You shouldn’t need to sacrifice comfort or drain your wallet to keep your house at a pleasant setting during hot days.

But what is the right temperature, exactly? We review suggestions from energy professionals so you can determine the best setting for your house.

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

Recommended Thermostat Settings for Summer

Most households find placing the thermostat at 72-73 degrees provides ideal comfort. However, if there’s a huge difference between your indoor and outdoor temperatures, your electrical costs will be bigger.

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

While at home: 78 degrees. While that seems hot, there are ways you can keep your home cool without having the air conditioning going constantly.

Keeping windows and blinds closed during the day keeps cold air where it belongs—within your home. Some window coverings, such as honeycomb shades or plantation shutters, are created to deliver more insulation and enhanced energy conservation.

If you have ceiling fans in your residence, the DOE says you can raise thermostat settings about 4 degrees higher without compromising comfort. That’s due to the fact they refresh through a windchill effect. Because they cool people, not rooms, switch them off when you move from a room.

If 78 degrees still seems too uncomfortable at first glance, try conducting a test for a week or so. Begin by raising your thermostat to 78 degrees while you’re home. Then, gradually lower it while using the advice above. You could be shocked at how comfortable you feel at a warmer temperature setting.

While away: 88 degrees. There’s no need to keep the air conditioner on all day while your home is vacant. Moving the temperature 7–10 degrees hotter can save you an estimated 5–15% on your air conditioning expenses, according to the DOE.

When you arrive home, don’t be tempted to put your thermostat under 78 to cool your residence faster. This isn’t productive and typically produces a bigger cooling bill.

A programmable thermostat is a good approach to keep your temperature controlled, but it requires setting programs. If you don’t use programs, you risk forgetting to raise the set temperature when you leave.

If you’re looking for a hassle-free resolution, think about buying a smart thermostat. This thermostat connects with your phone, so it is aware when you’re at your house and when you’re gone. Then it instinctively changes temperature settings for the biggest savings. How much exactly? Usually $180 each year on heating and cooling, according to ENERGY STAR.

Another advantage of having a smart thermostat? You can use your phone to watch and regulate temperature settings from almost anywhere.

While sleeping: Around 70 degrees. While ENERGY STAR suggests 82 degrees, that may be unpleasant for most families. Many people sleep better when their sleeping space is chilly, so that’s why the National Sleep Foundation suggests 60–67 degrees. But that may be too cool, depending on your pajama and blanket preference.

We recommend following an equivalent test over a week, moving your temperature higher and slowly decreasing it to locate the best setting for your residence. On cool nights, you may find keeping windows open at night and running a ceiling fan is a preferable solution than operating the air conditioner.

More Approaches to Save Energy This Summer

There are other ways you can spend less money on cooling bills throughout the summer.

  1. Buy an energy-efficient air conditioning system. Central air conditioners only last about 12–15 years and lose efficiency as they become older. An upgraded air conditioner can keep your residence cooler while keeping cooling costs low.
  2. Set yearly air conditioner service. Annual air conditioner maintenance keeps your equipment running properly and may help it work at greater efficiency. It could also help lengthen its life expectancy, since it allows techs to find small problems before they cause a major meltdown.
  3. Put in new air filters frequently. Read manufacturer instructions for switching your air filter. A dusty filter can lead to your system short cycling, or switch on and off too often, and increase your utility.
  4. Measure attic insulation levels. Just about 90% of residences in the U.S. don’t have adequate insulation, according to the Insulation Institute. Most southern climates require 13–14” of attic insulation, while northern climates should have 16–18”.
  5. Have your ductwork examined. Ductwork that has separated over time can let cool air into your attic, walls or crawl space. This can lead to big comfort troubles in your residence, including hot and cold spots.
  6. Seal cracks, doors and windows. Keep warm air in its place by closing holes. You can also caulk or weather strip doors to seal more cold air within your home.

Save More Energy During Hot Weather with Watts Electric & AC

If you need to save more energy during hot weather, our Watts Electric & AC professionals can provide assistance. Give us a call at 601-736-7362 or contact us online for more information about our energy-saving cooling options.