Why Setting Your Thermostat at 78 is Better than Turning it Off in Summer
You’ll depend on your air conditioner throughout the warm summer months, especially living in Central Ohio where it gets uncomfortably hot. Cool air in your home will allow you to escape the heat, sleep well, and reduce the frustration that hot weather can induce.
But there’s more to keeping cool than simply turning on your air conditioning unit. The thermostat temperature can have a big impact on various aspects beyond your ability to handle the summer heat; it will impact your energy costs, control your home’s high humidity levels, and make your home more environmentally friendly, among other things.
As such, it’s important to understand how air conditioning units work and to find the correct air conditioner temperature that’ll result in maximum efficiency and cost savings without sacrificing comfort.
So what is the best temperature for your HVAC system? U.S. Department of Energy research suggests that setting your programmable thermostat to 78 during the summer months is the best way to save money on your cooling costs while maintaining a comfortable temperature.
It Keeps You Cool
It’s recommended that you invest in an Energy Star-certified smart thermostat. Setting your thermostat to 78 will help you keep cool without resulting in an expensive energy bill. The objective of an air conditioner unit is to keep your house cool, not to keep you cold. Keeping your thermostat set to 78 degrees is the perfect temperature because it strikes the right balance between making your home cooler and not doing major damage to your energy bills.
Some people may find that 78 degrees is not the ideal temperature for their home. In that case, it’s recommended to find other ways to combat the discomfort induced by a warm home. For instance, you could install a ceiling fan. This won’t lower your home’s temperature in the same way that air conditioning will, but it will circulate cold air, which can make you feel cooler (and that’s what counts), and will also save energy — and save money.
Keep in mind that for each degree you set your thermostat above 72 degrees, you can save up to 3% on your energy bill. Those savings can really add up!
It Controls Humidity
We think of air conditioners in terms of combating hot air. But they do more than lower the indoor temperature and make managing the summer heat more straightforward.
The best thermostat temperature will also control your home’s humidity level. This is why it’s recommended to have your AC unit at the optimal temperature setting even when you’re not at home. That may sound counterintuitive if you’re trying to reduce energy costs, but it’s an essential part of keeping humidity under 50%. This, in turn, can prevent other problems, such as mold, furniture warp, and musty smells, from taking hold in the future.
In this sense, the desired temperature of your air conditioner isn’t just one that helps to battle the outside temperature and reduces your electricity bill; it’s one that helps to preserve the quality of your home.
It Saves You Money
We understand the temptation to set a lower temperature on your thermostat, especially when the summer brings plentiful higher temperature days. However, while it would be pleasant at the time, you’d regret it once your utility bill came in the mail.
Seventy-eight degrees is the ideal temperature for your thermostat because it helps to keep you cool while also resulting in energy savings. Even the matter of a few degrees can impact the overall cost of running your A/C unit. Seventy-eight degrees has been shown to be the ideal balance between being easy on the wallet while still keeping your house cool; it’s the ideal energy efficiency temperature, basically.
Indeed, it’s recommended to have the thermostat set to 78 even when you’re not at home, rather than turning the thermostat off. This is because your thermostat will use more energy getting your house back to the set temperature after being switched off than it would to maintain the temperature for a matter of hours. You’ll be keeping your electric bills down and have a more comfortable home when you return.
You can make further savings by setting the thermostat to a few degrees higher — the environmental protection agency recommends putting it to 82 if you’re leaving for the day, then putting it back to the normal setting once you return.
What About When You’re On Vacation?
Most people turn off their thermostat when they go on vacation. However, it’s recommended to set your thermostat to ‘on’ even when you’ll be away for a week or two. This is because there is a risk attached to switching it off completely, including raising your humidity levels and putting unnecessary stress on your appliances (for example, your refrigerator).
You won’t need to set your thermostat to 77, however; the best temperature will be somewhere in the region of 83 – 85 degrees, which will maintain climate control without having too much of an impact on your electric bill.
Homeowners with programmable thermostats can set the thermostat to a lower temperature the day before they return from their vacation so that their house is nice and cool when they arrive.
Additional Efficiency Tips For Your HVAC System
We’ve clarified that 78 degrees is the ideal setting for your thermostat. And there are also other ways to boost the efficiency of your AC unit and further reduce your energy bills.
It’s recommended to look at adding ceiling fans to your property since they can keep you cool and reduce your dependency on your air conditioner. You should also schedule regular AC maintenance to ensure that your unit is working as it should, while you’ll also benefit from investing in quality doors and windows that help to retain cool (and warm) air.
Looking for HVAC solutions that’ll keep your home at the ideal temperature during summer and winter while also reducing your utility costs? Here at Patriot Air, we offer a range of HVAC solutions, including maintenance, repair, and installation. To get started, simply contact us at (614) 577-1577, or click the ‘Schedule Service’ button at the top of this page and fill in the provided contact form.