Worried the increasing heat is going to cause your electric bill to skyrocket? Not sure what the thermostat should be set at to stay comfortable and minimize energy use?
It seems like the answer would be very straightforward and simple. It’s easy to say set your thermostat at 78 degrees and you’re done. But in reality, the best home temperature during the summer really depends on the situation. In this post we’ll provide a breakdown of the ideal temperature range based on activity in the home.
Ideal Summer Temperature Setting When You’re Home
The summer thermostat temperature for when you’re home will feel a little more comfortable than when you’re away. The general recommendation is to keep the temperature at 78 degrees Fahrenheit while you’re home. If you can increase the temperature a few degrees and remain comfortable go ahead and set the thermostat a little higher.
Good to Know
When you set your thermostat over 72 degrees you’ll save energy. For every degree over 72 degrees you should save about 3% on your AC costs.
Ideal Summer Temperature Setting When You’re Away for the Day
If you plan to be gone from your house for at least a few hours you can turn the heat up a little. The U.S. Department of Energy suggests increasing the temperature by 7-10 degrees when you’re away from home for the day. Using this temperature range for eight hours a day should reduce your electric bill by about 10%.
Good to Know
Unlike the wintertime, there’s no risk of immediate home damage if it isn’t a certain temperature inside. The goal is to get the air inside as close to the temperature outside as possible. The closer you get it the less energy you’ll use.
Ideal Summer Temperature Setting When You’re Away for the Weekend
Many people take vacations during the summer, especially weekend trips. You can offset the cost of a weekend vacation by bumping the temperature up by 10+ degrees the entire time you’re gone. Even if the house is 90 degrees inside no one will be there to feel it, and you’ll have plenty of time to get the home cooled down before you get back.
Good to Know
If you live in a hot climate, keep the temperature no higher than 85-90 degrees when you’re gone. Sustained sweltering heat inside and outside of the home could damage temperature-sensitive devices and appliances.
Ideal Summer Temperature Setting When You’re Asleep
In the 7-9 hours that we sleep every night (ideally) our core body temperature lowers. Researchers have discovered that the ideal temperature for sleeping is 86 degrees when a person is uncovered and undressed. It’s possible to remain comfortable at night with the temperature set to 80-82 degrees when you’re wearing light clothing to sleep and ditching the covers.
This should definitely be a comfortable temperature range if your bedroom has a ceiling fan that can be used. You may even be able to raise the temperature over 82 degrees with the ceiling fan on.
Good to Know
Many regions of the country get a reprieve from the heat at night. It might actually cool off enough at night to shut down the AC entirely and open the windows for airflow.
Things to Keep in Mind When You’re Setting Your Thermostat
Below are a few more things to keep in mind no matter what the situation is or where you live.
- Make sure the thermostat is programmed correctly. Check out this guide on setting a thermostat in the summer.
- Always consider potential health risks. You may need to keep the home cooler if you have elderly family members, a baby or someone with a health condition is living in the house.
- Don’t forget about indoor plants. Some plants won’t do well in warmer temperatures.
- Program your thermostat to lower the temperature to 78 degrees 20-30 minutes before arriving home so it feels good inside without adjusting anything manually.
- Keep the indoor humidity in mind. You may need to use a dehumidifier during the summer.
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