Whats the Most Energy-Efficient AC Setting?

June 04, 2020

You shouldn’t need to compromise on comfort or spend a lot to keep your home at a pleasant temp during muggy weather.

But what is the best setting, exactly? We review recommendations from energy experts so you can select the best temperature for your house.

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

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 inside and outside temps, your cooling bills 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 sounds warm, there are methods you can keep your house refreshing without having the air conditioning going frequently.

Keeping windows and curtains down during the day keeps chilled air where it needs to be—within your home. Some window solutions, such as 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 increase thermostat temps about 4 degrees higher without giving up comfort. That’s since they cool by a windchill effect. As they cool people, not areas, shut them off when you move from a room.

If 78 degrees still appears too warm on the surface, try conducting a test for about a week. Get started by increasing your temperature to 78 degrees while you’re at your residence. Then, steadily lower it while using the ideas above. You could be amazed at how comfortable you feel at a higher temperature setting.

While away: 88 degrees. There’s no reason to keep the air conditioner going all day while your house is vacant. Turning the setting 7¬¬–10 degrees hotter can save you anywhere from 5–15% on your electricity bills, according to the DOE.

When you get home, don’t be tempted to set your thermostat under 78 to cool your residence more quickly. This isn’t useful and typically results in a bigger cooling cost.

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

If you want a handy resolution, consider getting a smart thermostat. This thermostat works with with your phone, so it knows when you’re at your residence and when you’re away. Then it intuitively adjusts temperature settings for maximum savings. How much exactly? Typically $180 yearly on heating and cooling, according to ENERGY STAR.

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

While sleeping: Around 70 degrees. While ENERGY STAR recommends 82 degrees, that may be unpleasant for many families. Most people sleep better when their sleeping space is cold, so that’s why the National Sleep Foundation advises 60–67 degrees. But that may be too cool, based on your clothing and blanket preference.

We suggest trying a similar test over a week, moving your thermostat higher and gradually decreasing it to choose the best setting for your residence. On cool nights, you might discover keeping windows open at night and running a ceiling fan is a superior idea than using the air conditioner.

More Ways to Use Less Energy This Summer

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

  1. Get an energy-efficient air conditioning system. Central air conditioners only last about 12–15 years and lose efficiency as they age. An updated air conditioner can keep your home cooler while keeping cooling
  2. bills down.
  3. Schedule annual air conditioner service. Annual air conditioner maintenance keeps your equipment operating like it should and could help it work at better efficiency. It might also help extend its life cycle, since it enables techs to pinpoint seemingly insignificant troubles before they cause a big meltdown.
  4. Change air filters frequently. Read manufacturer instructions for replacing your air filter. A dusty filter can cause your system to short cycle, or turn on and off too often, and raise your utility
  5. expenses.
  6. Measure attic insulation levels. Almost 90% of residences in the United States don’t have adequate insulation, according to the Insulation Institute. The majority of southern climates need 13–14” of attic insulation, while northern climates need 16–18”.
  7. Have your ductwork inspected. Ductwork that has separated as it’s aged can let conditioned air into your attic, walls or crawl space. This can lead to huge comfort troubles in your home, including hot and cold spots.
  8. Seal holes, doors and windows. Keep warm air in its place by sealing openings. You can also caulk or weather strip doors to seal more cold air inside.

Use Less Energy During Warm Weather with Cool Air Solutions

If you need to conserve more energy during hot weather, our Cool Air Solutions experts can help. Reach us at 951-299-9853 or contact us online for more details about our energy-conserving cooling solutions.