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June 24, 2021

What Temperature Should I Set My Thermostat in the Summer in San Diego?

Follow These Summer Setting Recommendations to Save Money and Stay Cool

Air conditioning provides a welcome respite from the summer heat, but deciding on a comfortable temperature for your house may necessitate striking a careful balance between your family's comfort preferences and your budget. Simply put - in the summer, the lower you set your thermostat, the greater your energy expenditures will be. If you work through some of the variables and learn a few tricks from Blue Diamond Heating and Air, you can find a temperature that is both comfortable and cost-effective.

The Best Temperature Settings for When You're At Home

When you're at home, set your thermostat to 78 degrees Fahrenheit to stay comfortable and save money this summer. And it's not just us that recommends it - the US Department of Energy recommends it too. Setting your air conditioner at this temperature will keep you cool while avoiding an unexpectedly large utility bill. If you're still looking for a solution, invest in a dehumidifier and use the suggestions below to keep cool air trapped in your home.

The Best Temperature Settings for When You're Away

You can save even more money this summer by keeping your house warmer while you are away. Turning your thermostat up seven to ten degrees F while you're at work, or any time you're gone for more than two hours, can save you up to ten percent on cooling costs. Set your thermostat to 88 degrees Fahrenheit to save money and energy while you're away this summer in San Diego.

Because the greater interior temperature slows the flow of heat into your home, it won't require as much energy to cool things down when you get home as you may assume.

How to Make the Most of Your Home's Cooling Efforts

Although 78 degrees Fahrenheit may still seem uncomfortably warm, you can assist your air conditioner produce better cooling while using less energy by keeping warm air from entering and cool air from departing. Follow these easy steps to keep your home cool and pleasant during the summer:

  • Install window treatments that block sunlight and keep heat from entering your home.
  • To keep your home sealed, install new or replace old weatherstripping and caulk around doors and windows.
  • Limit the use of heat-generating appliances, such as the oven and stove, until after 8 p.m. Grill as much as possible outside during the summer.
  • Increase the efficiency of your cooling system by installing ceiling fans.
  • Replace old air conditioners with more energy-efficient versions.

Visit our HVAC services page to see what Blue Diamond offers!

Choosing a Comfortable Temperature for Your Family in San Diego

Experiment with setting your thermostat to 81 degrees for a few hours and seeing how your family reacts. Reduce the temperature by 2 degrees Fahrenheit over the next few days until it reaches 71 degrees Fahrenheit. Then you can adjust your thermostat to the average of your family's comfortable temperature range. The recommended temperature range for indoor temps during the summer heat is 73F to 79F, according to the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).

Another period when conservation is possible is at night. Your core body temperature drops when you sleep, and heat radiates from your extremities. According to a National Institute of Health study, the optimum sleep occurs when the body reaches "thermoneutrality" at 86 degrees Fahrenheit (nude and uncovered) or 60 to 66 degrees Fahrenheit (nude and uncovered) (wearing pajamas and covered by one sheet). This shows that raising your thermostat to a warmer setting, say 80F, while utilizing lighter bedding and sleepwear will help you get a decent night's sleep throughout the summer. You can also use a ceiling fan to gently blow a wind down onto your bed to help you sleep.

Even if you feel it's worth the money to keep your house a few degrees colder, at least you'll know what you're getting for your money. The truly good news is that you can try to save money in various ways without making yourself miserable for the summer.

Keep a close eye on the humidity level.

Because your body's sweat glands don't perform as efficiently when there's a lot of moisture in the air, high humidity may make a typical hot day considerably more difficult to bear. Sweat regulates body temperature by evaporating from the skin and transporting heat away from the body. When the air is dry, your sweat evaporates quickly, making you feel more at ease. However, as humidity rises, the extra water vapor in the air makes it more difficult for your sweat to evaporate, leaving you even hotter despite being soaked.

When the relative humidity is 40%, an 80°F day feels like 80°F, while an 80°F day with 90% humidity has a "heat index" of 86°F, indicating that you should take extra precautions to cool down. Air conditioners, fortunately, are very effective at reducing relative humidity, especially if your home is airtight and has vapor barriers in the basement or crawlspace. If you're banking on your air conditioner to keep the humidity at bay, be sure it's the right size for your home. If it's too big, the system will only be on for a short period to cool the house, not long enough to dehumidify. To avoid mold and bugs, the EPA advises a humidity level of 30 to 50 percent during the summer, which will help keep you more comfortable during the summer heat. If you want to save your air conditioner some work, a dehumidifier might help you attain reduced humidity.

Furthermore, personal fans and ceiling fans, which circulate air across your body to aid evaporation, can be used to augment your air conditioner. While fans do not actually lower the room's temperature, they do make it feel colder by sucking up the humidity.

A Programmable Thermostat Is Very Important

Although adjusting the temperature on your thermostat while you're away can save you money, few individuals remember to do so every time they enter and leave the house. Fortunately, a smart or programmable thermostat can take care of that for you, ensuring that you live in a comfortable environment while also saving money. Programmable thermostats allow you to set different temperatures depending on the time of day, whether you're at home or not, and then forget about it.

Set your air conditioner to start cooling your house 30 minutes before you arrive, ensuring that your home is at a pleasant temperature when you walk in. Smart thermostats also enable you control the temperature from your phone or tablet, and they can detect when you enter or leave the house and change the temperature accordingly. Many programmable thermostats will display the relative humidity at the touch of a button, which can help adjust humidity levels.

Have you tried our suggested thermostat settings and other energy-saving suggestions but still have a high bill? Check out our explanation of why your electricity bill can go up in the summer.

In the summer, being comfortable and keeping utility expenses down is difficult, but not impossible.

If you are having problems with your air conditioner and need ac repair in San Diego, call Blue Diamond today at (619) 514-2114.

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