You shouldn’t need to compromise on comfort or empty your wallet to keep your home at the right setting during hot days.

But what is the right temperature, exactly? We review ideas from energy pros so you can determine the best setting for your family.

Here’s what we advise for the most energy-efficient setting for air conditioning in Rapid City.

Recommended Thermostat Settings for Summer

Most people find setting the thermostat at 72-73 degrees provides ideal comfort. However, if there’s a major difference between your indoor and outside temps, your utility bills will be higher.

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

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

Keeping windows and curtains closed during the day keeps cool air where it belongs—indoors. Some window coverings, such as honeycomb shades or plantation shutters, are designed to offer extra insulation and improved energy conservation.

If you have ceiling fans in your house, the DOE says you can raise thermostat temps about 4 degrees warmer without sacrificing comfort. That’s because they freshen with a windchill effect. Since they cool people, not rooms, turn them off when you leave a room.

If 78 degrees still seems too hot at first glance, try running a test for about a week. Get started by raising your temperature to 78 degrees while you’re at your house. Then, gradually turn it down while adhering to the advice above. You could be shocked at how refreshed you feel at a hotter temperature setting.

While away: 88 degrees. There’s no reason to keep the air conditioning running all day while your house is unoccupied. Moving the temp 7–10 degrees hotter can save you as much as 5–15% on your air conditioning bills, according to the DOE.

When you arrive home, don’t be tempted to switch your thermostat under 78 to cool your home faster. This isn’t effective and typically produces a more expensive electricity cost.

A programmable thermostat is a good way to keep your temp in check, but it requires setting programs. If you don’t utilize programs, you run the risk of forgetting to raise the set temperature when you take off.

If you need a hassle-free fix, think about buying a smart thermostat. This thermostat works with with your phone, so it is aware when you’re at your house and when you’re away. Then it automatically changes temperature settings for the best savings. How much exactly? An estimated $180 annually on heating and cooling, according to ENERGY STAR.

Another perk of having a smart thermostat? You can use your phone to monitor and change temperature settings from almost anywhere.

While sleeping: Around 70 degrees. While ENERGY STAR recommends 82 degrees, that could be unpleasant for many families. The majority of people sleep better when their bedroom is cold, so that’s why the National Sleep Foundation recommends 60–67 degrees. But that may be too cool, due to your PJ and blanket preference.

We advise trying a similar test over a week, moving your thermostat higher and gradually turning it down to choose the right temp for your family. On cool nights, you could learn keeping windows open at night and running a ceiling fan is a preferable solution than using the air conditioning.

More Methods to Save Energy During Warm Weather

There are other approaches you can save money on AC bills throughout warm weather.

  1. Buy an energy-efficient cooling system. Central air conditioners only are effective for about 12–15 years and lose efficiency as they get older. An updated air conditioner can keep your house more comfortable while keeping utility expenses down.
  2. Book annual air conditioner tune-ups. Routine air conditioner maintenance keeps your system working smoothly and could help it run at greater efficiency. It might also help prolong its life span, since it allows technicians to discover small issues before they create a major meltdown.
  3. Put in new air filters frequently. Read manufacturer instructions for replacing your air filter. A clogged filter can cause your system to short cycle, or run too frequently, and raise your cooling.
  4. Inspect attic insulation levels. Nearly 90% of houses in the USA don’t have enough insulation, according to the Insulation Institute. Many southern climates require 13–14” of attic insulation, while northern climates should have 16–18”.
  5. Have your ductwork examined. Ductwork that has come apart over time can leak cold air into your attic, walls or crawl space. This can result in major comfort problems in your home, such as hot and cold spots.
  6. Seal cracks, doors and windows. Keep muggy air where it should be by plugging holes. You can also caulk or weather strip doors to seal more cool air indoors.

Conserve More Energy During Warm Weather with Street Heating and Cooling

If you need to save more energy during warm weather, our Street Heating and Cooling pros can provide assistance. Reach us at 605-206-3915 or contact us online for more details about our energy-saving cooling products.