Is there an ideal air conditioning temperature?

air conditioning temperatureOver the last 40 years I have been servicing and installing new air conditioners, I get this question a lot. What is the “best” air conditioning temperature for air conditioning unit?

Although there are as many answers as there are people asking the questions, there certainly are some guidelines.

Over the years, the temperature you hear most is 78 degrees F. However, comfort is not only related to temperature. Relative humidity, airflow (including additional fans) and even what clothes you are wearing all have an impact on comfort level.

Many folks are plenty comfortable at 78 degrees, while for some it is hot! Since moving air is cooling in itself, a great way to maintain your 78 temp but feel cooler, is to run a floor or table fan while you are in a room. Remember you can save about 2 percent on power for each degree you raise the temperature.

During the times when the outside is unusually hot, you might be able to raise your inside temperature due to the relative difference between inside and outside air. If it is 95 outside even 82 will feel cool!

It will also help your power bill to raise the temperature during such times.

I have found that few people keep their thermostats that high. In fact, it is not uncommon to find settings at 68 degrees and the AC unit running full out to keep up! This will definitely translate into much higher power costs as well as more maintenance.

Find your own comfort level.

There is an easy, if not a little time-consuming- method to try if you are interested in a balance between power bills and comfort.

On a hot day, begin raising the air conditioning temperature a degree at a time and allow the unit to balance. Continue this process until you actually feel the difference. One hint though: don’t run back and forth setting the thermostat or you’ll definitely feel hot!

You should be able to raise it at least a couple of degrees over what you think it needs to be. (Use smart practices and a programmable thermostat to automatically change the setting when you are sleeping or away.)

If you find your unit seems to be running all the time (or more than you think it should) call us and we will come check it out for you!