As we play the game of “hot and cold” at the end of the summer – where the temperature can swing from 90 degrees and steamy to mild and 70s – you may be wondering where to set your thermostat. In autumn, it can still be pretty warm, but the humidity usually drops down once school is in session. Do you still need the AC on or can you get by using fans and open windows? It really all comes down to personal preference, but here are some things to know about picking the perfect thermostat temperature.
Is There A Sweet Spot?
Generally speaking, there isn’t one ideal thermostat temperature. Some like it warmer and some like it cooler – it all comes down to individual choice. The proof of that is when you and your spouse, kids, roommate, or other family members play the temperature tug of war, turning the thermostat up and down based on your ideal temp. However, to most people, a comfortable range for a summer thermostat setting when you are home is between 72-76 degrees, and it can be lower than that – between 66-72 – in the fall and winter. So, there isn’t one ‘sweet spot,’ but there is a ‘sweet range.’
Here are some other options if you want to stay comfortable but also save on your energy bill:
- You can save a lot of money on HVAC energy at night. Think about turning off your AC at night if there is less humidity and cooler temps outside. Just open windows and set up a fan to feel the breeze of fresh air. If it’s still too warm to turn off the AC at night, try supplementing a cooler AC temperature with the help of a fan and fewer blankets. Many people stay very comfortable with just a sheet.
- When you’re away for the day for work, church, errands, etc., you should turn the setting up several degrees. If it’s warm outside, anywhere between 78 or 80 degrees is fine for the 8-10 hours you’re away from home. If it’s mild out, just keep the HVAC system off.
- Heading up to the cabin or away on vacation? You can put that setting even higher, up to 84-86 degrees or more. Even if you’re gone for just the weekend, it’s worth setting the thermostat higher.
- It may be wise to get a programmable thermostat if you find yourself fiddling with the device in the morning, before you go to work, when you get home, then again at bedtime. There’s too much room for error if you forget to adjust it before heading out of the house or falling asleep. Better yet, buy a smart thermostat – like Carrier’s COR thermostat – which can be controlled from your phone or any other handheld device with internet access. It can even learn from your behaviors, collect and analyze that information, and adjust itself to be more to your ideal setting.
When in doubt, trust the advice from our expert, Keith Hill, technical support manager at Minnesota Air:
“Thermostat set point is always a matter of personal preference. Within reason, ignore the numbers and set it to your comfort level.”