We love that things stay warm and sunny down here in southwest Florida, but it’s no secret that our summers get hot, hot, hot. In fact, average highs hover around 90 from May until September, making for what feels like a never-ending summer season.
At these high temperatures, safety and comfort become key concerns. While you may enjoy the feeling of a hot summer day for an hour or two, you don’t want things to heat up that much indoors.
So, what is the best AC temperature for summer? How can you keep things comfortable without spending a ton of money on your energy bill?
Read on to find out what the best AC temperature in summer is and how you can make your home a cool oasis.
Steps to Take Before Turning on Your AC Full-Time
Before we talk about the best temp for your AC in summer, let’s talk about your AC, itself. The last thing you want is to head into the hot months unaware that your AC is in poor condition. Fortunately, there are a few easy-to-spot signs that your AC needs repairs or replacement.
Around April, go ahead and give your AC a test run. While it’s on, check for the following signs:
- Strange or unpleasant smells coming from the ducts or vents
- Inconsistent or low airflow in one or several places
- Strange sounds coming from the ducts, vents, or HVAC unit
- Leakage coming from your HVAC unit or condensation around ducts or vents
- Inability to control the temperature using the thermostat
- No airflow at all
By giving your Fort Meyers air conditioner a test run before you need it full-time, you can save yourself some serious trouble down the line. Let us know if anything seems unusual and we’ll inspect, repair, or replace your AC as quickly as possible.
The DOE Has Declared the Best AC Temperature for Summer
The Department of Energy has taken the time to evaluate our energy consumption and energy costs for us. What have they discovered in the process?
According to the DOE, the best AC setting for summer is 78 degrees. Once you go lower than 78 degrees, you run the risk of increasing your energy bill by about 4-6% per degree. While dropping down to a chilly 68 can seem appealing on a hot summer day, it’s going to come with a cost–and there are better ways to cool your home.
Additional Ways to Cool Your Home Without Touching the Thermostat
A lot of people see 78 degrees and immediately think, “No way. There’s no way that’s low enough for comfort!”
The good news? There are plenty of ways to cool your home further without touching the thermostat at all.
Turn On the Fans
For starters, get those fans going. A simple ceiling fan can help circulate the air, although we do caution that because heat rises, ceiling fans may stir up the warmest air in your home.
Add a few standing fans, box fans, or even desk fans to the rooms you’re using throughout the day. When you have fans blowing on or around you, it creates an indoor “wind chill.” This can actually reduce the real-feel temperature in your home by up to four degrees.
Reduce Sun Exposure and Cool Air Loss
Another important step to take is to limit the sunlight coming through the windows. This is especially important if you get a lot of direct sun on the south-facing side of your Fort Meyers home. Closing your blinds or curtains during the brightest hours can reduce the heat generated by the sun’s rays.
In addition, consider using weather stripping around your windows and doors. This can block any cracks that are letting the cool air out.
Consider Using a Dehumidifier
We’ve all heard people say that “a dry heat” is preferable to high temperatures matched with high humidity. In Fort Meyers, we don’t experience dry heat outdoors–and we often don’t experience it indoors, either.
Why is high humidity less comfortable? When humidity gets over 60-70%, our bodies have a harder time cooling down. By using a dehumidifier in humid parts of your home, you can cut down on that sticky hot feeling and give your body a chance to regulate on its own.
When Can You Go Higher Than 78 Degrees?
The very same study from the DOE that declared 78 degrees the best AC temperature for summer gave us another important gem. By raising the temperature in your home by 7-10 degrees for about eight hours a day, you can save up to 15% on your energy bills.
Of course, no one wants to sit around in their home when it’s 85 degrees inside. When can you go higher than 78 without sacrificing your comfort?
If the members of your household are at work or school for several hours a day, this can be an optimal time to raise that thermostat. If you have a programmable thermostat, you can even set it to go back down to 78 degrees before you come home. That way, you come home to comfort.
What if someone is home most of the time? Another option is to keep an eye on nighttime temperatures. Our southwest Florida nighttime temperatures tend to be much more tolerable, meaning that you can turn on the fans, open the windows, and enjoy some natural cooling overnight.
Stay Cool Without Spending a Fortune Running Your AC This Summer
There you have it! The best AC temperature for summer is 78 degrees, even in southwest Florida. With our tips and tricks, you can stay cool this summer without raising your energy bill through the roof.
Need a tune-up on your AC unit? Do you think it may be time for a replacement? Salient is here to help.
Contact us to get a free quote on your AC repair or replacement needs. We’ll schedule an appointment at your convenience and ensure that your AC is up and running!