You shouldn’t be forced to compromise on comfort or empty your wallet to keep your residence at a refreshing setting during hot days.

But what is the right setting, exactly? We discuss suggestions from energy pros 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 Rapid City.

Recommended Thermostat Settings for Summer

Most people find placing the thermostat at 72-73 degrees is ideal. However, if there’s a big difference between your indoor and outdoor warmth, your AC expenses will be bigger.

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

While at home: 78 degrees. While that appears warm, there are ways you can keep your home pleasant without having the air conditioner running all the time.

Keeping windows and curtains closed during the day keeps cold air where it belongs—within your home. Some window coverings, including honeycomb shades or plantation shutters, are made to provide more insulation and enhanced energy conservation.

If you have ceiling fans in your residence, the DOE says you can raise thermostat temperatures about 4 degrees higher without sacrificing comfort. That’s because they freshen by a windchill effect. Since they cool people, not rooms, shut them off when you exit a room.

If 78 degrees still feels too uncomfortable initially, try conducting a trial for a week or so. Get started by increasing your setting to 78 degrees while you’re at your residence. Then, steadily turn it down while using the suggestions above. You might be astonished at how refreshed you feel at a higher temperature setting.

While away: 88 degrees. There’s no reason to keep the air conditioning working all day while your residence is vacant. Moving the temperature 7–10 degrees hotter can save you as much as 5–15% on your electrical costs, according to the DOE.

When you get home, don’t be tempted to set your thermostat below 78 to cool your house more rapidly. This isn’t productive and typically results in a bigger cooling cost.

A programmable thermostat is a useful way to keep your settings in check, but it requires setting programs. If you don’t utilize programs, you risk forgetting to raise the set temperature when you leave.

If you’re looking for a convenient resolution, think about getting a smart thermostat. This thermostat works with with your phone, so it knows when you’re at home and when you’re out. Then it intuitively changes temperature settings for the biggest savings. How much exactly? About $180 annually on heating and cooling, according to ENERGY STAR.

Another perk of having a smart thermostat? You can use your phone to watch and regulate temperature settings from nearly anywhere.

While sleeping: Around 70 degrees. While ENERGY STAR recommends 82 degrees, that may be unpleasant for the majority of families. Many people sleep better when their sleeping space is chilled, so that’s why the National Sleep Foundation suggests 60–67 degrees. But that might be too chilly, depending on your PJ and blanket preference.

We suggest using a similar test over a week, setting your temperature higher and gradually decreasing it to determine the best temp for your house. On mild nights, you might discover keeping windows open at night and using a ceiling fan is a superior option than running the air conditioning.

More Methods to Use Less Energy During Hot Weather

There are added ways you can save money on AC bills throughout warm weather.

  1. Buy an energy-efficient AC system. Central air conditioners only last about 12–15 years and lose efficiency as they age. A new air conditioner can keep your home comfier while keeping electrical expenses small.
  2. Book regular air conditioner maintenance. Annual air conditioner maintenance keeps your equipment operating properly and may help it run at greater efficiency. It could also help extend its life cycle, since it helps pros to uncover small troubles before they create a major meltdown.
  3. Change air filters often. Use manufacturer instructions for switching your air filter. A clogged filter can cause your system to short cycle, or switch on and off too much, and drive up your electrical.
  4. Inspect attic insulation levels. Just about 90% of homes in the U.S. don’t have proper insulation, according to the Insulation Institute. The majority of southern climates should have 13–14” of attic insulation, while northern climates should have 16–18”.
  5. Have your ductwork inspected. Ductwork that has loosened over time can leak cold air into your attic, walls or crawl space. This can create major comfort problems in your house, including hot and cold spots.
  6. Seal cracks, doors and windows. Keep muggy air where it should be by plugging cracks. You can also caulk or weather strip doors to keep more conditioned air inside.

Save More Energy This Summer with Precision Mechanical

If you need to conserve more energy this summer, our Precision Mechanical specialists can help. Reach us at 605-206-3766 or contact us online for additional info about our energy-saving cooling options.