It’s an arduous battle; one that has gone down in household history as a clash for the ages, repeating itself time and time again, year after year, season after season. It has been fought for what seems like eternities amongst young and old, man and woman, friend and foe: What temperature should your thermostat be set to?
All exaggerations aside, thermostat temperature really can be a household or workplace sticking point. It’s just hard to function when you’re uncomfortable.
That’s why we’ve put together this list of 5 battle-tested tips for setting your thermostat temperature in the summer to help settle some of those arguments.
Pick The Highest Temperature That You’re Comfortable With
It may come as no surprise that one of the best ways to stop fighting about where to set the thermostat (and save some money on your energy bill) is to find out what is the highest temperature that you’re all still comfortable. Your body adjusts depending on the difference between indoor and outdoor temperature, but a person who tends to be colder will want it set higher to maintain warmth and a person who runs hot, will usually want it turned down lower. Because of that, a general rule of thumb you should be to set your thermostat between 72-76 degrees in the summertime when you’re home.
Get A Programmable Thermostat
A programmable thermostat saves energy and money in the summer, because it can turn on your AC when you are around and turn it off or have it run only at a higher temperature when you are away. Some of the newer models – like Carrier’s COR thermostat – are made to be intuitive and keep you comfortable beyond what a regular model can do. It provides better humidity control and you can maximize comfort by removing humidity but not necessarily making it colder in your home.
Avoid Putting It To A Lower Setting To Cool Faster
One of the biggest no-no’s is cranking your AC to a lower temperature just to get your home cooler faster. The Department Of Energy actually says that “will not cool your home any faster and could result in excessive cooling and unnecessary expense.” Put it at your normal, ideal setting and your body will cool normally.
Don’t Adjust It After Strenuous Activity
It’s tempting, but don’t touch that dial (or buttons) if you’ve been exercising, working outside, or doing some other type of physical task, says our resident expert Keith Hill, technical support manager at Minnesota Air.
“We tend to head to the thermostat as we wonder why we are too hot or too cool, and then see that the temp is where it should be,” he says. “But too often, the temptation gets the better of us and we tweak it just a bit.”
Keith says resist that urge, and remember that you have a highly calibrated digital temperature controller that works with your HVAC system to maintain precise comfort control.
“Trust the thermostat to do its job, remember why you set it where you did in the first place, and give it some time for you to cool off or warm up.”
Let Your Partner Win
Finally, sometimes the best way to win the war is to concede the battle.
We’ve all been there: parents turn it up, kids turn it down. Wife says she’s cold, husband says put on a sweater. Thermostat squabbles are just something that happens to everyone at one point or another in a shared space.
“I have that issue with my better half all the time,” says Keith. “For what it’s worth, when there are dueling temperature set points, I never have the final say in the matter. In the long run, it’s always the smart move, especially when you’re married to a great cook.”