If you’re looking for advice on the ideal thermostat settings, the real question you want answered is probably, “How can I stay comfortable while still keeping my utility bills low?” There is no set-in-stone answer, as everyone has their own unique comfort level, preferences, and budget. However, there are some general guidelines you can follow. In addition, if you’re having trouble keeping your home comfortable while still keeping your utility bills within your budget, it may be time to talk to a certified HVAC technician about your system. Routine maintenance can help your HVAC system stay as efficient as possible. And if it’s time to replace your system, an HVAC technician can recommend an energy-efficient solution that’s sized appropriately for your home.

Determining Your Ideal Thermostat Settings

According to most utility companies, the ideal thermostat settings are 78 degrees during the summer. However, for many people living in Arizona, 78 degrees is just too hot to stay comfortable. This is especially true if you’ve been outdoors for a while or driving around in a hot car. You’ll definitely want to come home to a nice, cool house and relax. You might want to start at 78 degrees, and then lower the temperature as needed until you find the ideal thermostat settings for your family.

In the winter, the recommended temperature is 68 degrees. Again, for most Arizonians, this temperature might be considered a little low. Arizonians are accustomed to feeling warmer. A house that is as chilly as 68 degrees during the winter might not be comfortable enough. However, you could start by setting the temperature to 68 degrees during the winter. Then, adjust upward as needed to find the ideal thermostat settings that will keep your family comfortable.

Note that your ideal thermostat settings may change from time to time. If you’ve recently welcomed a new baby into your family, you may need to keep the house a little warmer in the winter and a little cooler during the summer. In the summer, babies are much more susceptible to heat rash than adults. Babies also have trouble maintaining their warm body temperature during the winter. This is true even for healthy, full-term infants.

Exploring the Ideal Thermostat Settings While You’re at Work

Your ideal thermostat settings will change depending on whether the house is currently vacant or occupied. To save money on your electric bill, you will undoubtedly want to increase the thermostat during the summer while you’re at work. Likewise, you’ll want to lower the temperature during the winter.

Know that if you typically come home between the hours of 4p.m. and 6p.m. it’s best to avoid raising the thermostat too much before you leave in the morning. This is because your AC will have to work much harder to lower the temperature again. Between the hours of four and six, your house hasn’t yet had a chance to cool off as the outside temperatures dip in the evening.

However, if you typically come home from work after sunset, you should feel comfortable increasing the thermostat settings by four or five degrees during the day while you’re gone. Your system won’t have to work as hard to cool off your house again when you return home.

Figuring Out the Ideal Thermostat Settings During Your Vacation

The summer is peak vacation time for many families. You might think it’s best to turn off your system entirely to save money. However, this is problematic for a number of reasons. First, if you have pets and they will be cared for in your own home, they can die in the summer heat without air conditioning. You can typically increase the temperature by four to five degrees, but no higher than this for the safety of your pets. Families without pets and those who plan to board their pets during vacation should also avoid shutting off the AC entirely. If you have plants in your home, the temperature shouldn’t be higher than 85 degrees. Even if you lack pets and plants, shutting off the AC entirely can be problematic. Artwork, documents, a wine collection, and even electronics can all suffer damage in the high heat of an Arizona summer. You can increase the temperature to cut costs, but you definitely shouldn’t shut off the system completely. 

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The certified HVAC technicians at Intelligent Design are available to perform routine maintenance to keep your system functioning at its most efficient. If your ideal thermostat settings aren’t keeping your utility bills within budget, talk to us about replacing your old heating and air conditioning systems with better, more energy-efficient appliances. We take the time to measure your home accurately, and discuss your lifestyle needs and preferences before recommending an option that fits your budget. Call us in Tucson at (520) 462-1126 to request an estimate.