What Really is the Optimal Setting for Your AC and Heat?

One of the wonders of the modern world is the ability to control the temperature in your home with just a push of a button or even speaking into your phone or your smart speaker. It’s easy to take the control your thermostat gives you for granted, but this powerful tool has transformed the way we live. Given the control you have over your home’s climate, what temperature settings are optimal throughout the year? The right answer is a little different for everyone, but there are some guidelines you can follow.

To keep your home’s air conditioning and heating systems working properly all year long, contact Berico for Greensboro HVAC service. Ongoing maintenance from Berico can optimize efficiency and help you dial in the ideal temperature and avoid costly repairs.

Understanding the Goal

Whether you are heating or cooling your home, one important goal is to avoid major temperature swings in either direction. Trying to change the temperature of your home dramatically – by more than several degrees or more – requires your air conditioner or furnace to work very hard and uses a lot more energy. A better plan is to consistently maintain your home’s temperature in a comfortable narrow range so the air conditioner and the furnace never has to work too hard.

Managing Your Air Conditioning

When the temperatures outside soar into the 90s and beyond, it’s tempting to crank down your AC even lower to combat the additional heat. However, just like warming your home on a cold day, it will take a lot of energy to cool your home dramatically on a hot day. So, cranking the thermostat down is not recommended as it will not cool the home faster. It’s a good strategy to set your AC to a moderate temperature that is still comfortable without demanding too much from your air conditioner.

Try 72* F as a starting point for your AC setting. You might even be comfortable going up to 74* F or so, or you may find that 68* F is necessary to keep everyone happy. Once you determine where you are comfortable, set your air conditioning at that temperature and leave it there. Since your home could get rather hot at night with the AC off, making it harder to sleep, you’ll want to leave it set close to the same temperature throughout the day and night.

A Winter Heating Strategy

While you are awake in your home, you’ll likely want to have the temperature of your thermostat set somewhere around 68* to 70* F. This is a comfortable temperature for most people, but you and your family might like to keep it a little higher or lower, depending on your preferences.

With that said, there is likely no reason to maintain that temperature all night. Keeping the indoor temperature at higher than 70 * F when the weather outside is much cooler does require more energy. Some people allow their home temperature to drop to the mid to low 60s while they sleep, keeping warm with a blanket. As an added bonus, studies have shown that humans tend to sleep better in cool temperatures, so you might find that you get better sleep in a home a little cooler than you might think.