Do You Have the Best AC Temperature in Hot Weather?

Best AC TemperatureWhat’s the best AC temperature indoors when it’s hot outside? That can be a matter of opinion and debate. However, there are generally accepted standards that will help you stay comfortable indoors and efficient when it comes to controlling cooling costs. “Comfortable” generally means you can wear normal summer attire and perform daily household tasks without feeling overheated and frazzled. Also, the indoor temperature should allow you to rest and sleep without disruption due to heat.

The Temperature Sweet Spot

Personal preferences aside, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has endorsed 78 degrees as the desired temperature to support indoor comfort and health while also providing maximum energy efficiency. Also relevant are these facts:

  • The DOE also reports that energy costs increase by 4% to 6% per every degree the AC thermostat setting is lower than 78.
  • Most major HVAC manufacturers also recommend an average thermostat setting in the upper 70s for optimum efficiency.
  • General consensus: As long as indoor humidity is controlled, the range of 78 degrees to 80 degrees is acceptably comfortable for the majority of individuals during waking hours while also being the most energy-efficient, lowest-cost setting.

Best AC Temperature at Night

Recommended sleeping temps, however, vary according to the source. For example, the DOE suggests increasing the programmed temperature setting by up to 4 degrees overnight. However, other sources indicate that sleep quality is better in temperatures lower than the DOE’s suggested setting, with the most preferable range being between 60 degrees and 67 degrees.

Best AC Temperature During Unoccupied Hours

During daylight hours when nobody’s home, the DOE points out that the AC thermostat setting can be pushed up as far as 85 degrees, potentially reducing cooling costs up to 15%. Caveat: Shutting down the air conditioner entirely while you’re gone is not recommended. The high energy cost of cooling an extremely overheated house down to an acceptably comfortable temperature will likely negate any potential savings from shutting off the AC.

Ask Paitson Bros., your local source for trusted HVAC information for the past century, for more about the best AC temperature for your home this summer.

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