ac setting for summerFinding the right AC setting for summer has a big impact on your comfort, safety, and budget. Few appliances are more powerful or expensive, so the temperature you should set your AC is the one that allows you to stay cool without running up your energy bill.

The ideal temperature varies according to region and time of day. The Department of Energy recommends setting it to 78°F when you’re at home. This runs contrary to the expectations of many homeowners, who assume a lower setting (e.g. 70°F) is more comfortable.

However, our bodies respond differently to air-conditioned environments than they do when we’re outside. Air conditioners not only cool, but they also dehumidify. With less moisture in the air, we lose heat more rapidly. That means setting the temperature to 70°F makes the room feel even colder. Ironically, you’d feel more comfortable at a higher temperature.

Air conditioners also lose energy faster at lower settings than higher ones. Because heat flows from areas of high concentration to low concentration, air-conditioned rooms don’t stay cool long. AC units have to pump in cold air to maintain a pleasant atmosphere. Around 78°F, they only have to activate periodically.

However, because heat transfers more quickly between areas with large differences in temperature, setting your AC low on a hot day means it has to work continuously, sending your electricity bills through the roof. (Lowering your AC 1°F raises your monthly energy bills roughly 1 percent.)

That’s why, according to the Department of Energy, you AC setting for summer should never be more than 20°F below what it is outside. It’s not only a waste of energy. It significantly shortens the lifespan of your AC.

As powerful as air conditioners are, it’s important to recognize their limitations. They aren’t designed to transform your house into a freezer but lower the temperature so you can relax in seasonal clothing.

What’s the Most Effective AC Setting For Summer?

Because there’s no sense cooling an empty house, running your air conditioner on the same setting all day is wasteful. When you’re away, raise the temperature 7-8°F. This holds down costs and keeps your house from overheating. Then, after you return home, you can quickly lower the temperature again. It won’t take more than a few minutes for the cold air to circulate through your house.

A smart thermostat can be incredibly helpful in this regard. Instead of adjusting the temperature manually every day, they can be programmed to do it for you. And they learn your schedule over time, automatically raising the temperature while you’re out and lowering it again before you get home. So you never have to worry about wasting money or coming home to a stuffy house.

Saving Energy with Agway

Agway Energy is always searching for new ways to save you money. Air conditioners are powerful, but we’ve got some tricks to help you get more out of them. For instance, you can supplement them with a ceiling fan or upgrade to an Energy Star Model.

On top of that, our EnergyGuardTM program makes sure your air conditioner runs smoothly throughout the summer. It protects your cooling system but requires no service fees or deductibles. We partner with reliable technicians to guarantee the best service possible whenever your system goes down. Contact us today and start saving on energy and repair costs!