Finding the perfect setting on your thermostat can make you feel like Goldilocks.
Set it too low and you’re shivering, too high and you’re sticky, sweaty and irritable. The challenge of finding the ideal setting is so tough it might make you consider turning it off altogether. Or worse, setting it super low and bundling up. Fortunately, experts agree that the best setting for your air conditioner is 26C or 78F.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, this setting will help maintain a comfortable temperature while you’re at home, while also saving you money on your energy bill.
Of course, depending on how many people are in your home you may want to raise or lower the temperature. Direct Energy suggests setting your thermostat to 27C or 81F and decrease it by a degree or two every few days until you find the most comfortable setting for your family. The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) says most people find a range of 22-26C or 73-79F to be most comfortable in the summer.
When you’re out, consider boosting your thermostat to 31C or 88F, which can save you as much as 10 per cent in cooling costs. Keeping your AC at a higher setting while your out can actually help slow the flow of heat in your home, not to mention it takes a lot less energy to drop the temps by a few degrees when you get home than it does to cool your entire house every time you get in.
You may also want to consider investing in a smart thermostat that constantly adjusts to balance out the temperature in your home.
If your AC issues are at the office instead of at home, things get a little more complicated. Office temperatures are traditionally set for the metabolic rates of men, who tend to have a higher body temperature compared to women. As a result, most office temps fall between 20 and 22C or 68 and 72F, which is far below ASHRAE’s recommended settings.
If you’re constantly freezing in the office, check in with your colleagues to see if they feel the same. Then, talk to management or consult an HVAC professional to see if it is possible to increase the temperature slightly. If adjusting the thermostat is not an option, consider bringing in sweaters or small blankets or start working from your home office!