The ideal setting for your air conditioner depends on your priorities. The higher you set the thermostat in summer, the lower your electric bill will be, so if your first priority is keeping your bills down, choosing higher temperatures serves you best. However, if your first priority is remaining comfortable, you might want to set the temperature lower, even though doing so is more expensive. When it comes to energy usage and wear on the air conditioning system, the warmer you keep your home, the better.
1. Set the thermostat to 78 degrees Fahrenheit, which is the Energy Star recommendation for the coolest you should keep your home. See whether this is a comfortable temperature for you or whether you think you can tolerate your home being a few degrees warmer.
2. Raise the temperature setting if you’re willing to do so. Increase it one degree at a time until you find the warmest temperature at which you are comfortable. Use this temperature setting for the hours when you are at home and awake.
3. Lower the setting by one degree at a time if 78 degrees is too warm for you until you find a comfortable temperature. Be aware that each degree colder you keep your home adds to your electric bill.
4. Increase the temperature setting by at least 7 degrees when the house is empty. If you don’t have pets, you can set the thermostat even higher and save more electricity.
5. Set the thermostat at least 4 degrees higher than your base temperature when you and your family go to bed. Most people can sleep comfortably in a warm room. If you find that you can’t, lower the thermostat back to your daytime levels.
Top Tip: If you have ceiling fans, you can raise your thermostat setting by 5 degrees or more while you’re in a room with a fan running. Ceiling fans don’t cool the air in the room, but they create a wind-chill factor that keeps you comfortable in higher temperatures. Remember to turn fans off when you leave the room; without a person there to feel the breeze, fans have no effect, so they are simply wasting energy.
If you would like to get advice on saving energy on your heating and air-conditioning then speak to your local HVAC contractor.