Anyone who’s been to Georgia in the summer knows you can’t make it through the heat comfortably without a reliable air conditioning system. But even when you have a top-of-the-line HVAC unit that cools you down from the intense warmth, receiving your electricity bill at the end of a month spent with your AC on full blast is enough to make you sweat.
Finding the perfect AC setting in summer will keep your home cool and your utility costs as low as possible. So here, we’ll recommend a few thermostat settings to get you through the hottest days, show you how to keep your home cool without traditional thermostats, and tell you where you can find a quality, affordable air conditioner.
Best At-Home Settings
Most HVAC experts recommend 78 degrees as the ideal temperature to set your thermostat to while you’re home on a hot summer evening.
Some of your housemates will want to blast cool air on your AC unit’s lowest setting at the peak of Georgia’s overpowering summer heat. And while 78 degrees is a far cry from that, it’s close enough to the average comfortable indoor temperature of 72 degrees while inching nearer to the standard outdoor summer temperatures.
Remember, your HVAC will need to do less work when you set the thermostat closer to the actual outdoor temperature, saving you money on your electricity bill.
Best Away-From-Home Settings
Though you don’t need to keep your home as cool when you’re away for work or errands, you still want the temperature low enough to be comfortable when you return home.
The United States Department of Energy suggests that increasing your thermostat temperature by 10 degrees across the average 40-hour workweek can save you 10% on your electricity bill. So if you’re okay sweating a bit after work until the thermostat adjusts, bumping the standard 78 degrees up to 88 is the most cost-effective and reasonably cool AC setting in summer.
However, you will need to change the setting if you have pets. Although animals aren’t as sensitive to high temperatures as humans, sustained 88-degree heat is too much for dogs, cats, and birds. You can bump your thermostat setting to 83 degrees to keep your pets at their comfort level while slightly cutting the cost of your electricity bill.
How To Set the Temperature While Sleeping
Suffering through uncomfortable heat in the daytime is one thing, but trying to fall asleep in a hot, humid bedroom at night is a challenge many can’t conquer. In fact, studies show that to fall asleep and stay asleep comfortably, most people need temperatures a few degrees cooler than their ideal temperature throughout the day.
Most sleep experts recommend 64 degrees as the ideal ac setting in summer for bedtime, but putting the thermostat as high as 67 degrees can give you a good night’s sleep while cutting your energy bill.
But even at 67 degrees, the hours you spend sleeping will be the most expensive on your electric bill. So if you’re looking to save even more money without sacrificing your nightly rest, you can set your thermostat slightly higher and lean on fans and dehumidifiers to make up the temperature difference.
Where To Put Your Thermostat for the Biggest Savings
Where you install your HVAC’s thermostat will play as significant a role in your electricity savings as finding the ideal AC setting in summer for every situation.
Automatic thermostats adjust your home’s temperature based on their internal thermometer. So putting one in direct sunlight, near a heated appliance, or in a naturally warm room like a kitchen will artificially inflate its temperature detection and overcorrect how much heating or cooling your home needs.
When installing your thermostat, find a neutral room away from your windows for minimal temperature interference. And if you want to go a step further, you can install a smart thermostat that doesn’t rely on an internal thermometer.
How a Smart Thermostat Saves You Money
Smart thermostats save you money by never adjusting your home’s temperature more than it needs. They use advanced temperature sensors that read your location’s weather rather than relying on internal thermometers that sunlight or appliances can influence.
But a smart thermostat will slash the price of your electricity bill in more ways than that. In addition to their convenience benefits, allowing you to adjust temperatures from your mobile device, smart thermostats give your home the following cost-saving perks:
- Temperature schedules: Smart thermostats let you schedule what time of day you want your home’s temperature to change and handle the shift automatically. Your home will bounce from 88 degrees while at work, 78 degrees while you’re home, and 64 degrees while asleep, even if you forget to change the temperature.
- Mobile adjustments: You can adjust your thermostat’s temperature anywhere with a smart device. So if you leave for work and the day is cooler than you anticipated, you can bump up your home’s temperature to decrease your electricity bill.
- Usage reports: Most smart thermostats send you notifications on how much energy you’re using throughout the day. So if your default temperatures are using more electricity than you can afford, you can adjust your settings for lower energy consumption.
Experimenting For Optimal Savings
With how much the summer weather changes in Georgia every day, not every AC setting suggestion listed above works for every situation. For example, 88 degrees is a cost-effective AC setting in summer when you’re away on a 90-degree day, but if the outdoor temperature exceeds three digits, your HVAC system will have to work harder to get your home into the 80s.
You can experiment with your thermostat settings throughout the summer to find an ideal temperature for every weather situation. For example, raising the temperature by one degree each day for each living situation can help you discover a warmer setting that is still livable but drops your electricity bill.
If your experimental settings are too hot, you can try bringing your home’s temperature down by avoiding using your appliances. Not running your dishwasher or oven on scorching days can make a massive difference in the battle to keep your home cool.
What You Should Know About Changing Your AC Setting in Summer
Experimenting with your HVAC settings in summer can be a great way to cut electricity costs even more than sticking to our recommended temperatures. But there are a few things you should know before making any dramatic changes.
AC Units Have Limits
Most AC units can’t cool homes more than 15 degrees below the outdoor temperature, even if they have settings below the outside weather. Some higher-end HVAC systems offer slightly more cooling, but even the best models struggle to chill your home more than 20 degrees below the outdoor heat.
When experimenting with different AC settings, you’ll want to keep your thermostat within that 15-degree threshold. Because even though there won’t be a temperature difference when you crank your air conditioning, you’ll see a massive spike in your utility bill from your HVAC working extra hard at a job it can’t complete.
Constant Temperature Adjustments Can Help and Hurt Your Cost Savings
As mentioned earlier, tinkering with your thermostat settings can help you lower the cost of your electricity bill. However, too much tinkering will do more harm than good.
For example, some people turn their ACs to their lowest settings expecting quicker cooling, but air conditioners don’t blow colder air the more you drop the thermostat temperature; they just adjust their runtime. So if you’re changing your thermostat to its coldest setting, hoping for quick cooling, you’re in a losing battle.
Stay glued to the weather report when making adjustments to your AC setting in summer, and keep your home as close to that temperature as possible without making dramatic adjustments.
Heat Pumps Are Another Viable Option
Despite the name, heat pumps are fantastic options for residential cooling that are actually as efficient as most air conditioners. The main advantage heat pumps have over traditional AC systems is that they combine heating and cooling capabilities into one unit.
Both heating and cooling with a heat pump are cost-effective, and many homeowners save money by bundling their temperature control into one device. And Georgia Air Cooling & Heating, Pooler’s top-rated ac repairs team, can install a new heat pump in your home today for an affordable rate.
Improve Your Air Conditioner’s Efficiency with Georgia Air Cooling & Heating
Georgia Air Cooling & Heating brings Southeastern Georgia residents the top-shelf cooling equipment they need to make it through summer with budget-friendly electric bills.
Our team offers installation, repairs, and annual maintenance on AC systems and heat pumps that work fast and protect your home from harsh summer weather. And we have a 100% customer satisfaction guarantee, so you stick to your cost-effective AC setting in summer and still receive quality cooling.