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what temperature to set air conditioner in summer

What Temperature Should I Set My Air Conditioner to in Summer?

Do you need help staying cool in the summer heat? Call Green Energy Mechanical, Inc. at (781) 236-3421.

When outdoor temperatures soar, your first inclination may be to set your thermostat to the lowest possible temperature to cool things down. But for the most energy efficiency and to prevent excessive wear and tear on your cooling equipment, a slightly higher setting than you might expect is usually the best bet. As Canton’s trusted HVAC contractor, we have some advice on what temperature to set the air conditioner to in summer to stay comfortable and keep the electric bill in check.

What Is the Ideal AC Temperature?

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the best indoor temperature during the summer is 78 degrees. The agency notes this setting will save you money on utility bills and help keep your equipment in tip-top shape. 

However, many people find that 78 degrees is simply too warm and doesn’t produce enough cold air to keep them comfortable on hot and sticky days. It’s more common for households to set the air conditioning at a slightly cooler 72 degrees. While you should always set the thermostat to your comfort level, remember that for every degree you set the thermostat above 72 degrees, you can reduce the electric bill by as much as 3%.

Setting the Thermostat When You Aren’t Home 

The recommendation to set the air conditioning to between 72 and 78 degrees applies when your family is home. With that in mind, you might wonder what temperature to set the air conditioner to in summer when no one is home. 

The Department of Energy recommends bumping up the thermostat setting by five to seven degrees when nobody’s home. Setting the air conditioner to 85 degrees during the day can go a long way toward reducing energy consumption and your monthly expenditure. However, setting the AC to 85 all day can mean coming home to an excessively warm home.

The best way to deal with this is to invest in a programmable or smart thermostat that automatically adjusts the temperature. This way, the air conditioner isn’t running all day to keep an empty house cool, but it will kick on before everyone gets home to ensure you arrive to cool air at the end of a long day.

Tips To Maximize Your Air Conditioning in the Summer 

With the following tips, you can maintain a comfortable home all summer without overworking the air conditioner.

  1.   Use a ceiling fan. Running a ceiling fan uses less electricity than an air conditioner and can keep the room up to four degrees cooler by moving the cooled air around. 
  2.   Keep the unit in good condition. Maintaining the air conditioner with an annual tune-up and regularly changing the air filters helps it run more efficiently.
  3.   Close the curtains. Keeping blinds and curtains closed during the day blocks the sun’s rays, so rooms don’t warm up as quickly and stay cooler all day. When the room remains naturally cool, the air conditioner doesn’t have to work as hard to maintain a consistent temperature. 
  4.   Avoid using the oven. Anything that can increase the temperature inside your home, like cooking with the oven, can force the air conditioner to work harder. On the hottest days, cook meals outdoors or plan a menu that doesn’t involve using heat-producing appliances.
  5.   Maintain a consistent temperature. Turning off the air conditioner during the day, then turning the temperature way down when you come home to a sweltering home to reduce the temperature rapidly isn’t good for the unit or your wallet. Setting the thermostat very low won’t get you to the desired temperature any faster. Using a smart thermostat that automatically adjusts the setting to your preference keeps your home consistently cool without using too much power. 

Keep Your Air Conditioner Working All Summer

Knowing what temperature to set the air conditioner in summer is just one way to get the most from your air conditioner without dealing with excessively high bills or inconvenient repairs. 

But if something goes wrong, Green Energy Mechanical, Inc. is here to help Canton, MA, homeowners with fast, reliable HVAC service and repairs. We have an A+ Better Business Bureau rating and a reputation for performing quality work at affordable prices. Thanks to our 24/7 emergency services, we can be there as soon as possible to diagnose even the trickiest air conditioner issues and get you cool and comfortable again in no time.

When you need help, give us a call at (781) 236-3421.

Author Bio:

Jonathan Neves

Worked in the HVAC industry since he was 17. He started as an HVAC service technician for commercial buildings and eventually came into the residential market because of his love of working with people. He believes that what really sets Green Energy Mechanical apart is how long they stand behind their work and how compassionate his employees are for their clients.


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Green Energy Mechanical is a pleasure to work. We had both air conditioning and heating installed. During both jobs, GEM was thorough and professional from start to finish.
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I could not be more pleased with the service provided. We have upgraded our water heater to a tank less. We are also getting our heat and ac installed by them. They care for your home like you would
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