You shouldn’t be forced to give up comfort or empty your wallet to keep your residence at the right temperature during the summer.

But what is the right setting, exactly? We discuss advice from energy specialists so you can determine the best temperature for your home.

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

Recommended Thermostat Settings for Summer

Most families find using the thermostat at 72-73 degrees is ideal. However, if there’s a sizeable difference between your indoor and outdoor warmth, your electrical expenses will be larger.

These are our recommendations based on the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and ENERGY STAR®.

While at home: 78 degrees. While that seems warm, there are methods you can keep your home refreshing without having the air conditioner on constantly.

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

If you have ceiling fans in your residence, the DOE says you can raise thermostat settings about 4 degrees warmer without giving up comfort. That’s since they cool through a windchill effect. Since they cool people, not spaces, switch them off when you move from a room.

If 78 degrees still seems too warm at first glance, try running a test for a week or so. Start by raising your temperature to 78 degrees while you’re home. Then, steadily lower it while using the ideas above. You could be amazed at how cool you feel at a higher temperature setting.

While away: 88 degrees. There’s no need to keep the air conditioner running all day while your house is vacant. Turning the temp 7–10 degrees hotter can save you an estimated 5–15% on your air conditioning expenses, according to the DOE.

When you get home, don’t be tempted to put your thermostat below 78 to cool your home more rapidly. This isn’t effective and usually produces a higher AC bill.

A programmable thermostat is a good method to keep your temperature in check, but it requires setting programs. If you don’t use programs, you run the risk of forgetting to increase the set temperature when you leave.

If you need a handy fix, consider getting a smart thermostat. This thermostat works with with your phone, so it is aware when you’re at home and when you’re out. Then it intuitively changes temperature settings for the biggest savings. How much exactly? Typically $180 each year on heating and cooling, according to ENERGY STAR.

Another plus of installing a smart thermostat? You can use your phone to watch and change temperature settings from just about anywhere.

While sleeping: Around 70 degrees. While ENERGY STAR recommends 82 degrees, that might be unpleasant for many families. Many people sleep better when their bedroom is cold, so that’s why the National Sleep Foundation suggests 60–67 degrees. But that may be too cool, depending on your PJ and blanket preference.

We advise following an equivalent test over a week, setting your thermostat higher and gradually lowering it to select the ideal setting for your residence. On mild nights, you might learn 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 other methods you can save money on cooling bills throughout the summer.

  1. Install an energy-efficient air conditioning system. Central air conditioners only are effective for about 12–15 years and lose efficiency as they age. An updated air conditioner can keep your home cooler while keeping cooling costs small.
  2. Schedule annual air conditioner maintenance. Annual air conditioner maintenance keeps your unit running properly and could help it work at greater efficiency. It could also help prolong its life expectancy, since it enables professionals to find little issues before they lead to a major meltdown.
  3. Switch air filters regularly. Use manufacturer instructions for switching your air filter. A clogged filter can lead to your system short cycling, or turn on and off too frequently, and raise your utility.
  4. Check attic insulation levels. Almost 90% of houses in the United States don’t have proper insulation, according to the Insulation Institute. Many southern climates require 13–14” of attic insulation, while northern climates need 16–18”.
  5. Have your ductwork examined. Ductwork that has separated over time can seep conditioned air into your attic, walls or crawl space. This can create major comfort troubles in your residence, like hot and cold spots.
  6. Seal holes, doors and windows. Keep muggy air where it belongs by closing cracks. You can also caulk or weather strip doors to keep more cold air within your home.

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

If you are looking to conserve more energy this summer, our Air Current AC & Heat professionals can provide assistance. Give us a call at 713-322-4318 or contact us online for more information about our energy-saving cooling products.