Is There a Perfect AC Thermostat Setting for Summer?
The summer in Sacramento is incredibly hot and rapidly approaching. As we’re sure you already know, utility bills can skyrocket during the summer. Every summer we get questions about how to lower utility bills and have a more efficient home. There are ways to do this, but one of the easiest ones is just playing around with your thermostat. There is a perfect AC thermostat setting for summer and the actual temperature my surprise you.
What is the Perfect AC Thermostat Setting for Summer?
When we tell homeowners what the optimal temperature is, they’re often quite surprised. Honestly, we were too when we first learned this. For the best balance between comfort and budget, the ideal temperature to set your thermostat to is 78°.
We haven’t lost our marbles. There is actual science to back this up. When it’s hot outside, your HVAC system is always working to find a balance between the hot, hot outside air, and a comfortable inside temperature.
Most people’s first instinct is to crank up the AC as high as possible to cool their house down as fast as possible. This is a bad idea. First, it’s a bad idea because it forces your system to work harder than it needs, producing unnecessary wear and tear.
Next, your home is still going to be cool, even if it takes a bit longer to get there. Giving your HVAC system the time and energy to even cool your home will help you save on utility bills.
By setting your thermostat to 78°, you’re allowing the HVAC system to efficiently find a temperature balance that balances the temperature inside with the temperature outside.
Set the Thermostat Higher when You’re Gone.
If you really want to see a difference in your monthly bill, make sure to set the thermostat 8-10 degrees higher while you’re out of the house. Don’t give us that look again, this is something that comes directly from HVAC manufacturers and engineers.
By having your home at a resting temperature closer to the ambient air outside, it preserves the activity level of your HVAC system and helps ensure your home won’t be a sauna or a freezer when you return home.
The reason we’re advising you of this is because forcing your system to constantly go into overdrive, over and over again, puts a lot of unnecessary strain on your system and your wallet.
Running your system at a higher temperature allows it run at an even, lower level. Which will preserve its functions and maintain the temperature while you’re out and about. There’s no point in keeping a house cool if no one is home.
We recommend a programmable thermostat to keep up with this cycle. There are thermostats that are connected to your phone. Simply tell the thermostat when you’re coming home and it’ll start cooling the house.
What About Setting the AC for Sleep?
With all rules, there’s an exception. When it comes to setting the temperature for sleep, there are a few different options you can choose from.
Sleep is something very personal. What works for one person sometimes can’t work for another. To avoid restless nights, The Sleep Foundation recommends your bedroom temperature to be between 60° and 67° for the best sleep.
One of our favorite solutions for this is to lower your home’s temperature a bit before bed. This will give your home time to gradually cool down to the perfect sleeping temperature.
Another thing you can do is open the windows. Not only does this bring in fresh air for circulation, it also helps naturally cool your home throughout the night.
It’s important to keep in mind that the best temperature range for adults is 60° to 67°. The temperature is different for infants and children, they may need a warmer room.
Keep the Humidity in Check
Whomever said, “it’s not the heat, it’s the humidity,” is on to something. When it’s hot, humidity can make everything worse because of hot it interacts with your sweat.
When you sweat in a dry climate the sweat quickly evaporates which keeps you cooler. However, sweating in a hot climate means everything has a harder time evaporating and you’re stuck with nothing but a hot, sticky mess.
An air conditioner has more jobs than just cooling. It also regulates the humidity in your home and works to keep everything at a preferred level. If your home is feeling more humid than usual, that’s an indicator it’s time to schedule an AC tune-up.
Natural Solutions to Keep Cool
Adjusting your thermostat isn’t the only thing you can do to combat summer heat. Here are some of our favorite ways to keep cool and get around utility bills. The added bonus is that you also get to lower your carbon footprint.
- Dress for the Weather – There’s something so nice about relaxing in a pair of sweatpants and a hoodie, it’s time for shorts. One of the best ways to make the most of your HVAC system is by actually dressing for the season at hand.
- Hang Some Blackout Curtains – When your home is cool in the morning, make sure to pull the blackout curtains and keep the sun out. Stopping sunlight from coming in while no one is home, or during peak hours of the day, will keep your home naturally cool.
- Strategically Open Windows – We mentioned opening your windows earlier, but we’re telling you again how important it is to open your windows at least once per day. Your HVAC system recycles the air in your home, let everyone breath easy with some fresh, cool air during the evening and early morning.
- Run the Fan – If you are one of the lucky ones with a ceiling fan, don’t take it for granted during the summer. Make sure to set your fan to turn counterclockwise. This direction sends cool air down to floors and throughout your home.
- Make sure to Weather Seal Your Home – A few cracks around your door and windows can make a big difference when it comes to keeping your home cool. Be warned, any cracks around your window should be checked by a professional because it could be a sign of structural damage. The gap in your door can easily be remedied with some weather stripping.
- Schedule Regular Tune-Ups – To really ensure the life and efficiency of your system, we recommend scheduling regular tune-ups. At Bell Brothers, we recommend two tune-ups per year. Once in the spring before AC season and once in fall before furnace season.
Call Bell Brothers for the Best AC Maintenance
Make sure your home is always at the right temperature with routine HVAC maintenance from Bell Brothers! We proudly serve communities in Sacramento, Stockton, Vacaville, and the East Bay. Dial the number at the top of the screen to speak with one of our friendly call center representatives. Or click here to request an appointment online. Your HVAC expert can’t wait to meet you.