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Expert Tips for Setting the Best Temperature on Your AC During Summer

Setting your AC to The Right Temperature

Living in Austin, Texas, means enduring scorching summers where the sweltering heat can make stepping outside feel like stepping into an oven. In such conditions, our air conditioning (AC) becomes our lifeline, providing a cool refuge from the relentless sun. But setting the perfect temperature on your AC can be a daunting task, especially when you’re balancing comfort with energy efficiency. As an HVAC technician with years of experience serving the Austin community, I’ve witnessed firsthand the struggles homeowners face in finding that elusive sweet spot. In this comprehensive guide, I’ll share expert tips and real-life anecdotes to help you navigate the quest for the best temperature to set your AC during the hot summer months.

Understanding the Best Temperature for Indoor Comfort:

When it comes to indoor comfort, finding the ideal temperature is a highly subjective matter. However, industry guidelines from organizations like the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) can offer valuable insights. In my experience, most Austinites find comfort in indoor temperatures ranging from 72°F to 78°F. This range strikes a balance between keeping cool and minimizing energy consumption.

Real-Life Stories:

One memorable encounter I had was with a homeowner who insisted on setting their thermostat to a bone-chilling 65°F year-round. Despite their best intentions to achieve maximum comfort, they were blindsided by exorbitant energy bills. Through a series of adjustments and education on energy efficiency, we were able to find a more moderate temperature setting that kept them comfortable without draining their wallet.

Consider Energy Efficiency:

Energy efficiency is a key consideration, especially in a city like Austin where air conditioning accounts for a significant portion of household energy consumption. I once received a call from a homeowner whose AC was struggling to cope with the heat. Upon inspection, I discovered that their thermostat was set to a frosty 60°F in a misguided attempt to combat the sweltering temperatures outside. By resetting the thermostat to a more reasonable temperature and implementing energy-saving measures, we were able to restore comfort while significantly reducing energy costs.

Optimal Temperature Settings for Different Scenarios:

  • During the Day: Setting your thermostat to 78°F during the day can help strike a balance between comfort and energy savings. Consider using ceiling fans or closing blinds to enhance cooling efficiency and reduce the workload on your AC.
  • At Night: Lowering the temperature slightly to 75°F at night can promote better sleep and relaxation. Experiment with different settings to find what works best for you and your family.
  • When Away from Home: When leaving for extended periods, such as vacations, consider raising the thermostat to 80°F to conserve energy. However, avoid turning off the AC completely, as this can lead to humidity issues and potential discomfort upon your return.

Additional Tips for Summer Comfort:

  • Insulation: Ensure your home is properly insulated to minimize heat transfer and maximize AC efficiency. Seal any gaps or cracks around doors and windows to prevent cool air from escaping and warm air from infiltrating.
  • Ceiling Fans: Utilize ceiling fans to improve air circulation and create a comfortable breeze effect. Remember to adjust the direction of your ceiling fan blades to counterclockwise during the summer months for optimal cooling.
  • Regular Maintenance: Schedule routine maintenance checks for your AC system to keep it running smoothly and efficiently throughout the summer. This includes cleaning or replacing air filters, inspecting ductwork for leaks, and lubricating moving parts.


Finding the best temperature to set your AC during the summer in Austin is a delicate balance between personal comfort and energy efficiency. By following expert tips and real-life examples, you can navigate this challenge with confidence. Whether you’re adjusting your thermostat during the day, at night, or when away from home, remember that small changes can make a big difference in your comfort and energy savings.

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