- Seasonal AC Maintenance: Just as you prepare your vehicle for a long trip to ensure everything is in optimal working order, the same should be done for your air conditioning. Having your Spring AC Maintenance done before the Summer heat hits will help ensure the unit is performing properly, refrigerant levels are topped off, and the unit is cooling as efficiently as possible.
Pro-Tech HVAC Home is Your Top Rated Local HVAC Company!
When it comes to HVAC services, you need to work with a company with a stellar reputation for providing service that is guaranteed to solve your problems once and for all. As Annapolis’ Top Rated Local HVAC contractor, that’s what you get with Pro-Tech HVAC Home. Our customers rely on us for fast, friendly service at a fair price. Our #1 priority is keeping our Annapolis neighbors comfortable all year long!
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Pro-Tech HVAC Home offers new installation, replacement, repairs and maintenance of heating and air conditioning systems in the Annapolis area. Our customers rely on us for honest and reliable service for air conditioners, heat pumps, gas furnaces, Mitsubishi systems, and more. We’re happy to answer questions, troubleshoot, and help you choose the best HVAC system for you and your family. We’re always happy to help answer your questions, so please give us a call or send us an email.