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What Temperature Should I Keep My Air Conditioner On?

July 21, 2023

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If you live in a warm climate, you might ask, what temperature should I keep my air conditioner on? This is vital to understand, as running the AC protects interior materials against damage. On the other hand, it also costs money! In turn, you want to find a balance between keeping your home cool and not breaking the bank.

Most people find that keeping their air conditioner set to the mid to lower 70s is comfortable when they’re home. However, you might adjust the thermostat a bit higher for unoccupied spaces. Also, consider your home’s insulation, outside shade, and ventilation.

To better understand what you should keep your air conditioner on, keep reading! Added details about your home’s condition, outside weather, and other factors can help you make the right decision for your home. Also, it’s helpful to consider added cooling methods for any home! An air conditioner repair contractor can also advise when it’s time to consider a new appliance as well.

what temperature should I keep my air conditioner on

What Should I Keep My Air Conditioner On?

In simple terms, the ideal temperature to keep your air conditioner on depends on personal preferences and the climate. For instance, some people are sensitive to cold and prefer warmer temperatures. In those cases, you might keep your air conditioner set to the upper 70s.

On the other hand, some people don’t respond well to heat and prefer very cool environments. Also, certain health conditions can make a person feel warmer than average. In turn, you might keep your air conditioner in the mid to lower 70s.

However, a commonly recommended setting for energy efficiency and comfort is around 78 degrees. This is usually ideal when you’re at home and need added cooling. With this in mind, note some added temperature guidelines for different situations:

  • When you’re at home and need cooling, aim for a temperature around 78°. This temperature is generally comfortable for most people but still energy efficient.
  • When you’re away from home or at night, consider setting the thermostat a few degrees higher. Usually any temperature around 80-85° helps save energy and reduce utility costs.
  • While sleeping, you might prefer a slightly cooler setting for comfort. A common recommendation is around 70-72° but this can vary depending on your preferences. For instance, this setting is excellent when you share a room with someone else, as that means double the body heat! Solo sleepers might find this setting a bit too cool.
  • During heatwaves or extreme heat conditions, you may need to set the temperature lower for better comfort. This is especially true for humid environments, as air conditioners remove both heat and humidity.

Lastly, remember that the smaller the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the lower your cooling costs. Consequently, during summer months, you might adjust your thermostat up a degree every day or two. Note the highest interior temperature you can tolerate, as this will tell you the best choice for the season.

What Is the Average AC Temp in Texas?

To better explain the best temperature for your AC, we’ll use Texas as an example. The state often enjoys some of the highest temperatures in the U.S.! Knowing what temperature to set the air conditioner during summer in Texas can help you decide the right setting for your home.

temperature setting for an ac unit

Texas temperatures in summertime

While the state boasts hot, dry summers, Texas also enjoys a diverse climate. In turn, temperatures can differ significantly between cities and areas. Generally, Texas summers have temperatures soaring well above 90° and even reaching over 100° in some parts.

During summer, many Texans set their air conditioners to around 75-78° during the day when they are at home. This temperature means a comfortable indoor environment while providing some energy savings.

It's important to note that during heatwaves, people may set their AC units lower, around 72-74°. Additionally, during the night or when residents are away from home, they might raise the temperature to 80-85° to save energy.

Texas temperatures in wintertime

Also, note that winter months aren’t always overly cool in Texas! Most cities see average temperatures at around 65 degrees. For some people, this might not be cool enough to shut off the air conditioner. Also, note that harsh sunlight and poor interior insulation means higher indoor temperatures.

The average AC temperature during the winter months in Texas is often around 68-72°. In some regions of Texas, where winter temperatures drop significantly, people might set their AC temperature slightly higher. During the day, when people are away from home or during milder winter days, the thermostat may be set a bit lower to save on energy costs.

How Do You Save Money on Air Conditioning Costs?

Most homeowners want to balance their comfort with cooling costs! In turn, you might consider how to save money when running your AC. One thing to consider is your home’s condition overall. Two, remember that air conditioners are not the only way to cool interior spaces.

For example, poor-quality insulation allows warm exterior air into the home. Also, outdated insulation lets your cooled air escape. In turn, you’ll run the AC more often to maintain a comfortable temperature. Investing in upgraded insulation can then reduce your heating and cooling costs.

Additionally, outdated windows can also affect your air conditioning efficiency and costs. Older windows tend to pull away from the home’s framework, creating gaps. Those gaps let out your cooling and let in warm air!

On the other hand, energy-efficient windows can help keep in cooled air while blocking outside heat. Specialty coatings also block damaging UV rays, also keeping inside spaces cool. New window installation also means new caulk around the frames. This also helps reduce cracks and leaks, for lower utility costs year-round.

air conditioner temperature - decreasing energy bills

Added tips for saving money on AC costs

Note some additional tips for reducing your air conditioning expenses:

  • Set your thermostat to a comfortable yet energy-efficient temperature. During the summer, aim for around 78° when you're at home, and a few degrees higher when you're away or asleep.
  • Use ceiling or portable fans to circulate cool air throughout the room. Fans make you feel cooler, allowing you to set the thermostat at a higher temperature without sacrificing comfort.
  • Close curtains or blinds during the hottest parts of the day. These window treatments help block out the sun's heat, keeping rooms cooler.
  • Additionally, use exhaust fans in the kitchen and bathroom to remove hot air and humidity.
  • Schedule regular maintenance for your air conditioning system. Clean or replace air filters every month or as recommended by the manufacturer to keep the system running efficiently.
  • If possible, implement zoned cooling in your home to cool specific areas rather than the entire house. For example, a split system allows you to focus cooling where it's needed most.
  • Minimize heat-generating activities during the hottest parts of the day. Cook outside or use a microwave instead of the oven. Avoid using heat-generating appliances like clothes dryers during peak hours.
  • Ensure your air ducts are properly sealed and insulated to avoid air leaks and improve system efficiency.
  • Install reflective window films, solar screens, or energy-efficient curtains to block out excess heat from the sun.

Lastly, remember that energy-efficient AC units significantly impact your long-term energy savings. These waste far less power while still providing excellent cooling for your home.

temperature setting for a programmable thermostat

A Word From Our Team About Cool Air

Kingwood AC Repair Pros is happy to help explain, what temperature should I keep my air conditioning on? If you’re in the area, don’t hesitate to contact our Kingwood air conditioning repair contractors. We’re happy to prepare an affordable quote for all your HVAC repair and installation needs.

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