Informational Guide

What Temperature Should I Set My Air Conditioner In Summer?

This varies between daytime and nighttime. See what we recommend below.

by Josh M

In the summer months, temperatures rise, and air conditioners worldwide are put to good use. Many people wonder what temperature works best when it comes to setting an AC temperature. Is 72 a good temperature for air conditioning?

This is a common question we get and will answer in this guide. Setting your AC to the correct temperature for your climate and home can help you save money and stay cool.

The “normal” AC temperature is typically between 72 degrees Fahrenheit and 78 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature range is what most people set their analog or digital thermostat to when using their AC unit.

The U.S. Department of Energy, however, recommends setting your AC unit to the top of this range, 78 degrees Fahrenheit in order to conserve power and save money. You should set your air conditioner unit to the temperature that makes you most comfortable and works within your budget.

It is recommended that you sleep at 65-68 degrees Fahrenheit, so you may want to adjust the “auto” temperature on your AC unit at the beginning of the day and before bed. The warmer your home is, the more energy you will conserve and the less you will pay in energy bills each month.

If you need to save money, we recommend keeping your AC unit to 78 degrees Fahrenheit until an hour before bed and then setting the thermostat to 68 degrees Fahrenheit. If energy conservation and overall cost are not a concern, then we recommend finding the temperature that feels most comfortable to you.

Related ArticleHow Much Does It Cost to Run AC

What Is The Best AC Temperature During Summer?

Best AC Temperature During Summer

The ideal AC temperature depends largely on the outside temperature and outside moisture levels. During the summer months, when temperatures rise, keeping your AC unit around 72 to 78 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and 65 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit at night is best.

When You’re At Home In Summer

If you’re at home during the summer, the heat can feel overwhelming and exhausting in the worst way. Keeping your temperature at 78 degrees Fahrenheit will help you save money and cut down on energy consumption, but it may be uncomfortable for you if you want a chilled environment. To keep things chilled, keep your temperature at 72 degrees Fahrenheit. You can adjust the temperature based on your personal preference and budget availability.

Keep a Chilled Environment

When You’re Away From Home But Arriving Soon

If you’re not home but are arriving home soon, you can get away with keeping your temperature a bit higher at 80 or 82 degrees Fahrenheit. It typically takes 30-45 minutes to cool down from 80 or 82 degrees Fahrenheit to 76 or 78 degrees Fahrenheit.

Keeping the temperature slightly higher will help you save money and make it easy to create a lower temperature as soon as you arrive. If other people are living in the home while you are away, then we recommend keeping it no warmer than 78 degrees Fahrenheit to ensure that those staying behind are comfortable.

Overnight In Summer When Sleeping

During the summer while you sleep, we recommend setting the AC to 65 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit. The cooler temperature will help you sleep by bringing your core temperature down. This creates more restful sleep and helps your body stick with your internal sleep clock.

Sleeping in the 65 to 68 degree Fahrenheit range has been proven to help people with their circadian rhythm.

Rooms that are warmer lead to less time spent sleeping in the REM cycle, which prevents restorative sleep from happening. As a result, you can wake up feeling groggy instead of refreshed.

How To Set Your AC Temperature In Summer? (Tips To Not Hurt Your Budget)

If you want to save money and can’t afford to keep your home or apartment as cool as you’d like, then we have a few AC temperature money-saver tips for you. During the summer season, follow these tips to avoid raising your electricity bill too much.

First, try keeping your AC temperature on an “Auto” setting and set it to the highest number on our recommended ranges: 78 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and 68 degrees Fahrenheit at night. If you will be away from your home (and no pets or other people will be at home), place your AC unit at 85 degrees Fahrenheit.

By keeping your AC temperature at these settings, you will be able to conserve energy and therefore end up with a lower energy bill each month. An AC with a smart wifi thermostat can be programmed using your smartphone for varying temperature at pre-recorded time.

Second, upgrade your AC unit. If you have an older model AC unit, then you are likely paying more money for your AC than you need to be. Older units are typically not energy efficient and cost more to run. Older units also may not let you set an automatic temperature benchmark, which means that you have to run the AC continuously and be disciplined with turning it on/off in order to regulate the temperature (annoying and definitely not cost-effective!). There are smart air conditioners with wifi that can work and render you worry-free to suck disadvantages.

Next, add fans to your home. Fans can help circulate air and give the illusion of a cooler environment. That “wind chill” feeling can make you more comfortable at higher temperatures and therefore let you set your AC unit to a much higher temperature. Some consider installing a whole house fan to help spread the coolness more efficiently.

Finally, try keeping windows open at night and then keeping them closed during the day (don’t let the daily heat in). Keeping the windows open at night (if the outdoor temperature is low) can help keep the home cool without needing as much AC support. If your AC unit doesn’t have to turn on as often, you’ll save money.

Tips to Lower Temperature on a Budget

People Also Ask (FAQ)

Is it bad to set AC at the maximum lowest temperature?

Air conditioners are not made to operate in specific low temperatures. If you use your air conditioner at 60 degrees Fahrenheit or lower, the unit may irrevocably be ruined. The compressor is not made to operate at such low temperatures. We recommend setting your air conditioner temperature no lower than 60 degrees Fahrenheit to avoid this problem.

How long should your AC run per day?

This is dependent on the type of air conditioner unit that you have. Brand, manufacturer, and model make a difference in how long your AC can run. A good rule of thumb is to set your air conditioner to an “Auto” setting. On “Auto,” your AC should run no more than 20-30 minutes at a time and shut itself off in the interim.

If you keep your AC unit on “Auto,” then you can leave the unit on 24/7 because it will periodically shut off. If you want to run your AC unit continuously without using the Auto feature, then we recommend turning it off after 30 minutes of running continuously.

Is 78 degrees too hot for sleeping?

No, 78 degrees is not too hot for sleeping. You can sleep at whatever temperature feels most comfortable to you. However, The Sleep Foundation recommends that you sleep at 65 degrees Fahrenheit for optimal sleep. According to the foundation, setting the temperature lower will give your body a lower core temperature and help it recognize that it is time to sleep.

What fan speed should I use in AC?

Typically, we recommend using the high fan speed on your AC unit because it offers better results. You don’t need to run your AC for long periods of time, and the high fan speed will be more efficient overall.

However, suppose your home is particularly humid and you do not own a dehumidifier. In that case, you may want to use a low speed because it will eliminate more moisture as the air spends more time moving over the cooling area of the AC unit.

Conclusion

We recommend keeping your air conditioner unit set to 72-78 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer during the day and set to 65-68 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer at night. Every homeowner might feel differently about the most comfortable temperature. As long as you do not go below 60 degrees Fahrenheit, you can set your AC unit to whatever temperature feels most comfortable to you.

Last Updated on July 15, 2022

Josh M

My name is Josh and I am obsessed with the HVAC industry. I created this website to help HVAC techs of all levels get the best out of their heating & cooling systems. I have spent thousands of hours studying air conditioners, heaters and home air products so you can learn & buy with confidence. Learn more about the team here.

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