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Summer AC guide: The ideal temperature to set your AC.

As the summer heat intensifies, finding the ideal temperature for your air conditioning system becomes crucial to maintaining comfort, efficiency, and saving on energy costs. Petro Home Services are your HVAC pros for all things air conditioning, including maintenance, installation, and repairs, providing essential information to help homeowners optimize their AC usage.

Factors to consider when finding your ideal AC temperature.

Understanding these factors influencing the ideal summer AC temperature will help you make informed decisions that balance comfort, efficiency, and cost savings.

Energy efficiency.

This is a key consideration in setting your AC temperature. The U.S. Department of Energy recommends setting your thermostat to 78°F (25°C) when you are at home, for optimal cooling.* This setting allows for a comfortable indoor environment while minimizing energy consumption. Every degree you increase the thermostat can save approximately 3% on cooling costs, making energy efficiency a significant factor in your temperature setting.

Comfort levels.

Personal comfort is paramount for deciding on the ideal AC temperature. While 78°F (25°C) is generally recommended for energy efficiency, individual preferences may vary. Some people might find this temperature too warm, while others may find it perfect. It’s important to find a balance that keeps you comfortable without compromising too much on efficiency or cost.

Cost savings.

This factor is directly linked to how you set your thermostat, as keeping your AC at a higher temperature when not at home or during the night can significantly reduce your energy bills. Utilizing a programmable thermostat to adjust temperatures based on your daily routine can help optimize cost savings while ensuring comfort when required.

Environmental impact.

Setting your AC to a higher temperature can reduce your carbon footprint by lowering energy consumption. Using less energy decreases greenhouse gas emissions contributing to a more sustainable environment. Striking a balance between comfort and environmental responsibility is essential for eco-conscious homeowners.

Recommended AC temperature settings.

Below are the temperature settings for different times of the day and situations to help you maximize comfort and efficiency:

  • Suggested settings for daytime: 78°F (25°C) when you are at home. This temperature provides a comfortable environment while ensuring energy efficiency.
  • Suggested settings for nighttime: 68-72°F (20-22°C) while you sleep. Cooler temperatures can improve sleep quality, though setting it slightly higher can save energy.
  • Suggested setting while not at home: 85°F (29°C) when you are away from home. This higher setting reduces energy usage while still protecting your home and belongings from excessive heat.

Tips for optimal AC usage.

Optimizing your AC usage not only enhances comfort but also improves the efficiency and lifespan of your unit. Here are some tips to achieve optimal AC performance:

Using a programmable thermostat.

A programmable thermostat allows you to set specific temperatures for different times of the day, ensuring efficient energy use. Smart thermostats take this a step further by learning your schedule and adjusting settings automatically providing both convenience and energy savings.

Enhancing HVAC efficiency.

Upgrading to a newer, more efficient HVAC system can provide better cooling while using less energy. Modern systems often have higher SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) ratings, which means they are designed to operate more efficiently.

Utilizing fans and ventilation.

Ceiling fans and proper ventilation can complement your AC system by improving air circulation. Fans help distribute cool air more effectively, allowing you to set your thermostat at a higher temperature without sacrificing comfort.

Managing humidity levels.

High humidity can make your home feel warmer than it is. Managing humidity levels with a dehumidifier or a whole-house humidifier system can enhance comfort and reduce the strain on your AC system.

Conducting regular maintenance.

Regular maintenance, such as cleaning filters, checking for leaks, and scheduling professional tune-ups, is essential for keeping your AC system running smoothly. Proper maintenance extends the lifespan of your unit and ensures it operates at peak efficiency.

Keep your home cool and comfortable with Petro.

Finding the ideal temperature for your AC during the summer involves balancing energy efficiency, personal comfort, cost savings, and environmental impact. By following the recommended settings and tips for optimal AC usage, you can enjoy a comfortable and efficient home environment throughout the summer. For professional cooling advice and AC services, trust your local HVAC pros at Petro Home Services to keep your home cool and comfortable.


Petro Home Services is proud to not only serve communities in DC, CT, MA, MD, NJ, NY, PA, and RI but we also proudly acknowledge the skills and experience of our expert team behind all resources. With insights on topics ranging from heating oil facts to common air conditioning questions, you can rely on Petro Home Services for facts and information to help you understand more about your heating, cooling and home comfort needs. This article and all articles on the Petro Home Services website have been approved by our team of home service experts.