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What's the Ideal Thermostat Setting for a North Shore Summer?

Couple or roommates relaxing at home


Ultimately, the “ideal” summer thermostat setting is the one where everyone in the home is comfortably cool. As we all know, though, what is cool for one person can be too warm for another, and vice versa. One thing everyone can agree on is that air conditioning offers a much-needed escape from the summer heat. Here’s everything you need to know about setting your home’s thermostat so you, your family, and friends can enjoy the North Shore summer in an energy-efficient way.

The Ideal AC Thermostat Temperature When You’re Home

The U.S. Department of Energy says if you want to stay comfortable and save money, the thermostat should be set to 78 degrees Fahrenheit when you’re at home. This temperature allows you to keep cool and avoid steep electrical bills. If that temperature feels too high, you might try one or more of the tips below to trap cool air in your home.

The Ideal AC Thermostat Temperature When You’re Away

Setting the indoor temperature a bit higher while everyone’s out of the house can help save you even more money. Try turning the thermostat up to 85 or 88 degrees any time your home will be empty for more than two hours. This simple step can save you as much as 10% on your cooling costs. Surprisingly, the higher temperature slows the flow of heat into your home. When you return home and turn the AC back on, it requires less energy than you might think to cool things down.

Tips For Maximizing Cooling Efforts in Your North Shore Home

If you find an indoor temp of 78 degrees is uncomfortably high, there are simple steps you can take to help your AC deliver better cooling while still using less energy. The trick is to prevent warmer air from getting into your home and cool air from escaping.

  • Keep curtain and blinds closed, especially in unoccupied rooms, to block sunlight and prevent heat from entering the house. Insulated cellular shades can reduce window heat loss by 40% or more.
  • Install new or replace old weather-stripping and caulk around windows and doors to keep your home sealed.
  • Replace an older AC unit with a more energy-efficient model.
  • Turn down the water heater and confine the use of heat-generating appliances, such as your oven and stove, to after 8 p.m.
  • Keep humidity at an optimal level with a whole-house humidifier.
  • Install ceiling fans to increase cooling efficiency.
  • Have the AC air handler checked. A faulty air handler forces your system to work twice as hard for subpar performance.

Consider a Programmable Thermostat

If you don’t have one already, installing a programmable thermostat ensures everyone enjoys a comfortable setting without missing out on any opportunity for savings. You can program different temperatures based on the time of day and whether you're at home or the house is empty. You never have to worry about forgetting to change a setting. Best of all, you can control smart thermostats with your smartphone or tablet, so you can start cooling your home 30 minutes before you arrive. They can also be programmed to know when everyone is in or out of the house and automatically adjust the settings accordingly. Some even display your home’s relative humidity.


To learn more about the ideal temperature setting for your North Shore home this summer or to schedule an appointment for AC repair, maintenance, or installation services, contact Cranney Home Services online today or call us at 978-750-6900.

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