The summer heat in Iowa can be brutal. A lot of times it can seem like you have to choose between keeping your energy bills low or staying cool in your home, but with some thermostat tricks, you can stay comfortable without racking up a huge utility bill.

Best Thermostat Setting for Summer

During the summer, it’s best to set your thermostat as high you can while staying comfortable – the smaller the difference between the set temperature indoors and outdoor temperature, the lower your bill will be. Everyone has a different preferred temperature, but it’s recommended to keep your home at least an average of 78° to ensure a comfortable living space and control indoor humidity. Contrary to popular belief, cranking your AC as soon as you get home or notice it’s warm will not blow cooler air into your house. Simply set the thermostat to the desired temperature and let the unit cool your home gradually.

Programming Your Thermostat

Using a programmable thermostat can also help you save. Setting your thermostat up 7°-10° while you are not home will reduce your cooling bill as much as 10% a year! Set your thermostat to the desired temperature while you are home during the evening, night, and morning hours. Then, set the thermostat to increase while you are away. That way, the unit won’t work to cool your home while you aren’t there to enjoy it. Increase the thermostat setting by no more than 10° from your preferred temperature. If your climate is more severe, increase no more than 5° to maximize energy savings. While a higher interior temperature will slow the heat transfer into your home, it will take more energy to bring the interior temperature back down, reducing savings in the long run if it is a particularly hot day.

Finding your preferred thermostat settings may take a bit of trial and error. We recommend programming your thermostat to switch to your preferred lower temperature an hour or two before you plan to arrive home to enjoy the cooler environment.

Other Thermostat Best Practices

Thermostat location can also contribute to unnecessary air conditioner cycling by providing a false reading, known as a ghost reading. For the best performance, install your thermostat on an interior wall away from direct sunlight and doors or windows that could cause drafts. Choose a location that experiences both rising hot and falling cool air. Locations like the kitchen, laundry room, by the front door, and above an air vent can all cause incorrect temperature readings.

For a new thermostat or any HVAC installation or repair needs, call us at 515-285-3111 to schedule a service. If you’re experiencing temperature imbalance issues or loss of airflow, we can help make sure your unit is in good working condition.