What Temperature Should I Set My Air Conditioner In Summer?

The heat of summer days is one of the unpleasant things people were forced to suffer for millennia until the AC was invented. Today, thanks to it, we can enjoy our homes and workplaces safe from the oppressive heat and many other problems it can cause.

But, what is the best temperature you should set your air conditioner to? For many people, this a question about balancing the comfort of cooling and the necessity of paying the electricity bill.

While for others, it is just a simple personnel preference. You may be surprised that you can make considerable savings by turning your thermostat just a couple of degrees higher.

At the same time, there are also some health concerns everyone should be aware of, and the recommendations for healthier sleep and overall healthier life with an AC.

What Temperature Should I Set My Air Conditioner in Summer?

There are many different preferences and reasons you would set your AC to a certain temperature. And in essence, there is no right or wrong answer to this question, as it depends on various factors.

Many organizations, such as the US Department of Energy, recommend setting your thermostat to 78 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature is an ideal point to balance the maximum level of comfort and minimum energy costs.

And for many areas, it follows medical recommendations that if you are often changing your environment, the temperature difference shouldn’t exceed 20 degrees.

On the other hand, some AC manufacturers claim that 72 degrees is the perfect temperature while others recommend 75 degrees. And to add to the confusion, research conducted by the National Institute for Health and the National Sleep Foundation recommends that the best temperature for healthy sleep is 86 degrees if sleeping nude or 60-67 degrees if wearing PJs.

Another thing to take into consideration is whether you are spending time in your home. Some general recommendation is that you can make considerable savings if you set the thermostat as high as 88 degrees in such a case. After all, it takes much less energy to cool your house when you arrive than to keep it cool all the time.

Recommended Thermostat Settings

You will find many different recommendations if you look at enough places. And the best temperature settings during the summer depend on several factors you should have in mind. If you wish to save on your energy bills, going a bit higher is a smart thing to do. The DoE recommends 78 degrees as a sweet spot between comfort and savings.

It would be best if you also kept in mind whether you are spending the time in the house. If not, you can set the thermostat ten degrees above this recommendation. There are no reasons to be racking up your energy bills on something you are not there to enjoy.

During the nighttime, many sleep and health researchers recommend keeping the temperature based on the attire and amount of coverings you prefer to use during the summer.

If you prefer to sleep in your “birth suit,” it is recommended to set the thermometer at night to 86 degrees, while for sleeping in pajamas with single-layer covers, it is 60 to 67 degrees.

How to Select the Best Air Conditioner Temperature Settings

By having in mind several factors that make a great impact on your decision-making process. Firstly, whether there are occupants in the house at that time, what time of the day is, and whether you are concerned with the amount on your energy bills.

If your house is empty, there is no reason to keep the temperature setting too low. There is no one in it to suffer from heat, so you can make some savings by keeping the AC temperature a bit up. You can go as high as 86 degrees. Once you are home, setting it to a desired lower temperature will be easy.

Much scientific research has established a temperature at which we can sleep better and healthier and that sleep quality is very important for our overall health. Depending on whether you prefer to sleep in PJs or not, you should decide on the temperature settings.

Best Temperature for Air Conditioning to Save Money

According to the US Department of Energy’s research-based recommendations, the best balance between comfort and savings is achieved by setting your thermometer to 78 degrees when you are occupying your home and 86 degrees when you are not. These temperature settings can save you a considerable amount of money on your bills.

The temperature of 78 degrees may sound too high to some people, but it can bring you as much as 30% savings on your cooling expenses, depending on how low you are setting the temperature usually.

Research shows that the most comfortable temperatures for most people are in the range between 74 and 79 degrees Fahrenheit. Thus by setting it to 78, you will not lose much comfort.

Do you Turn the Air Conditioner Up or Down to Make it Cooler

When you turn up any machine or a device, you are simply changing its setting to perform more of the thing it is intended to do. When you turn the heater up, it will produce more heat. Turning up a fan will produce more “wind.” And thus, turning the air conditioner up will cool you more.

This is a semantic question, and many people can be confused because to turn the AC up, you need to set the temperature lower. But, turning any machine up means setting it to work more, and the lower you set the temperature, the more the AC will work on cooling the air.

It’s the same way as with, for example, the gas pedal. You push the pedal lower to get more acceleration.

What Temperature to Set Thermostat at Night in Summer

Depending on whether you prefer to sleep with nothing at all on yourself or in PJs with coverings, you should set the thermostat during the summer night at 86 or between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit.

Quality of the sleep depends very much on the temperature of the room we sleep in. And many sleep studies show that nightmares and restless sleep are almost exclusively caused by inappropriate temperature.

