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Optimal Air Conditioner Temperature in Summer

Published by Melanie Riggs

Air Conditioning Service Virginia Beach, VA

The summer season in Hampton Roads is always hot and humid, and that means it can get uncomfortably warm in your home or business pretty quickly. You want to be comfortable, but you do not want to overwork your air conditioner or drive up your energy bills. Because of this, you might not know the optimal temperature to set your thermostat, so you get cool air but are not paying too much.

A cool home is important in the hot summer months. You also want to make sure you don’t spend too much of your hard-earned money on air conditioning. The good news is that there are ways you can save expansively on your air conditioning needs and energy bills, all while staying cool and comfortable all summer long.

At Mechanical Service Company, we offer air conditioning and Heat-Pump repair and maintenance so you can have the comfort you need and deserve when it is hot outside. We can also install a new AC unit or Heat-Pump if yours is older or is starting to need too many repairs.

Being comfortable matters, and we are here to help. Read on for the ideal recommendations for setting temperatures in your home throughout the summer months and to take into consideration how high outdoor heat and low indoor temperatures can really place a strain on your AC unit.

What Temperature Does the US Department of Energy Say to Set a Thermostat?

According to the US Department of Energy, the best temperature for your thermostat is 68 degrees in winter, and 78 in summer. A programmable thermostat is one of the easiest ways to keep your home at a consistent temperature and help save money. You can also use ceiling fans to move the cool air around, which can contribute to energy efficiency and help lower your electric bill.

The right thermostat setting not only keeps you more comfortable, but it can also contribute to significant energy savings. You may want to consider a smart thermostat for your HVAC unit so that you can control it from your phone or another device. That way, you can change the temperature when you’re out of the house and help to conserve energy.

To save energy as easily as possible in Hampton Roads, you want a lower temperature during the time of day that you are home. Then when you are away from home, you can raise the temperature so your AC unit has the ability to cool your home more efficiently without overworking. The different temperatures will give you the most comfort and the lowest utility bills, which is a winning combination.

What is the Best Temperature to Control Humidity in Your Home?

Controlling humidity in your home is very important for a couple of reasons. First, high humidity can be uncomfortable, but so can air that’s too dry. The EPA recommends that Virginia homeowners keep their homes between 30% and 60% humidity to feel comfortable and reduce the chance of mold. The temperature that equates to that level of humidity will change based on the weather outside, but the ideal temperature setting for proper humidity control in coastal Virginia is 68 degrees.

You may also want to make sure you are changing your air filter on a set schedule, and consider using a dehumidifier, as well. Both of those actions can go a long way toward lowering utility costs while keeping humidity at the right level and feeling comfortable in your home. You can’t always keep your AC unit at the best temperature for humidity control, which is why a dehumidifier can help with additional comfort.

What is a Good Temperature to Set a Thermostat To Save Money in Virginia?

Your comfort level is important, but so are your energy costs. To find the right temperature setting, you need to consider the temperature outside of your home. Homeowners don’t always realize this, and they adjust their thermostat too frequently, instead of choosing a temperature for winter and one for summer.

The higher the heat outside of your home, the higher your thermostat needs to be set in order to reduce energy consumption. Energy Star appliances and a quality HVAC system can help, but you still need to consider how much your AC unit is operating in order to keep your home cool. If your HVAC system is working inefficiently, you can expect to pay higher bills.

Another option for lower bills is to lower your thermostat when you are home so you can feel more comfortable and then turn it back up when you are not home or when you are sleeping. A smart thermostat can help with that, and when you’re home you may want to consider turning on ceiling fans for more airflow so that you can keep the temperature just a little higher.

What’s the Recommendation for Setting Summer AC Temperatures in Virginia?

The biggest recommendation for setting your thermostat in summer is to keep it up to 20 degrees below the outdoor temperature. That’s the rule of thumb because any higher difference between the outside and inside temperatures can mean that the AC unit could struggle to keep up with cooling your home. In Virginia Beach, summers can be very warm, and also quite humid.

If the outside temperature is 95℉, you want to make sure you do not have your HVAC thermostat temperature set lower than 75℉. Also keep the humidity in mind, as a humid area can often feel hotter and more uncomfortable the actual outdoor air temperature. Keeping ceiling fans running and doors and windows tightly closed will help balance humidity levels throughout your home.

It is understandable that you might want to keep your home cooler than you would be able to with the recommended temperature difference. It’s not that you can’t turn the AC down lower. It’s just that it is not easy for the unit to handle the extra stress and strain. Protecting your HVAC unit and managing your comfort levels can become a delicate balance in the heat of summer.

Ceiling fans can help, as can encouraging good airflow by not closing off any of the rooms in your home. You can also have your AC unit maintained and inspected by MSCO, to make sure it is working as efficiently as possible. If there are problems with the unit, having it repaired or replaced can make a big difference in your level of comfort and energy consumption.

Can Your AC Break From Cooling Your Home?

Unfortunately, it is completely possible for your cooling system to break when trying to keep your home at a comfortable temperature. The most common way this occurs is by tripping a breaker on the air conditioning system because of the higher temperature outside and longer run times. You may also find that the air conditioner temperature setting on the thermostat does not match the airflow temperature coming out of the vents in your home.

If you find that your AC system is frequently blowing a fuse or tripping a breaker, it’s time to find out why. It could be that the temperature difference or run time is just too much for the unit, especially if it is older. More than likely there could also be something else wrong, and it’s important to find out if there are further issues that need repair, so your AC can work well again.

In some cases, your AC could be blowing warm air because it cannot keep up and is overworking. Choosing a higher temperature for the inside of your home can help give your AC a break. Giving your air conditioning unit a break is one of the best ways to keep it running well, and also keep your cooling costs down when maintaining your Virginia home’s temperature in a comfortable range. Even a couple of degrees can make a significant difference in how well your air conditioner operates.

Want to Survive Humid Hampton Roads Summers Without Overworking Your AC Unit?

It’s no fun to be overheated in the summer months, especially inside your own home, but you also don’t want to be shocked by high energy bills that you were not expecting. When you balance the temperature with the effort your AC is producing, you can feel comfortable and keep your bills in line, all while taking good care of your air conditioning unit.

By reaching out to MSCO, you can find the best AC temperature, make sure your AC is working right, and keep your energy costs down. If you are in the Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth, or other Hampton Roads areas, request a free quote by calling Mechanical Service Company today at (757) 427-0016.

You can also complete our online contact form and our home comfort professionals can help you understand your energy usage, find a preferred temperature for your home, and stay cool and comfortable all summer long. We’re here to help you get the most from your AC unit while using less energy and being happy in your home during hot weather.

Find Out What Our Clients Say About Us

Read Our Trusted Reviews

Technician Rick did an outstanding job of completing my annual service check, correcting minor problems and cleaning my system prior to the summer season. What impressed me most is that he took the time to point out other issues in my attic (loose fitting at the hot water heater) and even outside (water spigot leaking) and fixed both on his own since they were easy fixes. What a great service professional and so rare to find someone honest and willing to take a few extra moments to help out. Thanks for a great experience!

- Mark B.

Technician Rick did an outstanding job of completing my annual service check, correcting minor problems and cleaning my system prior to the summer season. What impressed me most is that he took the time to point out other issues in my attic (loose fitting at the hot water heater) and even outside (water spigot leaking) and fixed both on his own since they were easy.

- Mark B.

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