Approximately 87 percent of homes in the U.S. have an air conditioning system. In fact, air conditioning is more common in homes these days than garages, dining rooms, and even dishwashers.
An air conditioner is a must for many homeowners, especially those who live in warm parts of the country. They can definitely be a drain on your energy bill, though, especially when you don’t set them to the right temperature.
If you’re not sure what the best temperature is for your AC thermostat, keep reading. Listed below are some tips to help you keep your house cool and comfortable during the hottest months of the year.
Choosing the Right Temperature
First of all, how do you determine which temperature is best for your thermostat?
Setting your thermostat to one temperature will help to regulate it and ensure that your house stays cool throughout the day. That way, you don’t have to turn it on and adjust it every time things get too hot to handle.
During the daytime, the U.S. Department of Energy recommends setting your thermostat to 78 degrees. This temperature, for most people, helps them to feel cool (as long as they’re dressed for the weather) without running up their energy bills.
If you really want to lower your bill, you may want to try raising your thermostat to 85 degrees. It will be warmer inside your home, but it can also cut your cooling bill by 5-15 percent.
In the evening, since it’s naturally cooler outside, you can turn your thermostat up a little higher. If you set your thermostat to 82 degrees, you can lower your air conditioning bill quite a bit.
Many people find they can still sleep comfortably while doing this. For those who prefer a cooler bedroom, though, opening the windows or running a ceiling fan can be a good compromise.
If you sleep with the windows open, just make sure you close them early in the morning while it’s still cool. This traps that cool air inside so your air conditioner doesn’t have to work as hard to cool your house back down.
Nobody wants to come home from vacation to an extra-hot house. At the same time, though, they also don’t want to pay a ton of money to cool down a house that no one’s living in.
When you’re heading out of town, compromise and set your thermostat a little higher (88 degrees is a good setting for most people). This will keep your house from turning into an oven, but it’ll also save you from racking up unnecessary charges on your energy bill.
There are lots of other steps you can take to maximize the coolness of your home without being too reliant on the air conditioner. Keep these other strategies in mind so you can keep your thermostat at a consistent temperature while also staying cool:
- Draw the curtains or close the blinds to block out sunlight during the hottest part of the day
- Seal your windows and doors to keep cold air from flowing out
- Minimize the use of heat-generating appliances like ovens, stoves, and dishwashers, during the daytime
Installing and running ceiling fans can help you to spread the cool air from your air conditioner a bit farther. Ceiling fans use way less energy than the air conditioner, too, so try to utilize them whenever you can.
Maintaining the Right Temperature
Once you’ve set your AC thermostat to your preferred temperature, chances are you want to keep your home at that temperature while the warm weather lasts. Sometimes, that’s easier said than done, though, especially if your air conditioner is not functioning properly.
If you’ve noticed that it doesn’t maintain temperature after you’ve set it, it’s possible that you need to invest in professional ac repair or more thorough ac maintenance.
Here are some tips to help you keep your air conditioner working properly:
Change the Filter
During the hottest months of the year, when you’re running your air conditioner a lot, it’s best to change the filter once per month. This helps the unit to run in the most efficient way possible. It also helps you to improve the air quality in your home.
Clean the Fins and Coils
Keep the fins and coils on your air conditioning unit clean and in good repair, too. If you notice any damage to the fins, get them replaced as soon as possible.
Bent fins can cause inefficient airflow, and dirty coils can prevent your air conditioner from absorbing heat and running in an efficient way.
Inspect the Drain
Make sure you’re inspecting the condensate drain, too. If this drain gets clogged, your air conditioner won’t drain well and could be more prone to inefficiency or breakdowns altogether.
Finally, don’t forget to schedule regular AC maintenance.
Have a professional come out and check your unit at least once per year to ensure everything is in good working order. This will help you catch potential problems right away before they turn into larger, more expensive issues.
Time to Adjust Your AC Thermostat
As you can see, there are a lot of factors to consider when choosing the ideal temperature for your AC thermostat. Everyone’s preferences are a little different, of course.
If you keep the tips listed above in mind, though, you’ll have an easier time determining the best temperature that keeps you cool in your home without causing your energy bill to skyrocket.
Do you need more advice on keeping your home cool and comfortable? If so, check out some of our other home repair and home renovation articles today. We’ve got lots of great pieces on our site that will give you all the tools you need.