The Best Summer Thermostat Settings for Comfort and Savings - Volunteer Energy - Midwest Natural Gas & Electricity
summer thermostat settings

The Best Summer Thermostat Settings for Comfort and Savings

Memorial Day is behind us, and it’s time for summer! With that A/C cranking all day, we could all use some tips on summer thermostat settings.

As a follow up to our winter thermostat settings post, we’ve rounded up our best tips for summer thermostat settings so you can save money while staying comfortable.

Daily Summer Temperature Recommendations

Don’t let the high temperatures escalate into a thermostat war. But you and your family also shouldn’t need thick socks, sweatpants, and a sweatshirt to lounge comfortably at home.

The U.S. Department of Energy recommends setting the thermostat to 78 degrees when you are home during the day in the summer. The closer you can stay to the outdoor temperature, the less energy is required to cool your home.

Temperature While Sleeping

Nighttime is when most of us need to crank up the A/C. For the best sleep, experts usually recommend a cooler temperature than what most of us feel comfortable with during the day. reports that bedrooms should be between 60 and 67 degrees for optimal sleep.

But considering how expensive keeping the temperature that low, we recommend turning up the temperature by one degree each night and seeing how cold you really need it. You can also use fans, a dehumidifier, or temperature regulating mattresses and pillows to help you feeling cool.

Temperature When You’re Away

Don’t keep your A/C running on overdrive when you’re not even home! The U.S. Department of Energy reports that putting the temperature up 7 to 10 degrees for 8 hours a day can save you as much as 10% on your air conditioning bill.

Healthy pets and animals can be comfortable in temperatures as high as 83 degrees. If you have other living creatures in your home, that should be your max temperature.

So, if you are out of the house during the day or for multiple days, turn up that temperature!

Is Adjusting the Temperature Bad for my A/C Unit?

Yes and no. It’s helpful to understand how A/C units work to cool your home. When your thermostat’s temperature sensor registers that the temperature is higher than what you’ve set the thermostat to, it kicks on the air conditioning unit. Your air conditioner then blows cool air until the house is at the set temperature, at which point it turns off. The temperature you set your thermostat does not change the temperature of air your air conditioning unit blows. It only changes the amount of time that your A/C unit is running.

So no, do not set the temperature really low in an effort to cool the house down faster. That does not work.

However, in general, adjusting the thermostat more frequently, if you actually want to change the temperature, does not impact overall cooling. So yes, feel free to lower and raise the temperature multiple times throughout the day to your comfort.

For example, you may be perfectly comfortable at 80 degrees while working on your computer in the morning, but once you start cleaning the house in the afternoon, 75 degrees is better. Then as you head out to run errands, it’s back to 80 degrees while you’re away. But coming home to make dinner and relax with your family, 78 is more comfortable. Go ahead! These changes are fine for your air conditioning unit.

What Temperature Should I Set My Thermostat in Summer?

At the end of the day, most of us don’t want to sacrifice comfort for savings. But following these general rules of thumb can help you do both:

  • When you’re home: 78 degrees
  • When you’re sleeping: 60-67 degrees
  •  When you’re away: 83 degrees

Now go program your thermostat and start saving money!


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