You shouldn’t have to give up comfort or drain your wallet to keep your house at a refreshing temp during warm days.

But what is the ideal temp, exactly? We go over advice from energy specialists so you can find the best setting for your home.

Here’s what we suggest for the most energy-efficient setting for air conditioning in Columbia.

Recommended Thermostat Settings for Summer

Most families find placing the thermostat at 72-73 degrees provides ideal comfort. However, if there’s a huge difference between your inside and exterior warmth, your utility expenses 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 seems warm, there are approaches you can keep your home refreshing without having the AC running constantly.

Keeping windows and blinds down during the day keeps cold air where it should be—within your home. Some window coverings, like honeycomb shades or plantation shutters, are designed to offer added insulation and improved energy conservation.

If you have ceiling fans in your home, the DOE says you can raise thermostat temps about 4 degrees hotter without sacrificing comfort. That’s because they cool through a windchill effect. As they cool people, not areas, turn them off when you leave a room.

If 78 degrees still feels too uncomfortable at first glance, try conducting a test for approximately a week. Get started by increasing your setting to 78 degrees while you’re at your house. Then, steadily lower it while following the tips above. You may be surprised at how refreshed you feel at a warmer temperature setting.

While away: 88 degrees. There’s no reason to keep the air conditioner going all day while your residence is empty. Turning the temp 7–10 degrees warmer can save you an estimated 5–15% on your cooling bills, according to the DOE.

When you arrive home, don’t be tempted to put your thermostat below 78 to cool your home faster. This isn’t useful and typically results in a more expensive cooling cost.

A programmable thermostat is a helpful way to keep your settings controlled, but you need to set programs. If you don’t utilize programs, you risk forgetting to change the set temperature when you leave.

If you need a handy fix, 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 away. Then it instinctively changes temperature settings for maximum savings. How much exactly? About $180 each year on heating and cooling, according to ENERGY STAR.

Another plus of installing a smart thermostat? You can use your phone to watch and change temperature settings from nearly anywhere.

While sleeping: Around 70 degrees. While ENERGY STAR recommends 82 degrees, that could be too uncomfortable for the majority of families. Most people sleep better when their bedroom is chilled, so that’s why the National Sleep Foundation recommends 60–67 degrees. But that may be too chilly, due to your pajama and blanket preference.

We advise running a similar test over a week, putting your thermostat higher and steadily decreasing it to find the best temp for your residence. On mild nights, you may find keeping windows open at night and using a ceiling fan is a preferable option than operating the AC.

More Approaches to Use Less Energy During Warm Weather

There are other approaches you can save money on cooling bills throughout hot weather.

  1. Upgrade to an energy-efficient AC system. Central air conditioners only work for about 12–15 years and get less efficient as they become older. A new air conditioner can keep your home cooler while keeping utility expenses down.
  2. Schedule annual air conditioner service. Annual air conditioner maintenance keeps your unit working like it should and might help it run more efficiently. It might also help extend its life cycle, since it enables techs to discover seemingly insignificant troubles before they create a major meltdown.
  3. Replace air filters often. Use manufacturer instructions for changing your air filter. A dirty filter can result in your system short cycling, or turn on and off too much, and drive up your electrical.
  4. Check attic insulation levels. Almost 90% of homes in the United States don’t have adequate insulation, according to the Insulation Institute. Many southern climates need 13–14” of attic insulation, while northern climates require 16–18”.
  5. Have your ductwork inspected. Ductwork that has come apart over time can let cool air into your attic, walls or crawl space. This can lead to big comfort troubles in your house, like hot and cold spots.
  6. Seal openings, doors and windows. Keep humid air where it should be by sealing cracks. You can also caulk or weather strip doors to seal more conditioned air indoors.

Save More Energy During Warm Weather with Watts Electric & AC

If you want to conserve more energy this summer, our Watts Electric & AC experts can provide assistance. Get in touch with us at 601-736-7362 or contact us online for additional info about our energy-saving cooling products.