The Best Settings for your Thermostat this Summer

Thermostat temperature settings for summer vary between each home and as humidity and temperatures change. While many Cincinnati homeowners are concerned with using less energy to run air conditioning equipment, it’s hard to save energy and save money if you don’t set the thermostat correctly.

We make many mistakes when it comes time to set the thermostat in summer, because we don’t know what temperature to set on our programmable thermostats. The thermostat in summer holds to key to home energy efficiency, so it’s time you figure out the right thermostat settings to use throughout the day.

Thomas & Galbraith shares the best temperature to use when setting your thermostat for summer energy savings. Learn how to adjust recommended thermostat settings and lower your energy bill without sacrificing comfort. Reduce the amount of cooling your air conditioning system must make and enjoy the cool air without shelling out extra money to cool your home degrees lower than you really need.

What Temperature Should I Set My Programmable Thermostat?

For many Cincinnati homeowners, it’s difficult to know what temperature to set thermostats – there are so many options. Do you set your thermostat for comfort, or find a temperature that is the most energy efficient?

It’s really up to you and your preferences, and many homeowners find their own balance between energy use and comfortable cold air. These tips help you know the temperatures to choose when turning your thermostat up or down for efficiency and comfort, as well as how to adjust and set thermostats for the perfect balance.

Recommended Thermostat Temperature for Efficiency

If you’re interested in setting your thermostat for energy efficiency, the U.S. Department of Energy is a great place to turn. They recommend you set the thermostat to 78 degrees to save money and save energy while cooling the house. Turning your thermostat higher during periods of the day where cold air isn’t as important generates more savings. The best temperature settings while you sleep is 82 degrees and set the thermostat in the summer to 85 degrees anytime you leave home.

The same thermostat setting principles can also be used in the winter for heating temperatures at home. The Department of Energy says the best temperature for warm air while at home in the winter is 68 F and set your thermostat 10 degrees lower as you sleep or when you leave the house to save energy and lower bills.

Whether you are heating the house over the winter, cooling for the summer months, or switching between heating and cooling during milder seasons, a programmable thermostat can help you schedule ideal temperature set points throughout the day.

Finding a Comfortable Temperature

While 78 F may be the ideal temperature settings for reduced air conditioning energy use, not everyone feels comfortable when temperatures are this warm. You might even say a room feels hot at 78 degrees during the summer.

If you think turning your thermostat to 78 F means you’ll be sweating inside the house, these settings may not work for you. It’s important to remember that it’s just the temperature that has been found to maximize energy savings for a normal air conditioner – it doesn’t mean you have to keep your home at this temperature to save any money.

78 degrees is only a guideline. Everyone’s comfortable temperature will vary, as no two people are the same – even family members in the same house may prefer different temperature set points when running the air conditioner. When setting your thermostat lower, don’t feel like you’ve failed at saving energy – you can still allow your air conditioning system to consume less energy at lower temperatures!

Balance Energy Efficiency and Comfort

Use the 78 degree mark as a starting point to decide the right temperature for summer comfort in your house. Whatever your normal thermostat setting is, anytime you can set the thermostat in summer a few degrees higher, you will save money and energy.

Raising your thermostat temperature a few degrees higher than normal means the cool air indoors won’t require such a drastic temperature difference from the heat outdoors. When you close this gap, you reduce the cooling load on your air conditioner.

Every degree you set heating and cooling systems higher than normal, you stand to save 3 percent on your energy bills. You will likely find that your room doesn’t need to be cooler just for you to feel comfortable – there are many other ways you can help your body feel like the room is at a lower temperature.

If you are used to running a cool schedule for programmable thermostats, you may experience some discomfort if you crank up the temperature several degrees right off the bat. Instead, take things slow and schedule your thermostat to increase temperatures by just one or two degrees each day. Stop when you find the setting where any higher would make you feel too warm.

Tips to Cool Your Home During a Heat Wave

High heat creates a large difference between indoor and outdoor temperatures. Your air conditioner system is made to keep your home interiors up to 20 degrees lower than the outdoor temperature. In early summer, it’s no problem – but when a heat spell arrives, the outdoor temperatures may be 30 degrees higher than you keep your house on a normal day.

When it’s heating up like this outdoors, there is only so much a home thermostat or air conditioner can do. Luckily, there are ways you can help your home stay at a cooler temperature – these tips cover eliminating sources of heating, keeping the body cool, and helping your home hold in the cooling energy your air conditioning unit produces.

  • Humidity places a big burden on air conditioners and will make you feel hot inside the home. When air is heavy with humidity, it holds heat very well so the home will stay at higher temperatures. Control indoor humidity levels with a whole house dehumidifier that works with your air conditioner. Dehumidifiers pull humidity out of indoor air which automatically lowers air temperature.
  • Keep direct sunlight out of the home to prevent heat gain. When solar heat passes into the home, it raises indoor temperatures and makes it difficult for your air conditioner to control cooling inside. Close window dressings to block direct sunlight and consider hanging insulated shades or curtains to further protect your home from heat gain.
  • Seal leaks that allow heating from outdoors to sneak into your home. These pesky leaks also allow your cold air to esape, heating up your room in two ways. Apply weatherstripping to windows and doors, and use caulk to seal up and cracks or gaps you find along the exterior of your home.
  • Set ceiling fans to run when people are home and in the room. With a counterclockwise motion, the fan will direct air back down to occupied areas and move it across your skin, creating a wind chill that makes your body feel like air is at a lower temperature. Using a fan unit in this way can allow you to set AC temperatures as many as four degrees higher without a hit to your comfort.
  • Save activities that add heating to indoor spaces for early hours or later in the evening. Cooking, baking, showering, doing laundry – these tasks produce a lot of heat and even humidity. Save them for hours where outdoor temperatures are lower or find alternatives, such as cooking outdoors on a grill.
  • Set the fan to run throughout the day. At your thermostat, switch fan mode from AUTO to ON. Instead of running only with the air conditioner to circulate cooling, the fan runs throughout the day to keep air moving and help occupants feel comfortable at warm temperatures.


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