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What’s the Best Temperature to Set Your AC?

setting AC temperature on a thermostat

Your air conditioner setting has a dramatic effect on your utility bill, and finding the sweet spot between physical and financial comfort is no easy task. Every degree affects the health of both your unit and your body. To add to the complications, humidity creates the illusion of heat, so you’re likely to choose a chillier temperature than you may actually need. There is a pocket-friendly way to outlast Kentucky summers, though. Let’s find out how.

The Ideal Temperature

A chilly room can lead to respiratory strain and dry skin. The human body is most comfortable at 74 to 76 degrees, but if you set your AC too low, you might freeze your evaporator coil. If you swing in the opposite direction, your unit won’t be able to dehumidify your air, so an 85-degree setting is no better than a 65-degree alternative. Temperature extremes harm your unit, so making frequent thermostat adjustments can do more damage than it prevents. It’s best to find your perfect temperature and then commit to it.

The Department of Energy suggests an indoor temperature of 78 degrees. This should keep you comfortable, reduce your energy bills, and extend the life of your unit. When heat waves strike, that setting won’t do much to alleviate the strain, so aim for 15 degrees lower than the outdoor temperature. This should prevent strain on your coil without weighing too heavily on your budget. Some older systems can’t tolerate more than 65 degrees, though, so speak to your HVAC expert to find out how far you can push your older product.

Finding the Perfect Temperature for an Empty Home

Turning your air conditioner off every time you go out requires it to work harder when you turn it back on. If you’re popping out for a short time, a tiny temperature adjustment is all you need. Try 75 degrees for a half-hour trip. This should give you a comfortable home without taxing your system. When you’re on holiday, your home’s heat flow reduces, so you can save 10% on your cooling costs by raising your setting by 7 to 10 degrees. Your evening temperatures might need adjustment as well. Your body is most responsive to a sleeping temperature of 67 degrees. Anything above 75 or below 54 will leave you feeling sluggish when you wake up.

The Ideal Humidity

Humidity poses serious health risks, so the EPA suggests a level of between 30% and 50%. This will keep pests and mold at bay while reducing your heat index. You can achieve ideal humidity levels with a dehumidifier, but your air conditioner also plays a key role. When heat flows over your evaporator coils, condensation raises your indoor humidity levels, so it’s important to keep your unit set below 85 degrees in mid-summer.

Getting the Most Out of Your Unit

You can add to your energy savings by placing your unit at the perfect height. Cool air sinks, so the closer your AC is to the ceiling, the more effectively it will cool your room. Automation can add extra benefits. A programmable thermostat will help you achieve the most efficient settings for your lifestyle at any time. There’s no reason to adjust today’s air conditioners manually. Smart functionality will even let you turn your HVAC systems on from the office.

Your air conditioner is one of the most power-hungry appliances in your home, but it doesn’t need to cost a fortune. With the right settings, you can achieve hands-free comfort at the perfect price. It’s never been easier to outlast that sweltering Kentucky summer.

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