You shouldn’t have to compromise on comfort or empty your wallet to keep your house at the right temperature during warm days.

But what is the right temperature, exactly? We review ideas from energy specialists so you can select the best temp for your house.

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

Recommended Thermostat Settings for Summer

Most families find placing the thermostat at 72-73 degrees is most comfortable. However, if there’s a sizeable difference between your inside and outdoor temps, your utility bills will be bigger.

This is our advice based on the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and ENERGY STAR®.

While at home: 78 degrees. While that sounds warm, there are approaches you can keep your residence cool without having the AC on frequently.

Keeping windows and curtains shut during the day keeps chilled air where it needs to be—indoors. Some window treatments, such as honeycomb shades or plantation shutters, are designed to provide added insulation and improved energy efficiency.

If you have ceiling fans in your home, the DOE says you can move thermostat temperatures about 4 degrees hotter without giving up comfort. That’s because they cool through a windchill effect. As they cool people, not rooms, turn them off when you move from a room.

If 78 degrees still seems too warm at first glance, try running a trial for about a week. Start by raising your setting to 78 degrees while you’re at your house. Then, progressively turn it down while using the ideas above. You may be surprised at how cool you feel at a higher temperature setting.

While away: 88 degrees. There’s no rationale for keeping the air conditioner going all day while your home is unoccupied. Switching the setting 7–10 degrees warmer can save you as much as 5–15% on your cooling costs, according to the DOE.

When you get home, don’t be tempted to set your thermostat below 78 to cool your residence more rapidly. This isn’t useful and typically leads to a more expensive air conditioner expense.

A programmable thermostat is a useful method to keep your temperature in check, but you have to set programs. If you don’t use programs, you might forget to raise the set temperature when you leave.

If you’re looking for a hassle-free remedy, consider buying a smart thermostat. This thermostat connects with your phone, so it realizes when you’re at your house and when you’re gone. Then it instinctively changes temperature settings for the best savings. How much exactly? An estimated $180 annually on heating and cooling, according to ENERGY STAR.

Another perk of using a smart thermostat? You can use your phone to watch and adjust temperature settings from just about anywhere.

While sleeping: Around 70 degrees. While ENERGY STAR suggests 82 degrees, that might be unpleasant for the majority of families. The majority of people sleep better when their bedroom is chilled, so that’s why the National Sleep Foundation recommends 60–67 degrees. But that may be too chilly, due to your PJ and blanket preference.

We suggest using a similar test over a week, putting your temperature higher and steadily decreasing it to select the right temp for your residence. On pleasant nights, you could discover keeping windows open at night and relying on a ceiling fan is a superior solution than operating the AC.

More Ways to Save Energy This Summer

There are extra ways you can spend less money on cooling bills throughout the summer.

  1. Upgrade to an energy-efficient cooling system. Central air conditioners only work for about 12–15 years and get less efficient as they get older. An updated air conditioner can keep your residence comfier while keeping AC costs low.
  2. Set yearly air conditioner service. Annual air conditioner maintenance keeps your unit operating smoothly and might help it work at greater efficiency. It may also help extend its life expectancy, since it allows pros to find small issues before they cause a major meltdown.
  3. Change air filters frequently. Use manufacturer instructions for replacing your air filter. A clogged filter can lead to your system short cycling, or turn on and off too often, and increase your energy.
  4. Check attic insulation levels. Almost 90% of homes in the United States don’t have enough insulation, according to the Insulation Institute. Many southern climates require 13–14” of attic insulation, while northern climates require 16–18”.
  5. Have your ductwork examined. Ductwork that has loosened over time can let cold air into your attic, walls or crawl space. This can lead to major comfort troubles in your residence, like hot and cold spots.
  6. Seal holes, doors and windows. Keep humid air where it belongs by closing cracks. You can also caulk or weather strip doors to keep more cool air indoors.

Conserve More Energy During Warm Weather with Air Current AC & Heat

If you are looking to conserve more energy during hot weather, our Air Current AC & Heat pros can help. Get in touch with us at 713-322-4318 or contact us online for extra details about our energy-saving cooling products.