What temperature should I have my AC set at?

July 2, 2021

What is the ideal temperature to set my air conditioner at?

The bigger the difference between the external temperature and the internal temperature of your home, the more work your air conditioning or furnace is going to have to do. It doesn’t matter how much insulation or how well air sealed your home is, it’s going to happen.

Here in Iowa, temperatures can range from as high as 105 F in the peak of summer to as low as -15 F in the harshest part of winter. The reality of losing heat in the winter and gaining heat in the summer is a pretty serious reality for us. Of course, the temperature doesn’t stay there all the time. For example, the average high temperature in Des Moines in June is 82 F, and the average low temperature in January is 14 F, with peaks and valleys all around those temperatures.

Now, if we keep our house at 70 F all year round, we’re going to be trying to lower the temperature 12 F in the peak of summer and heat our home 56 F during the peak of winter. That means our air conditioning is going to run sometimes during the summer and our furnace is going to run quite a bit in the winter, which is fine.

Adopt A More Sensible Temperature Policy

However, let’s say we adopt a more sensible temperature policy. We keep our home temperature at 78 F during the summer and 62 F during the winter. Now, we’re simply trying to lower the temperature 4 F on an average day in the summer, and we’re only raising our home temperature 48 F in the winter.

Because we adjust our home temperature seasonally, our air conditioner doesn’t run much at all on an average summer day. The furnace also runs significantly less during the winter because the difference between the outdoor temperature and indoor temperature is significantly lower.

Of course, the reason to run air conditioning units and furnaces is for personal comfort. That’s why we have them, after all.

Thus, in order to find the right temperature for each season, we had to experiment. We would try a certain home temperature for a day or two, then try lowering it or raising it by a degree. Eventually, we found a summer temperature and a winter temperature that provides us with comfort all year around.

Use Natural Solutions to Cool Your Home

The best part? During the significant part of the year where the temperatures largely hover between 62 F and 78F, we don’t run anything at all. We just open the windows. That’s cheap climate control.

Your thermostat should be set higher in the summer than it is in the winter. This reduces the workload on your air conditioner and prevents you from running up the energy bill.

For any questions about heating & cooling your home, don’t hesitate to contact us.