Best Temperature for Your AC in the Summer

When the sweltering summer heat hits, everyone runs to the nearest thermostat to get the cold air flowing. But the right air conditioner setting isn’t just about keeping comfortable. It’s also about energy efficiency and lowering your energy bills. So, what’s the secret number? The answer depends on your distinct demands and the time of day. Explore the optimal air conditioner thermostat settings when you’re at home, away and when you are sleeping.

The Best AC Temperature When You’re at Home

The recommended daytime, at-home temperature for your air conditioning is 78 degrees. This amount may seem remarkably high, but the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) says it balances comfort and energy efficiency. Here are a few tips to help stay nice and cool at 78 degrees:

    • Use fans: Whether it’s a ceiling fan or a desk fan, circulating air makes the room feel about 4 degrees cooler. Plus, fans cost very little to run compared to your air conditioner.
    • Dress lightly: What you wear drastically affects your comfort level. Dressing in light-colored, loose-fitting clothes made of breathable fabrics will help you keep cool during the summer months.
    • Block out the sun: Sunlight beaming through the windows can easily heat a room tremendously. To keep your home from becoming a greenhouse, hang curtains or blinds to block out the sun, at least during the peak afternoon hours.
    • Stay hydrated: Water consumption has a significant part in controlling your body temperature. Avoiding dehydration enhances your body’s self-cooling processes.
    • Cook smart: Cooking produces a surprising amount of heat, forcing your air conditioner to work harder, so avoid using the oven or stove during the hottest part of the afternoon. Instead, use the microwave, prepare cold meals on hot days or grill out on the porch of patio until the weather isn’t so hot.

The Best AC Temperature While You’re Away

The DOE recommends setting the temperature back 7 to 10 degrees when you’re not going to be home for eight hours, which can save up to 10 percent on your cooling expenses. Setting up a programmable thermostat is the simplest strategy to save without giving up comfort.

This improvement allows you to automatically modify the temperature at different times of the day or week according to your schedule, reducing your energy bills without sacrificing comfort. The important part is to utilize your programmable thermostat in the correct way. Here are some recommendations for taking advantage of its full capabilities:

    • Set it and forget it: Configure your thermostat to automatically turn the thermostat up to your away temperature about 30 minutes before you leave for work or school in the morning. Then, program the schedule so a comfortable temperature resumes just as you walk in the door in the evening.
    • Use the vacation setting: If you’re going to be out of your home for an extended period, use the “vacation” or “permanent” hold to maintain the “away” temperature for days at a time. This stops too much heat and humidity buildup without throwing away energy to run your air conditioner in an empty house.
    • Make gradual adjustments: Your air conditioner works most efficiently at regular speeds. Plus, a dramatic 10-degree drop doesn’t actually cool your home more quickly. If you have to, drop the temperature by a single degree and start up a fan or remove a layer of clothing to help you feel more comfortable.
    • Leverage smart capabilities: If you buy a smart thermostat, capitalize on its programming capability and enhanced features. Some designs can learn from your behaviors and adjust the temperature accordingly or be controlled remotely for superior comfort and convenience.

The Best AC Temperature When You’re Sleeping

When it’s time to go to bed, the DOE suggests setting the temperature 4 degrees higher than your usual setting. However, many people find it tough to sleep in a warm room. This makes achieving the suitable sleep temperature a real challenge. Thankfully, you can employ several methods to beat the heat while you drift off to sleep:

    • Sleep in lightweight pajamas and breathable bed sheets: Just like your daytime wardrobe, your choice of sleepwear impacts how hot or cold you feel. Your bed sheets also can be a factor in your comfort level. In both cases, light and breathable cotton is the best solution.
    • Run a fan: Similar to during the day, a fan can create a cool breeze in your bedroom in the evening, making sleep more comfortable.
    • Open a window: If it gets cooler at night, reap the benefits of this by sleeping with the windows open.
    • Take a warm shower before bed: It may sound strange, but a warm shower really cools you down better than a cold shower. It works by elevating your blood circulation, bringing heat to the surface of your skin, where it radiates away faster.

Schedule AC Services this Summer in the U.S.

Balancing indoor comfort and energy efficiency is sometimes difficult. Why spend all summer trying to find the right AC temperatures when Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing can help you make the most of your home cooling technology? Our reliable, cost-effective AC services in the U.S. are supported by a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee, so you can choose us with absolute confidence. Call 866-397-3787 today to schedule the HVAC services you need with Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing.

Savings For You

See All Offers Here >


  • Save $50 on a Paid Service
  • Written 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
  • Plus, ask how to save an additional 15% and waive your trip charge!


  • Upgrade to Worry-Free Comfort with the Advantage Program and make NO payments for 30 days!

© 2024 Service Experts, Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning, and the Service Experts logo and design are registered trademarks of Service Experts LLC and used under license by SE Canada Inc. All Rights Reserved. *Not applicable to the Advantage Program. See your signed Advantage Program Agreement for full details and exclusions. 100% Satisfaction Guarantee is subject to certain restrictions and limitations as set forth in the applicable Terms and Conditions.