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Best Thermostat Settings for Spring and Summer Savings

May 10th, 2019

There is a lot of misinformation when it comes to home heating and cooling, including how to use the thermostat, and whether setting the temperature back will save you any money or not.

Thermostat Myths

For instance, you may hear some people (and even technicians!) say that your home’s heating and cooling is like your refrigerator. You don’t constantly change the temperature of your refrigerator, so you shouldn’t do the same with your HVAC system. This, as we will show you, is completely wrong.

Let’s say that it is 100 degrees outside and you leave the house and turn up the thermostat to 80 degrees. When you come home and turn the thermostat back down to 75, your air conditioner doesn’t have to work harder, as some might say, but simply has to work longer. Additionally, the higher temperature inside the house means less heat flow from the outside. The greater the temperature difference, the higher the rate of energy loss.

Now, if your air conditioner isn’t in great shape, this may be enough to cause a system breakdown, but if you have been scheduling annual maintenance on your HVAC system, it shouldn’t be a problem at all. And the energy savings will be significant.

Thermostat Settings

According to the U.S. Energy Department, you can save 5%-15% a year on your cooling bill by turning up the thermostat 10 to 15 degrees higher for 8 hours — that’s a 1% savings for each degree you turn the thermostat up (for an 8-hour period).

If you have no idea which temperatures to set for your programmable thermostat, start with these settings and then adjust it from there:

thermostat settings for summer savings - Service Champions


Use your thermostat to save a lot of energy and money by remembering to turn it up while you are away or asleep (greater than 78 degrees). We recommend installing a programmable thermostat so that you don’t have to remember to adjust the temperature every time, and also to avoid any discomfort by returning to the desired temperature before you wake up or return home.

How to Operate Your Thermostat Efficiently

Here are some thermostat savings tips straight from the U.S. Department of Energy:

  • Set your thermostat as high as comfortably possible in the summer. The smaller the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the lower your overall cooling bill will be.
  • Keep your house warmer than normal when you are away, and lower the thermostat setting to 78°F (26°C) only when you are at home and need cooling. A programmable thermostat can make it easy to set back your temperature.
  • Find out how to operate your thermostat for maximum energy savings.
  • Also see the ENERGY STAR® June 5, 2008, podcast for video instructions on operating your programmable thermostat.
  • Avoid setting your thermostat at a colder setting than normal when you turn on your air conditioner. It will not cool your home any faster and could result in excessive cooling and unnecessary expense.

For consistent cooling this spring and summer, get your air conditioning full system tune-up now! Call Service Champions today for our limited-time $78 AC Tune-Up with Free Duct Inspection.

Enroll in our MVP Maintenance Value Plan to help reduce energy costs and keep your HVAC and electrical system running safely and efficiently all year long.

Service Champions is known for trustworthy, on-time heating and air conditioning service throughout the East Bay, South Bay, and Sacramento areas.

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