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As summer settles in and the temperature and humidity rise, a cool home offers comfortable relaxation. A properly working air conditioner can make a major difference in your ability to enjoy your space.

While comfort is key, you also want to budget your monthly energy cost. Considering a good temperature to set your thermostat in the summer will help you regulate your spend over the hot summer season.

Ideally you are looking for a balance between comfort and affordability, and this is possible by knowing the best thermostat setting for summer.

Best AC temperature settings while you are home

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency suggests that people set their air conditioners to 78 degrees in summer for maximum savings on their utility bills. However, comfort is subjective and what works for one household may not work for others. 

As you consider the most comfortable room temperature for your lifestyle and family, keep in mind that for each degree that you set your thermostat above 72 degrees, you can save up to 3% on your utility bill. It may take you some trial and error to learn which temperature setting offers the best balance between cooling and affordability.

Best AC temperature settings while away

When you’re away from home, increasing the indoor temperature by 5 to 7 degrees can support your energy-efficiency and lower your monthly energy spend. The suggested temperature setting by Energy Star is 85 degrees when no one is home. Using a programmable thermostat will help you manage your indoor temperature by time or modify the settings from your smartphone if you’re away.

Is 72 a good temperature to set your AC to?

Homeowners may think setting the thermostat to 72 degrees is the best way to keep their home comfortable, but there are a number of ways to stay cool and keep your energy costs within budget. 

If you’re used to keeping the thermostat at 72 degrees in summer weather, try notching the temperature up by one degree at a time. Combine our cooling efforts for your home with the gradual thermostat increase, and you may find that your space remains comfortable even if the setting is higher than normal.

How to maximize cooling efforts in your home

The best AC temperature for summer will always be different across households. But instead of making your AC work harder, you can use other methods to maximize cooling efforts in your house. 

Use fans and personal coolers

Circulating air throughout the house is a good way to keep it from getting too hot. Fans and coolers help create a cross flow and are beneficial in cooling the indoor temperature when you increase the air conditioner setting. Types of fan or personal coolers to consider:

Ceiling fan

A ceiling fan has the power to cool a room up to four degrees, which means you can turn up the thermostat and save on your energy costs without sacrificing comfort. Most ceiling fans cost as little as $0.15 a day to operate for 12 hours. We like the Hunter Dempsey Indoor Low Profile Ceiling Fan because it’s design is perfect for all rooms, even those with low ceilings. 

Close blinds and curtains 

Brightness increases heat, so keep the curtains and blinds drawn during the day to keep it cooler. Blackout curtains can reduce the amount of heat that enters a room by up to 24%, so as you head out for the day, pull the drapes closed. Tinted windows are also useful in preventing the sun from heating up the house during the day. 

Avoid running the oven

When it is already hot inside the house, try to avoid using the oven as much as possible. The oven heats up the house quickly and in summer, this takes only a few minutes. If you have a yard or patio, grilling out can create an enjoyable summer meal and keep your house cool.

Benefits of a programmable thermostat

Whether you want precise temperature control throughout the year or to make zoned heating and cooling more convenient, a programmable thermostat could be the key. These devices are automatic, and a smart way to control the temperature inside your house all year round. A programmable thermostat offers:

Higher efficiency

Once you program the thermostat, you do not have to constantly set it to the right temperature throughout the day. The device will be able to do so on its own using the programming it was fed. It knows when to raise the temperature, when to turn it down, and when to completely shut off because no one is home. This ensures that your house automatically has the right temperature settings all day without adjustments.

More savings

When your indoor temperature is optimal all the time, it lessens the load on your HVAC system and saves you money by lowering your energy bills. The thermostat controls the temperature more efficiently, helps your HVAC conserve energy, and maximizes savings for you.

Better zoned temperature control

Different rooms require different temperature settings and a programmable thermostat helps you do it conveniently. Simply program the thermostat to control the temperature in a different way for each room, resulting in optimal heating or cooling for the whole house. A programmable thermostat will only heat or cool the occupied rooms without wasting energy for rooms that are not used. 

Smarter options

A programmable thermostat is intelligent, often equipped with Wifi capability that allows it to track weather patterns and set the temperature accordingly. Some programmable thermostats can be controlled with a smartphone, letting you change settings even when you are away from home. 

Frequently asked questionsHow to find the ideal AC size?

To find the right size AC for your home, multiply your home’s square footage by 25. This number gives you the British Thermal Units (BTUs) needed for efficient cooling. For instance, if the size of your house is 1,200 square feet, you need an AC with 30,000 BTU for the perfect cooling.

Should you set your AC to 78 degree Fahrenheit?

When you are trying to find a balance between comfort and savings, it needs some trial and error to find the best AC temperature in summer. Although 78 degrees is the recommended setting for the maximum energy savings, you could raise or lower the temperature according to your needs.

What is the average house temperature in summer?

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the average house temperature in summer hovers around 78 degrees. Depending upon your exact location, it can be as low as 70 degrees or as high as 80+ degrees at the peak of summer.