What Is the Best Home Air Conditioning Temperature?
Staying cool in the summertime used to be a great challenge before the rise of air conditioning. Some solutions were ingenious. We know an old-timer from Arizona who used to spend summer nights sleeping outside, in a tent he made from bamboo poles and sheets he’d soaked in water.
But nostalgia hasn’t clouded his thinking. “With air conditioning, you never have to worry about waking up to bark scorpions on your pillow,” he once told us.
With air conditioning, you do have to worry about your electricity bill, though. That’s why it’s something of a balancing act: You don’t want to be uncomfortable in your own home during the summer, but you don’t want to have to mortgage said home just to afford air conditioning. Taking those two factors into account, what is the best home air conditioning temperature?
The U.S. Department of Energy advises setting your thermostat to 78° F while you are at home. According to Scientific American, this is around 8° F warmer than the ambient temperature in which the human body functions best – but it is the most cost-effective thermostat setting at which most people still feel comfortable.
Naturally, you may take the recommended 78° F thermostat setting with a grain of salt. If you find you’re unable to function at so high a temperature, then your comfort demands a lower setting. In short, the closest temperature to 78° F which you find comfortable is necessarily your most affordable thermostat setting.
Perhaps counterintuitively, it is better not to turn off your air conditioner while you are not at home. According to HVAC company Carrier, it is actually more cost-effective to turn up the thermostat by 7 to 10° F. This is because an air conditioner generally requires more electricity to cool an entire house all at once than it does to maintain an uncomfortable temperature over the course of a day.
Have you just returned to a hot, stuffy house and want to make it habitable as quickly as possible? Your first impulse might be to set the thermostat as low as it can go, but the Department of Energy warns against doing so. An air conditioner set to full blast will not cool a home any faster! It only risks wasting electricity to make a home too cold.
The importance of air conditioner maintenance cannot be understated. Just like your car’s gas mileage will decline if you fail to change its air filter, so too will your air conditioner’s efficiency plummet when its filter has become clogged with dirt, dust, and pollen. Drawing air through so much blockage amounts to needless added work!
It may be impractical for the average homeowner to perform certain types of air conditioner maintenance. A qualified HVAC professional can quickly and affordably maintain key components of any air conditioner including its coils, refrigerant chemical, and blower. They can also install a smart thermostat, so you never have to worry about turning down your home’s temperature while you are away – or coming home to a hot, stuffy house.
Whether your air conditioner needs repair or maintenance – or you would like to upgrade it – the Sioux Falls area’s most qualified HVAC professional is always at your service. Please reach out to PrairieSons today and we’ll make sure you never lose your cool!