When you’re relaxing in your home during the middle of the sweating summer months, you want to be cool and comfortable. You’re kicking your feet up indoors between the backyard BBQs, lounging poolside, and venturing out on vacation. No one wants to be wilting under the unrelenting heatwaves, but the battle between you and your thermostat is real.
Many people have questions about what to set the thermostat to in the summer, so we’re here to explore it and figure out the magic number.
What Is the Ideal Temperature for the Thermostat in the Summer?
Depending on where you live, triple-digit temperatures might be a part of your day-to-day life. Being subject to the wills of the weather for three months (or more) out of the year can be exhausting. The rising heat index is just a testament to the necessity of asking this question: what is the ideal temperature for your summer thermostat?
It turns out the recommended temperature might be different than you expected. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the best indoor temperature for your home is 78 degrees. People find that this strikes the Goldilocks zone of not being too hot or too cold while remaining at a sustainable temperature.
That being said, there are a few good rules of thumb to follow regarding your thermostat during the summer.
This eco-friendly tip will help keep your house cool while remaining sustainable. It means that while you’re away, you can set the thermostat 7-10 degrees higher than usual (usually being your ideal temperature), and when you return, you can turn it back. You’ll see significant energy savings if you turn your thermostat back 7-10 degrees for 8 hours a day.
Many thermostats can be manually adjusted, which might be the most familiar way. That said, check and see if your thermostat is programmable since that’s a game-changer. You’ll never have to worry about the process when you can program your thermostat to adjust automatically while you’re away and readjust before you get home.
What Temperature to Set Your Thermostat to When on Summer Vacation
Before you head out for summer vacation, a million things are pressing on your mind. Making sure the car is packed, taking out the trash, checking the locks on the doors, asking if a neighbor can check on the plants and get the mail, and the list goes on.
Understandably, many people forget to check their thermostat or believe shutting down the AC altogether is the best option. But is that the only way to go? Or is there a better solution?
Why You Should Leave Your AC On
When you leave on summer vacation, you should set your thermostat to 80-85 degrees. There are several benefits to leaving your AC on while you’re away instead of shutting it off altogether. These include:
- Save the wood. Humidity is terrible to let crawl into your home while you’re gone. It isn’t good for any wood, be that your flooring or furniture. Turning your AC off allows wood to bend and warp. Your AC can help solve that problem.
- Be energy-efficient. This one might surprise you, but keeping your house a consistent 80-85 degrees is the way to go when it comes to your thermostat. Why? Because it’s more efficient to bring it back down to a lower temperature when you don’t let it skyrocket.
- Enjoy the convenience. If your thermostat is programmable, it couldn’t be any easier. You can set your thermostat to that balmy 80-85 degrees and have it cooled down by the time you get home.
So at the end of the day, it’s a much better call to leave your AC running while you’re away but to keep it within that 80-85 degree range.
The Limitations of Air Conditioning
Air conditioning is a wonderful invention, but it can’t do everything. Many people think relying exclusively on their air conditioning will save them through sweltering summers, but it’s essential to be aware of their limitations.
If air conditioners could do everything, we’d just set them to a pleasant, cool 58 degrees when we’re trying to escape the beating heat of mid-day. Many individuals believe that their air conditioning can work as a quick fix for a hot day, but this is where we run into the limitations of an AC unit.
One of the most common myths about air conditioning is that you can set your thermostat to the lowest temperature and cool your house much faster. This isn’t true at all (unfortunately).
An air conditioner can only cool the air to be about 15-20 degrees cooler than the temperature outside. This surprising fact is important because if you’re trying to drop your indoor temperature below that threshold on your thermostat, then all you will get in return is a high utility bill.
More Cooling Methods for Blistering Summers
Now that you know what your air conditioning system can’t do, you might be interested in more ways you can cool your house down. You can leverage multiple solutions to keep out of the heat and lower the temperatures.
Here are just four of the best ways you can keep cool in your home:
1. Ceiling Fan Direction
A ceiling fan is the ultimate summer hack for a cooler room, but if you just turn it on and hope for the best, you’ll be circulating the warm air. While a fan certainly won’t be replacing your AC during the hottest months of summer, it can be an effective tool to beat the heat if you do it right.
On most ceiling fans, you’ll find a little switch near the mounting base of the fan. This switch is your ticket to cooler days because it switches the fan’s direction depending on the season.
In the summer, your blades should be spinning counterclockwise. This creates a cooler breeze because it pushes air down.
2. AC Maintenance
Your AC needs to be in optimal condition to cool your home correctly. Conducting thorough spring maintenance on your HVAC before the temperatures start soaring is a great way to ensure everything is running smoothly. You don’t want to run into leaky air ducts, failing insulation, or overgrown landscaping.
3. Energy-Efficient Air Conditioning
Energy-efficient air conditioning is the way to go if you want to see the best results in cooling your home. Sustainability is a growing concern, and we all must do our part to be as eco-friendly as possible. This is a fantastic way to do so while having a more efficient air conditioning system.
4. Natural Cooling Techniques
Looking for some easy, natural ways to keep your house cool? Luckily, there are more options than just the AC or your ceiling fan. Here are some tips to stay out of the heat:
- Close blinds, shutters, etc., to block out the sun (and use blackout blinds for best results).
- Open your windows and turn off your AC at night. The cold air will do wonders.
- Weatherstrip your doors and windows to keep cool air in.
- Avoid appliances that generate lots of heat (ovens, stoves, hair dryers) during the later hours of the day.
These are just a few ways to take action and be proactive while making sustainable choices.
Learn How You Can Save Energy With Kiwi Energy
You want to enjoy your space, even during the year’s hottest months. You should not have to worry about wasting energy when leaving your home, and Kiwi Energy can help with that. Enroll with Kiwi Energy, our green energy products can help support the environment, and help you save energy in the process.