You shouldn’t need to sacrifice comfort or drain your wallet to keep your residence at a refreshing temp during summer weather.

But what is the right temperature, exactly? We review advice from energy pros so you can determine the best setting for your residence.

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 setting the thermostat at 72-73 degrees provides ideal comfort. However, if there’s a huge difference between your indoor and outdoor temps, your AC costs will be higher.

These are our recommendations based on the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and ENERGY STAR®.

While at home: 78 degrees. While that seems too high, there are approaches you can keep your residence pleasant without having the AC going all the time.

Keeping windows and curtains shut during the day keeps chilled air where it needs to be—indoors. Some window coverings, such as honeycomb shades or plantation shutters, are designed to deliver more insulation and enhanced energy conservation.

If you have ceiling fans in your residence, the DOE says you can raise thermostat temps about 4 degrees warmer without giving up comfort. That’s since they cool through a windchill effect. Since they cool people, not rooms, turn them off when you leave a room.

If 78 degrees still appears too warm initially, try doing an experiment for approximately a week. Begin by raising your thermostat to 78 degrees while you’re home. Then, steadily turn it down while using the suggestions above. You might be astonished at how refreshed you feel at a hotter temperature setting.

While away: 88 degrees. There’s no need to keep the air conditioner working all day while your home is vacant. Switching the setting 7–10 degrees higher can save you as much as 5–15% on your cooling costs, according to the DOE.

When you arrive home, don’t be tempted to set your thermostat below 78 to cool your home more quickly. This isn’t effective and usually results in a higher electrical cost.

A programmable thermostat is a useful approach to keep your temperature controlled, but it requires setting programs. If you don’t use programs, you might forget to increase the set temperature when you go.

If you need a handy solution, think about installing a smart thermostat. This thermostat connects with your phone, so it realizes when you’re at your house and when you’re out. Then it instinctively changes temperature settings for the best savings. How much exactly? Typically $180 yearly on heating and cooling, according to ENERGY STAR.

Another perk 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 advises 82 degrees, that might be too uncomfortable for many families. Many people sleep better when their sleeping space is chilled, so that’s why the National Sleep Foundation recommends 60–67 degrees. But that could be too cold, based on your pajama and blanket preference.

We recommend using a comparable test over a week, setting your temperature higher and slowly turning it down to locate the right setting for your residence. On pleasant nights, you might discover keeping windows open at night and using a ceiling fan is a preferable idea than operating the AC.

More Approaches to Save Energy This Summer

There are extra ways you can spend less money on cooling bills throughout warm weather.

  1. Get an energy-efficient AC system. Central air conditioners only work for about 12–15 years and lose efficiency as they become older. A new air conditioner can keep your house comfier while keeping electrical expenses down.
  2. Schedule annual air conditioner service. Regular air conditioner maintenance keeps your equipment operating properly and could help it operate at better efficiency. It could also help prolong its life cycle, since it helps professionals to uncover little issues before they lead to a major meltdown.
  3. Change air filters often. Use manufacturer instructions for changing your air filter. A dusty filter can result in your system short cycling, or turn on and off too frequently, and increase your electricity.
  4. Check attic insulation levels. Just about 90% of residences in the United States don’t have enough insulation, according to the Insulation Institute. The majority of southern climates should have 13–14” of attic insulation, while northern climates should have 16–18”.
  5. Have your ductwork checked. Ductwork that has loosened over time can leak conditioned air into your attic, walls or crawl space. This can result in big comfort problems in your residence, like hot and cold spots.
  6. Seal openings, doors and windows. Keep humid air in its place by sealing openings. You can also caulk or weather strip doors to seal more conditioned air indoors.

Save More Energy During Warm Weather with Contra Costa Heating & AC

If you are looking to conserve more energy this summer, our Contra Costa Heating & AC professionals can provide assistance. Give us a call at 510-343-9841 or contact us online for additional details about our energy-saving cooling options.