Whats the Most Energy-Efficient AC Setting?

June 04, 2020

You shouldn’t be forced to sacrifice comfort or drain your wallet to keep your house at the right temperature during summer weather.

But what is the best temp, exactly? We discuss suggestions from energy professionals so you can choose the best setting for your home.

Here’s what we recommend for the most energy-efficient setting for air conditioning in Crystal and Twin Cities.

Recommended Thermostat Settings for Summer

Most families find placing the thermostat at 72-73 degrees is most comfortable. However, if there’s a big difference between your inside and exterior temps, your AC costs will be bigger.

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 approaches you can keep your residence cool without having the air conditioner on constantly.

Keeping windows and window treatments down during the day keeps cool air where it needs to be—indoors. Some window coverings, like honeycomb shades or plantation shutters, are designed to deliver more insulation and improved energy conservation.

If you have ceiling fans in your residence, the DOE says you can increase thermostat settings about 4 degrees hotter without compromising comfort. That’s because they refresh through a windchill effect. Because they cool people, not rooms, switch them off when you leave a room.

If 78 degrees still appears too uncomfortable initially, try running a trial for about a week. Get started by increasing your setting to 78 degrees while you’re at your house. Then, steadily decrease it while following the advice above. You may be surprised 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 unoccupied. Turning the setting 7¬¬–10 degrees hotter can save you anywhere from 5–15% on your air conditioning costs, according to the DOE.

When you arrive home, don’t be tempted to set your thermostat colder than 78 to cool your house more rapidly. This isn’t productive and usually leads to a more expensive air conditioner expense.

A programmable thermostat is a useful approach to keep your temperature in check, but you have to set programs. If you don’t use programs, you might forget to change the set temperature when you leave.

If you need a hassle-free solution, think about getting a smart thermostat. This thermostat links with your phone, so it realizes when you’re at your residence and when you’re away. Then it instinctively adjusts temperature settings for maximum savings. How much exactly? About $180 yearly on heating and cooling, according to ENERGY STAR.

Another advantage of installing a smart thermostat? You can use your phone to watch and adjust temperature settings from nearly anywhere.

While sleeping: Around 70 degrees. While ENERGY STAR advises 82 degrees, that could be too uncomfortable for many families. Many people sleep better when their sleeping area is chilled, so that’s why the National Sleep Foundation suggests 60–67 degrees. But that may be too cool, based on your clothing and blanket preference.

We suggest using a similar test over a week, setting your thermostat higher and steadily turning it down to pick the right setting for your house. On mild nights, you may find keeping windows open at night and relying on a ceiling fan is a better solution than running the air conditioning.

More Ways to Use Less Energy This Summer

There are other methods you can conserve money on utility bills throughout hot weather.

  1. Get an energy-efficient AC system. Central air conditioners only last about 12–15 years and become less efficient as they get older. A new air conditioner can keep your residence comfier while keeping energy
  2. expenses down.
  3. Set annual air conditioner tune-ups. Annual air conditioner maintenance keeps your unit operating smoothly and could help it work at greater efficiency. It can also help lengthen its life span, since it helps pros to spot small problems before they cause a big meltdown.
  4. Put in new air filters frequently. Follow manufacturer instructions for replacing your air filter. A clogged filter can result in your system short cycling, or switch on and off too much, and drive up your electrical
  5. costs.
  6. Measure attic insulation levels. Nearly 90% of houses in the USA don’t have enough insulation, according to the Insulation Institute. Most southern climates require 13–14” of attic insulation, while northern climates require 16–18”.
  7. Have your ductwork examined. Ductwork that has loosened as it’s aged can seep cold air into your attic, walls or crawl space. This can result in major comfort issues in your house, including hot and cold spots.
  8. Seal cracks, doors and windows. Keep muggy air where it belongs by plugging openings. You can also caulk or weather strip doors to keep more cold air within your home.

Save More Energy During Warm Weather with GV Heating & Air

If you want to save more energy this summer, our GV Heating & Air professionals can provide assistance. Give us a call at 763-535-2000 or contact us online for more information about our energy-efficient cooling options.