You shouldn’t be forced to sacrifice comfort or empty your wallet to keep your home at a refreshing setting during hot days.
But what is the best temperature, exactly? We review recommendations from energy specialists so you can choose the best temperature for your family.
Here’s what we advise for the most energy-efficient setting for air conditioning in the Bay Area.
Recommended Thermostat Settings for Summer
Most families find placing the thermostat at 72-73 degrees is ideal. However, if there’s a major difference between your interior and exterior temps, your cooling bills will be larger.
These are our recommendations based on the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and ENERGY STAR®.
While at home: 78 degrees. While that sounds hot, there are approaches you can keep your house cool without having the air conditioning on constantly.
Keeping windows and window treatments down during the day keeps cold air where it belongs—within your home. Some window treatments, including honeycomb shades or plantation shutters, are designed to deliver added insulation and enhanced energy conservation.
If you have ceiling fans in your home, the DOE says you can move thermostat settings about 4 degrees higher without compromising comfort. That’s because they refresh through a windchill effect. Since they cool people, not areas, turn them off when you leave a room.
If 78 degrees still feels too hot initially, try conducting an experiment for about a week. Begin by upping your thermostat to 78 degrees while you’re at your residence. Then, steadily decrease it while following the advice above. You may be shocked at how cool you feel at a warmer temperature setting.
While away: 88 degrees. There’s no need to keep the air conditioning running all day while your home is empty. Moving the setting 7¬¬–10 degrees hotter can save you an estimated 5–15% on your AC bills, according to the DOE.
When you arrive home, don’t be tempted to set your thermostat colder than 78 to cool your house more rapidly. This isn’t productive and typically results in a more expensive cooling bills.
A programmable thermostat is a good way to keep your settings in check, but you need to set programs. If you don’t use programs, you run the risk of forgetting to move the set temperature when you go.
If you want a hassle-free resolution, think over installing a smart thermostat. This thermostat works with with your phone, so it is aware when you’re at your house and when you’re out. Then it instinctively adjusts temperature settings for the best savings. How much exactly? Typically $180 each year on heating and cooling, according to ENERGY STAR.
Another advantage of installing a smart thermostat? You can use your phone to keep an eye on and change temperature settings from just about anywhere.
While sleeping: Around 70 degrees. While ENERGY STAR suggests 82 degrees, that might be unbearable for many families. The majority of people sleep better when their sleeping space is chilly, so that’s why the National Sleep Foundation recommends 60–67 degrees. But that may be too cold, due to your pajama and blanket preference.
We suggest running an equivalent test over a week, setting your temperature higher and steadily turning it down to determine the ideal temperature for your residence. On mild nights, you may discover keeping windows open at night and using a ceiling fan is a preferable solution than using the air conditioning.
More Ways to Conserve Energy During Warm Weather
There are additional ways you can conserve money on air conditioning bills throughout warm weather.
- Upgrade to an energy-efficient air conditioning system. Central air conditioners only work for about 12–15 years and become less efficient as they get older. A new air conditioner can keep your residence comfier while keeping energy expenses small.
- Set regular AC service. Regular air conditioner maintenance keeps your unit working properly and might help it work at greater efficiency. It might also help prolong its life span, since it allows professionals to discover small troubles before they lead to a major meltdown.
- Put in new air filters often. Use manufacturer instructions for replacing your air filter. A dirty filter can cause your system to short cycle, or run too often, and drive up your cooling bills.
- Check attic insulation levels. Almost 90% of residences in the USA don’t have enough insulation, according to the Insulation Institute. Most southern climates should have 13–14” of attic insulation, while northern climates need 16–18”.
- Have your ductwork inspected. Ductwork that has loosened as it’s aged can let conditioned air into your attic, walls or crawl space. This can create major comfort problems in your home, including hot and cold spots.
- Seal openings, doors and windows. Keep hot air where it should be by sealing holes. You can also caulk or weather strip doors to seal more cool air inside.
Conserve More Energy This Summer with Contra Costa Heating & AC
If you want to use less energy during warm weather, our Contra Costa Heating & AC experts can assist you. Reach us at 510-343-9841 or contact us online for extra details about our energy-conserving cooling solutions.