For optimal cooling and energy efficiency, the coolest you should keep your house is 78° F and that’s only when you’re at home and awake. A programmable thermostat makes it easy to match your cooling needs to your schedule but you can make the adjustments manually if you don’t have one.
- 78° F when you’re home.
• 85° F when you’re at work or away.
• 82° F when you’re sleeping.
If you are more tolerant to heat, you can experiment with the temperature, raising it one degree at a time to see how it affects your comfort and your budget. You’ll save 3 percent on your air conditioning costs for every degree you raise the temperature. If you aren’t comfortable at 78° F, lower the temperature a degree at a time. A ceiling or box fan causes a wind chill effect that enhances cooling, helping you feel comfortable at a higher temperature as long as the humidity isn’t too high.
Of course, if you live in an area with more moderate temperatures, you may not need your air conditioner running all day and night. If so, you can take advantage of cooler night temperatures by keeping your windows open overnight. Close them on hot days and keep your shades and curtains drawn when it’s sunny outside. If you need the AC when you get home, you can program it to go on before you arrive or turn it on with a smartphone app.
It is more difficult to reach the perfect temperature when you have a window air conditioner. Because the thermostat is in the unit itself, it registers the temperature in that part of the room and may not provide a consistent temperature throughout the space you want to cool, depending how big and open it is. That means getting the right comfort level is more trial and error. Start with it set at 78 degrees and see how you feel. If you have a window unit in your bedroom, turn it on 30 minutes or so before you go to bed so you’re not cooling an empty room.
No matter what type of air conditioning you have, it’s easier to keep the temperature at a comfortable level if you can prevent heat from getting into your home. The three main sources of unwanted heat are heat that seeps in from the outdoors, waste heat given off by appliances and incandescent lightbulbs, and heat from sunlight shining through the windows. During a heat wave, avoid using your washer, dryer, and dishwasher during the heat of the day and make sure you use the exhaust fans in your kitchen and bathroom when you’re cooking or taking a shower. Cook outside on your grill.
If you notice an issue with your air conditioner, or the comfort of your home, make sure to contact us. We can inspect the HVAC unit to ensure that it is working efficiently for you and your home.