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What Temperature Should I Have my AC Set At?

Recently, we got a call from a distraught homeowner. She’d gotten one of those letters from her electric company in the mail that compared her energy use to her neighbors — and it was triple the average for the neighborhood, as was her utility bill.

It didn’t take long for us to figure out the likely culprit. Because when we asked her what the temperature units were set to, she offhandedly replied, “Oh, 65–70 degrees depending on how hot it is outside.” 

Reader, this may come as a surprise. ENERGY STARⓇ, as well as most air conditioner manufacturers and HVAC professionals, recommend you set your AC to 78 degrees in the summer months during the day and 82 degrees at night while sleeping. If this sounds more like the ideal temperature for tanning than for cooling, stay with us. There are good reasons behind this recommendation.

Why Keeping Your AC Temperature Between 78–82 Degrees Is Best  

1. This is the “sweet spot” between staying fairly cool and comfortable and not shocking your wallet.

78 degrees may sound high, but when it’s 104 outside, 78 will feel great. Additionally, you can further cool your home by running ceiling fans and ensuring your home is adequately insulated. This safe zone is also the best way to prevent any utility bill sticker shock come June through August and could save you hundreds in electricity per year!

2. You can adjust to warmer temperatures over time. 

It’s simple. If you’re accustomed to a lower setting, increase by one degree every couple of days until you hit 78. This will give your body time to adjust.

3. This temperature range won’t overwork your HVAC system, meaning fewer repairs for you. 

Most people expect absolute miracles out of their ACs. They’ll run them 24/7, never change the filter, set them to 58 degrees, let ice build up around the compressor, and ignore leaks until there’s a puddle next to the bookcase. This sort of HVAC neglect can take years off your system’s life span! Keeping your AC at a reasonable temperature is one of the best ways to prolong its life and save on repair and replacement costs. 

Speak with an Expert Today

The cooling technicians at Schneller Knochelmann Plumbing, Heating & Air stand ready and waiting to talk you through all your HVAC questions. We’ll help you come up with a plan to stay cool without spending a fortune all summer long. Give us a call at 513-407-4424 or contact us online today to get the conversation started for free!

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