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How to Set the Perfect Temperature for Your Home in Summer

The summer season is quickly approaching, and in fact, we have already had plenty of days this spring that felt as hot as our typical mid-summer days. In the Alabama heat, air conditioning doesn’t just make your home cool enough to be comfortable; it can be a necessity for staying safe in the summer.

Of course, no one wants to shell out hundreds of dollars for their air conditioning every month either. So how do you find a middle ground: a temperature that minimizes your energy usage while keeping you comfortable?

Our HVAC specialists are here to help. Check out these two schools of thought and the best way to set your temperature in the summer.

Two Theories of Energy-Efficient Temperatures

Energy-efficient cooling is something everyone strives for, whether their goal is to save money or protect the environment. Either way, there are two theories about how to make your air conditioning as efficient as possible.

1.   Adjust the Temperature When You Aren’t Home

A common strategy for energy-efficient HVAC use is to set your thermostat to the highest comfortable temperature while you are home and then either turn off your air conditioning or set the temperature limit higher when you aren’t home. For example, you might set your thermostat to 72 when you’re at home and 78 when you’re at work.

The theory behind this school of thought is that your home doesn’t need to be comfortable when there isn’t anyone home, so you can save energy by not using your air conditioner when the home is empty. Most people who do this, though, want the home to be comfortably cool by the time they get home, so you might program your thermostat back to 72 an hour before you get home so it’s ready when you arrive.

2.   Maintain a Consistent Temperature

The second school of thought is to choose a moderately comfortable temperature, as warm during the summer as possible while still being comfortable, and leave your thermostat at this temperature consistently. The theory behind this strategy is that to maintain that temperature, your air conditioner only needs to run for short periods of time here and there, and that this takes less energy than running your air conditioner enough to cool your home from, say, 78 or 80 to 72 degrees once or more per day.

Which Theory Is Best?

What’s the verdict, then? Which of these two strategies works best? It should be easy to run a simple comparison, right?

It’s difficult to do a true apples-to-apples comparison and run the numbers because there are so many variables in the energy it takes to cool a home. It depends on the outdoor temperature that day and how long that temperature is sustained, the sun exposure that day, the energy efficiency of your HVAC system, your home’s insulation and building materials, and more.

With that in mind, though, it’s generally better to maintain one consistent temperature in your home regardless of whether you’re there or not. Cooling down an already warm house requires a lot of energy, especially for a medium or larger house, and this often negates the energy you “saved” by turning off your thermostat for a few hours.

Maintaining an Energy-Efficient Home in the Summer

Temperature consistency is key when you want to keep your home cool during a hot Alabama summer, but it isn’t the only variable. You also need a well-maintained HVAC system that isn’t leaking energy. Our skilled and specialized HVAC professionals can help you keep your system running efficiently so you can enjoy a comfortable yet low-cost summer.

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