You shouldn’t need to compromise on comfort or empty your wallet to keep your residence at a pleasant temperature during the summer.

But what is the best temp, exactly? We discuss recommendations from energy experts so you can choose the best temperature for your loved ones.

Here’s what we suggest for the most energy-efficient setting for air conditioning in Portland.

Recommended Thermostat Settings for Summer

Most families find placing the thermostat at 72-73 degrees is ideal. However, if there’s a huge difference between your interior and exterior warmth, your utility bills will be higher.

These are our suggestions based on the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and ENERGY STAR®.

While at home: 78 degrees. While that sounds hot, there are ways you can keep your home pleasant without having the air conditioner going constantly.

Keeping windows and window treatments down during the day keeps cool air where it should be—within your home. Some window coverings, including honeycomb shades or plantation shutters, are created to give extra insulation and improved energy efficiency.

If you have ceiling fans in your home, the DOE says you can raise thermostat temps about 4 degrees higher without sacrificing comfort. That’s due to the fact they cool with a windchill effect. Since they cool people, not spaces, turn them off when you leave a room.

If 78 degrees still feels too uncomfortable on the surface, try conducting a trial for approximately a week. Begin by raising your temperature to 78 degrees while you’re at your house. Then, steadily decrease it while using the tips above. You could be shocked at how refreshed you feel at a hotter temperature setting.

While away: 88 degrees. There’s no reason to keep the AC on all day while your home is empty. Moving the temp 7–10 degrees warmer can save you anywhere from 5–15% on your air conditioning costs, according to the DOE.

When you come home, don’t be tempted to switch your thermostat under 78 to cool your house more quickly. This isn’t useful and usually leads to a bigger AC bill.

A programmable thermostat is a useful way to keep your settings controlled, but you have to set programs. If you don’t utilize programs, you might forget to increase the set temperature when you take off.

If you’re looking for a convenient remedy, think about installing a smart thermostat. This thermostat links with your phone, so it is aware when you’re at home and when you’re away. Then it intuitively modifies temperature settings for the best savings. How much exactly? An estimated $180 each year on heating and cooling, according to ENERGY STAR.

Another advantage of getting a smart thermostat? You can use your phone to keep an eye on and adjust temperature settings from just about anywhere.

While sleeping: Around 70 degrees. While ENERGY STAR suggests 82 degrees, that could be unpleasant for many families. The majority of people sleep better when their bedroom is chilly, so that’s why the National Sleep Foundation suggests 60–67 degrees. But that may be too chilly, due to your PJ and blanket preference.

We suggest running a similar test over a week, setting your temperature higher and steadily lowering it to find the ideal setting for your house. On pleasant nights, you might discover keeping windows open at night and using a ceiling fan is a preferable idea than operating the air conditioning.

More Methods to Use Less Energy This Summer

There are added ways you can save money on energy bills throughout the summer.

  1. Install an energy-efficient AC system. Central air conditioners only last about 12–15 years and become less efficient as they age. An updated air conditioner can keep your house comfier while keeping electrical expenses small.
  2. Set regular air conditioner tune-ups. Annual air conditioner maintenance keeps your unit running like it should and may help it run more efficiently. It can also help lengthen its life span, since it helps professionals to find small problems before they cause a major meltdown.
  3. Change air filters frequently. Read manufacturer instructions for switching your air filter. A clogged filter can lead to your system short cycling, or run too frequently, and increase your cooling.
  4. Check attic insulation levels. Almost 90% of residences in the U.S. don’t have enough insulation, according to the Insulation Institute. Many southern climates require 13–14” of attic insulation, while northern climates need 16–18”.
  5. Have your ductwork examined. Ductwork that has separated over time can seep cool air into your attic, walls or crawl space. This can lead to big comfort troubles in your residence, such as hot and cold spots.
  6. Seal holes, doors and windows. Keep hot air where it should be by sealing openings. You can also caulk or weather strip doors to keep more cold air indoors.

Use Less Energy During Hot Weather with Three Rivers Heating & Cooling

If you need to save more energy during hot weather, our Three Rivers Heating & Cooling experts can assist you. Get in touch with us at 503-213-4433 or contact us online for more information about our energy-saving cooling products.