You shouldn’t have to sacrifice comfort or drain your wallet to keep your home at a refreshing temp during muggy weather.

But what is the right temperature, exactly? We go over advice from energy specialists so you can select the best temp for your residence.

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

Recommended Thermostat Settings for Summer

Most families find placing the thermostat at 72-73 degrees is ideal. However, if there’s a huge difference between your indoor and outside temperatures, your electricity bills will be larger.

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

While at home: 78 degrees. While that appears hot, there are ways you can keep your home refreshing without having the air conditioner going constantly.

Keeping windows and blinds closed during the day keeps cool air where it belongs—indoors. Some window coverings, such as honeycomb shades or plantation shutters, are made to deliver more insulation and better energy conservation.

If you have ceiling fans in your residence, the DOE says you can increase thermostat temps about 4 degrees higher without giving up comfort. That’s because they freshen with a windchill effect. Because they cool people, not areas, shut them off when you exit a room.

If 78 degrees still appears too uncomfortable at first glance, try running a test for about a week. Begin by increasing your temperature to 78 degrees while you’re at your residence. Then, gradually decrease it while using the suggestions above. You could be surprised at how comfortable you feel at a warmer temperature setting.

While away: 88 degrees. There’s no rationale for keeping the air conditioning on all day while your residence is vacant. Turning the temperature 7–10 degrees warmer can save you anywhere from 5–15% on your electrical expenses, according to the DOE.

When you come home, don’t be tempted to put your thermostat under 78 to cool your home more rapidly. This isn’t productive and typically produces a higher air conditioner cost.

A programmable thermostat is a helpful method to keep your temp under control, but you need to set programs. If you don’t use programs, you risk forgetting to move the set temperature when you go.

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

Another benefit of getting a smart thermostat? You can use your phone to keep an eye on and adjust temperature settings from nearly anywhere.

While sleeping: Around 70 degrees. While ENERGY STAR suggests 82 degrees, that might be unpleasant for the majority of families. Many people sleep better when their sleeping space is chilled, so that’s why the National Sleep Foundation recommends 60–67 degrees. But that could be too cool, based on your pajama and blanket preference.

We suggest trying a similar test over a week, putting your temp higher and gradually decreasing it to determine the right temp for your family. On cool nights, you could find keeping windows open at night and using a ceiling fan is a preferable solution than operating the AC.

More Methods to Use Less Energy During Hot Weather

There are extra approaches you can save money on AC bills throughout the summer.

  1. Upgrade to an energy-efficient cooling system. Central air conditioners only work for about 12–15 years and lose efficiency as they age. An upgraded air conditioner can keep your house more comfortable while keeping electricity costs low.
  2. Book regular air conditioner maintenance. Annual air conditioner maintenance keeps your equipment operating properly and might help it work more efficiently. It may also help prolong its life span, since it helps pros to find seemingly insignificant issues before they create a major meltdown.
  3. Switch air filters often. Read manufacturer instructions for replacing your air filter. A dusty filter can result in your system short cycling, or switch on and off too often, and raise your cooling.
  4. Measure attic insulation levels. Just about 90% of residences in the U.S. don’t have proper insulation, according to the Insulation Institute. Many southern climates should have 13–14” of attic insulation, while northern climates should have 16–18”.
  5. Have your ductwork checked. Ductwork that has come apart over time can leak cool air into your attic, walls or crawl space. This can result in huge comfort troubles in your home, like hot and cold spots.
  6. Seal holes, doors and windows. Keep warm air where it belongs by closing openings. You can also caulk or weather strip doors to keep more cool air indoors.

Use Less Energy This Summer with AZ Air Conditioning and Heating

If you need to use less energy during hot weather, our AZ Air Conditioning and Heating experts can provide assistance. Reach us at 800-296-5088 or contact us online for more details about our energy-saving cooling solutions.