The temperatures are rising outside with the full and true onset of summer, and that means your comfort indoors is experiencing serious limbo. When you’re cozy on the couch all day, catching up on Netflix, a warm 80 degrees may seem just perfect. After you’ve played some sports in the backyard or return from a long sunbathing session with friends, anything above 65 may seem unbearable.
Yet while the air conditioning thermostat is bouncing back and forth with your whims, your electricity bill is going up. Considering how energy costs already rise thanks to the hot months, that’s a punch to your bank account your budget won’t tolerate.
So when asking how to survive the summer and keep your electricity bill at least reasonable – the real question is, “What temperature should my air conditioner be set at?”
Setting Thermostat in Summer – The Short Answer
According to our Reno experts, Americans prefer their home be kept at a cozy yet breezy 70-75 degrees in the day. This is cool enough to offer instant relief when you return home from the blazing sun, yet is easy to adapt to when spending a day indoors. Whether you’re from the deep balmy south or the more alpine north, this middle ground is enjoyable for all.
However, there are some deciding factors involved. Keeping your home at 73 is ideal, but that doesn’t mean you should set your thermostat to that temperature. On the contrary, if you live in warmer climates, maintaining that level with an AC unit can make your energy consumption skyrocket. Every degree higher you set your thermostat is 3% to 5% you’re saving on your monthly bill.
Alternative Ways to Improve Home Comfort
Start by setting your AC thermostat to 80-85. Don’t panic – we know that sounds unbearable. Luckily your home won’t ever reach that uncomfortable level of heat.
Instead, this setting will work as an emergency safeguard for when the temperatures climb out of control unexpectedly. Once things get as warm as 80, you’ll want the AC to kick in and save you fast. Otherwise, these two cheap hacks will keep your home that lovely 70-75 without the high electricity consumption.
Swamp Coolers (or E-Vap Coolers)
These handy little machines come in a variety of sizes, able to fit comfortably in your home or be attached from the outside to peek in your window if you require a larger one. These operate by being filled with water, which it then blows warm air through. The air is cooled by the water and comes out ice cold. Since it’s relying mostly on natural cooling methods, swamp coolers require less electricity – while still providing the same benefits. Just beware, though; when summer really heats up and the air is scorching, the water can’t cool it fast enough and they’re not an effective solution. That’s where your AC unit becomes a back-up.
Hanging Wet Towels and Fans
Dryers naturally pump heat into the air, no matter how high quality yours is, and this makes it wise to try air-drying your clothing. While you’re at it, however, use it to improve the conditions as well as maintain them. Hang up your wet towels (since these retain the most water) and set up a few fans in the area. This will work much like the swamp cooler, blowing cold air into the room to cut down on energy costs, while also helping you do laundry.