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What Temperature Should I Set My Air Conditioner in Summer?

a woman using an ac remote from her couch

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With the summer months approaching, the temperatures increase, making many homeowners wonder about their air conditioner settings and configuration. One of the most commonly asked questions is: “What temperature should I set my AC during the summer?”

Although this question may seem straightforward at first glance, the answer depends on your circumstances. If your home is equipped with a mini split system, here’s how to configure it during the summer.

What Are the Government’s Recommendations?

If you’re unsure where to start, the Department of Energy’s Energy Star program recommends setting your mini split’s thermostat to 78°F during the summer, programming it to increase by 4°F (targeting 82°F) during the night and 7°F when away from home (targeting 85°F). 

These temperature recommendations are intended to balance comfort and energy savings, preventing you from running your mini split air conditioning system too hard. The bigger the difference between the AC’s target and outdoor temperature, the harder your air conditioner will run, and the more your energy bills will rise, regardless of your unit’s efficiency ratings.

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However, some people may find these target temperature settings too warm. Most homeowners may want to set the thermostat lower; however, setting it too low may cause your electricity expenses to increase dramatically.

a person using a remote on a mini split thats blowing cold air

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How to Balance Comfort and Energy Savings?

The first step is determining which temperature you consider most comfortable during summer. Although your personal preferences may vary, most people find the DOE-recommended 78°F too high, preferring somewhere between 72°F and 75°F instead.

Once you know your ideal temperature, use that number as your target temperature when everyone is at home. Afterward, follow the DOE temperature setup recommendations: Increase by 4°F at night and by 8°F during the day when nobody is at home.

Most modern mini splits, such as Gree air conditioner systems, can be programmed to target different temperatures at different times, allowing you to reach your ideal temperature ranges easily.

For example, if you have a single-zone Gree mini split 12,000 BTU Vireo system in your bedroom, this unit is compatible with Wi-Fi and the GREE+ mobile application, allowing you to program the unit from your smartphone.

If you’ve determined your ideal temperature in your home is 72°F, you can use the app to set the thermostat at that temperature in the mornings and the evenings, and then program it to target 76°F at night and 80°F during work hours when the house isn’t occupied.

Extra Tips to Increase Comfort and Energy Efficiency

Although balancing your comfort needs with energy savings is critical during the summer, here are a few tips to ensure you can enjoy a comfortable home at the perfect thermostat without breaking the bank.

Pay attention to the efficiency ratings.

All air conditioning units feature energy efficiency ratings in cooling mode: the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio or SEER rating. The higher a particular mini split system’s SEER rating is, the less energy it requires than a unit of the same BTU capacity.

For example, if you compare a Mitsubishi 6,000 BTU mini split system with another brand’s 6,000 BTU mini split unit, check which of the two has the highest SEER rating; that system will be the most energy-efficient. Mitsubishi mini split systems frequently reach 30 SEER or more.

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Check if your unit is Energy Star rated.

The Energy Star program is a joint venture between the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The program’s primary objective is to test and rate the most energy-efficient home appliances available in America, including mini split AC systems.

A mini split air conditioning system must meet certain minimum specifications to qualify for an Energy Star rating, including a SEER rating of 15 or more.

a person using a remote for a mini split inside a room

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Program it and forget it.

On the most sweltering days, changing the thermostat lower than its current setting can be tempting, even if you have already programmed it to hit the best balance of comfort and energy savings. However, your mini split system will not deliver cool air any faster. It will work harder to try and meet the new target temperature, increasing energy expenses.

Stay Cool and Comfortable During Summer with ComfortUp

ComfortUp is a leading online supplier of high-quality mini split air conditioning systems, ideal for use year-round. Browse our selection of single-zone and multi-zone air conditioning units made by the world’s top-rated manufacturers, including Gree, Mitsubishi Electric, LG, Boreal, and Rheem. 

We ship most orders within one business day to ensure you take control of your home’s climate as soon as possible. 

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