The quality of sleep has an immeasurable impact on our health. And any factor which can impact its quality and you can change it, you should do so. The temperature of the room you are sleeping in, the amount of clothing and coverings, and so on; are very easy to adjust.

What Temperature to Leave a Vacant House in Summer

For a vacant house, there is no real need to keep it cool. Some recommendations say that you should keep your AC settings at 88 degrees Fahrenheit. It will not be asked by your air conditioner to work too much at this temperature, and your electricity bills will decrease noticeably.

Keeping a house cool and comfortable requires much more energy than making it comfortable. And if it isn’t occupied, it doesn’t matter what temperature is inside.

Cooling it some 10 degrees when you come back to it takes such a short while that you will not notice any difference. But the difference will show up on your energy bills.

Another consideration is that setting to 88 is sufficient to keep any oppressive heat of the day out of your home while not breaking a bank.

Best AC Temperature for Sleeping in Summer

The American Sleep Foundation and many sleep experts recommend the best temperature for sleeping in summer, the 65 Fahrenheit. Because different people have different sleeping preferences, they also recommend the range between 60 and 67 degrees. In case that you prefer to sleep in what Mother Nature has given to you, going as high as 86 degrees is OK in most cases.

During sleep, body temperature naturally drops by nearly two degrees. The improper or uncomfortable temperature of the room you are sleeping in will interfere with your body’s natural thermoregulation. In turn, this will hurt the quality of your sleep, thus preventing you from resting properly.

Getting a full night of quality sleep and rest is very important for our body’s proper functioning. But if you are unable to get a full night of sleep, it’s much better to make it as high quality as possible.

Is 72 a Good Temperature for Air Conditioning

Depending on the outside temperature, 72 degrees might not be a suitable temperature for air conditioning. Many AC units are not designed to cool homes so low, and others are just not able to create such a big temperature difference on sweltering summer days. And this can lead to your AC freezing.

Is 76 a Good Temperature for Air Conditioning

For many people setting the thermostat to 76 is a suitable temperature for air conditioning. But you should think carefully about whether increasing it for just two degrees could provide you with almost the same comfort but at a lower price. Using AC uses electricity, and the lower you set the temperature higher your energy bills will be.

Benefits of Using Programmable Thermostats

There are many benefits of using programmable thermostats. They can save you money, be very convenient, increase your house’s energy efficiency, make preventative maintenance easier, let you control the temperature from anywhere, and provide you with consistent temperature control.

Saves Money

With a programmable thermostat, you can have very granular control of your temperature settings. This allows you to find just the right comfortable temperature, which will cost you the least. Some experts say that changing the temperature by just a single degree can save between 2 and 3 percent on your bills.


A programmable thermostat can allow you the convenience of not using your AC while you are not in your home for long periods. When you are away, there is no need to keep cooling your home as much as when you are in. This will also show up on your energy bills, as your expenses will be lowered.

Energy Efficiency

Using AC cooling, or heating for that matter, only when it is needed, your home will be more energy-efficient. It will also be putting less strain on your equipment, thus providing you with a longer lifespan of your HVAC system.

Easier Maintenance

Many programmable thermostats have the option to give you alerts when preventative maintenance is required. Whether it is time to change the air filter, check the refrigerant pressure/level, and so on, it can inform you. Thus keeping your AC functioning properly through its whole lifespan is much easier.

Control from Any Place

Many models of programmable thermostats can be connected to your home Wi-Fi network, which allows you to control them from anywhere with your phone or computer.

Consistent Temperature Control

With programmable thermostats, you can set the temperature to the exact degree you wish. Manual thermostats usually go between high and low and some meaningless scales between those two. Even if they have some grades, they are usually 10 degrees apart, making the variance of settings as much as 5 degrees.

What is the Best Location for Thermostat to Saving Energy

The best location for the thermostat, and which actually could save you money on your energy bills the interior wall of your home near its center, in the room which is used the most. It should be located above and away from the air vents, near doors, windows, or hallways.

This way, you will avoid them being exposed to both natural hot spots and cold air currents that will make them inaccurately measure the temperature you are exposed to. If, for example, your thermostat is constantly exposed to sunlight, it will be warmed up by it instead of measuring the surrounding air temperature.

Such issues with thermostat placement can keep the AC unnecessarily working and increase your energy bills.

The pleasantly cool environment of the air-conditioned home is the refuge from the hot summer days. But being comfortable shouldn’t break your bank.

Many organizations and experts recommend that the best temperature to set your AC unit during the summer is 78 degrees Fahrenheit. It is the sweet spot between comfort and energy-efficiency.

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