The Ideal Temperature to Set Your Air Conditioner in the Summer

Woman raising temperature to 78 degrees Fahrenheit on her thermostat in the summer.

If you’ve experienced the worst of California’s summers, you know how difficult it can be to find a comfortable temperature to handle the heat. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to cool your home without running an expensive utility bill, and it actually involves raising the level you set your thermostat. You might be confused, but if you want to find the best temperature for your AC in the summer, read on to learn why you need to rework the way you think about the heat and your home.

Recommended Temperatures for Summer

Believe it or not, the ideal temperature to set your air conditioner in the summer is 78 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the US Department of Energy. For some homeowners, this is out of their comfort zone, but there are ways to still feel comfortable without turning your thermostat down to 70 degrees.

Keep in mind that turning your AC up one degree can save you 3-4% on your energy bills and potentially even more on days with extreme weather. You should also try to keep the difference between the outdoor temperature and your thermostat as small as possible — preferably within 20 degrees. Drop the temperatures at night, as the best temperature for your AC on summer nights is 60-68 degrees Fahrenheit.

How Can Thermostats Help Keep Your Home Cool?

While dropping and raising your home’s temperature to combat the fierce weather outside might sound like a wise idea, we know that it can be difficult to keep up. You still have to work, go for grocery runs, or spend time with friends or on family vacations. How can you ensure the ideal temperature is set on your air conditioner in the summer? 

Getting a programmable or smart thermostat can help you maximize your energy savings and give you the flexibility to keep your AC unit running when you need it most.

Programmable Thermostats

Programmable thermostats are a great option to give you full control of the comfort level in your home, as they allow you to preset the indoor temperatures for days and sometimes weeks at a time. If you have a very set schedule or find a temperature level that works for you, a programmable thermostat can help enhance your at-home experience at the touch of a button.

Smart Thermostats

Smart thermostats are programmable thermostats with a dash of spice, adding more efficiency and convenience to your home. Smart thermostats learn and adapt to your daily usage; some can recommend settings based on your location and climate. 

Smart thermostats are also WiFi-enabled, meaning you’ll have a few additional features and be able to control the temperature in your home from your phone. This ensures you never waste money and allows you to manage your AC from wherever you are.

How to Handle Your Air Conditioner in Extreme Temperatures

While setting your thermostat to 78 degrees Fahrenheit sounds fine when it’s 80 degrees outside, what’s the ideal temperature to set your air conditioner in the summer’s extreme temperatures? Remember, it’s important to keep your AC within 20 degrees of the outdoor temperature, but does it make sense to be in a home that’s almost as hot as the outside?

Extremely cool homes lose temperature faster than homes closer to the outdoor temperature. This means the greater the temperature difference, the harder your AC will work to cool the air in your home, and the easier it is for your home to heat back up. You shouldn’t turn your AC up to 90 degrees, but keeping it in the designated range can help improve your energy efficiency and reduce your electric bill.

In addition, a few of these tips can help you manage your AC in extreme temperatures and find the best temperature for your AC in the summer:

  • Only Cool the Zones You Need: If you want to save energy, consider installing a zoned system, allowing you to control which rooms and areas get cooled down.
  • Make Sure Your Thermostat Is in the Right Location: Sometimes, homeowners have thermostats installed in the wrong location of their homes or place items near their thermostat that distorts the reading. Ensure your thermostat is in a central location in your home, away from windows, doors, fireplaces, or candles that could distort temperature readings.
  • Consider a Dehumidifying System for Your Unit: Not all AC units come with dehumidifying properties, which can impact the heat’s tolerability. Humid air is sticky and uncomfortable and will lower the heat tolerance of homeowners.
  • Use a Ceiling Fan to Reduce Energy Costs: It’ll be easier to tolerate the best temperature for your AC in the summer if you maximize the use of your ceiling fan. Ceiling fans can help wick the heat and humidity away from your body in rooms and keep you cool in the summer.

Keep Your AC Strong Enough to Fight the Heat With RR Electric

No matter what the ideal temperature to set your air conditioner in the summer is, your AC needs to be strong enough to fight the heat. At RR Electric, we know a thing or two about combating the California heat, and you can get an AC installation or replacement to give you a system capable of handling the summer weather. Reach out to our expert technicians for our AC services, or take advantage of our other services that help improve the air quality of Simi Valley, CA, homes.