You shouldn’t have to sacrifice comfort or empty your wallet to keep your residence at the right setting during muggy weather.

But what is the ideal temp, exactly? We review advice from energy pros so you can select the best temperature for your house.

Here’s what we recommend for the most energy-efficient setting for air conditioning in West Columbia.

Recommended Thermostat Settings for Summer

Most households find placing the thermostat at 72-73 degrees is most comfortable. However, if there’s a big difference between your interior and outside temperatures, your electricity expenses will be bigger.

These are our recommendations based on the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and ENERGY STAR®.

While at home: 78 degrees. While that sounds too high, there are methods you can keep your residence pleasant without having the AC on constantly.

Keeping windows and curtains down during the day keeps cold air where it should be—within your home. Some window coverings, such as honeycomb shades or plantation shutters, are made to provide added insulation and better energy efficiency.

If you have ceiling fans in your residence, the DOE says you can move thermostat settings about 4 degrees warmer without giving up comfort. That’s since they cool through a windchill effect. Because they cool people, not areas, turn them off when you leave a room.

If 78 degrees still seems too hot at first glance, try running an experiment for about a week. Begin by upping your thermostat to 78 degrees while you’re home. Then, steadily decrease it while using the tips above. You might be shocked at how cool you feel at a higher temperature setting.

While away: 88 degrees. There’s no reason to keep the air conditioner running all day while your residence is vacant. Turning the temp 7–10 degrees higher can save you an estimated 5–15% on your electrical expenses, according to the DOE.

When you arrive home, don’t be tempted to set your thermostat under 78 to cool your house faster. This isn’t productive and usually leads to a higher electricity cost.

A programmable thermostat is a helpful way to keep your settings under control, but you need to set programs. If you don’t utilize programs, you run the risk of forgetting to move the set temperature when you leave.

If you need a convenient resolution, consider getting a smart thermostat. This thermostat links with your phone, so it is aware when you’re at your residence and when you’re gone. Then it automatically adjusts temperature settings for the biggest savings. How much exactly? Typically $180 annually on heating and cooling, according to ENERGY STAR.

Another benefit of installing a smart thermostat? You can use your phone to watch and regulate temperature settings from nearly anywhere.

While sleeping: Around 70 degrees. While ENERGY STAR advises 82 degrees, that could be unpleasant for most families. Most people sleep better when their sleeping space is cold, so that’s why the National Sleep Foundation advises 60–67 degrees. But that could be too cool, based on your clothing and blanket preference.

We suggest trying a similar test over a week, putting your temperature higher and progressively lowering it to pick the right setting for your residence. On mild nights, you could discover keeping windows open at night and running a ceiling fan is a preferable solution than using the air conditioning.

More Methods to Use Less Energy During Warm Weather

There are additional approaches you can save money on AC bills throughout the summer.

  1. Get an energy-efficient cooling system. Central air conditioners only last about 12–15 years and become less efficient as they age. An updated air conditioner can keep your home cooler while keeping energy expenses down.
  2. Schedule yearly air conditioner tune-ups. Regular air conditioner maintenance keeps your unit operating like it should and could help it run at better efficiency. It could also help prolong its life cycle, since it enables professionals to find little issues before they create a major meltdown.
  3. Change air filters often. Read manufacturer instructions for replacing your air filter. A dusty filter can result in your system short cycling, or switch on and off too often, and raise your electrical.
  4. Check attic insulation levels. Nearly 90% of residences in the U.S. don’t have proper insulation, according to the Insulation Institute. The majority of southern climates should have 13–14” of attic insulation, while northern climates need 16–18”.
  5. Have your ductwork examined. Ductwork that has come apart over time can let cold air into your attic, walls or crawl space. This can result in huge comfort troubles in your home, like hot and cold spots.
  6. Seal cracks, doors and windows. Keep hot air in its place by plugging holes. You can also caulk or weather strip doors to trap more cool air within your home.

Use Less Energy This Summer with Tri City Fuel & Heating

If you need to conserve more energy this summer, our Tri City Fuel & Heating professionals can help. Reach us at 803-265-4208 or contact us online for extra info about our energy-saving cooling options.