What Temp To Leave Ac On When Not Home

What Temp To Leave Ac On When Not Home

What Temperature to Leave AC On When Not Home: A Comprehensive Guide


In the sweltering heat of summer, air conditioning (AC) provides a much-needed respite from the oppressive temperatures. However, when you’re not home, it’s important to consider the most energy-efficient and cost-effective way to keep your home cool while you’re away. This article will explore the optimal temperature to set your AC on when you’re not home, providing detailed information, practical examples, and additional facts to help you make an informed decision.

Optimal Temperature to Set AC on When Not Home

The ideal temperature to leave your AC on when you’re not home is generally between 78-85 degrees Fahrenheit (25-29 degrees Celsius). This range offers a balance between comfort and energy efficiency.

  • Energy Savings: Higher temperatures require less energy to maintain, reducing your electricity consumption and utility bills.
  • Comfort: While higher temperatures may not be as comfortable as cooler settings, they can still provide a tolerable level of coolness while you’re away.


  • Climate: If you live in an extremely hot climate, you may want to set your AC slightly higher, such as 82-85 degrees Fahrenheit (28-29 degrees Celsius).
  • Length of Absence: If you’re going away for an extended period, such as a vacation, you can set your AC a few degrees higher to save even more energy.
  • Home Insulation: A well-insulated home will retain coolness better, allowing you to set your AC to a slightly higher temperature.
  • Sunlight Exposure: Homes with large windows or skylights that receive direct sunlight may need to be cooled to a lower temperature to offset heat gain.


  • Summer Daytime: 80-82 degrees Fahrenheit (27-28 degrees Celsius)
  • Extended Absence: 83-85 degrees Fahrenheit (28-29 degrees Celsius)
  • Well-Insulated Home: 82 degrees Fahrenheit (28 degrees Celsius)
  • Home with Large Windows: 78-80 degrees Fahrenheit (25-27 degrees Celsius)

Additional Facts

  • Turn off Electronics: Electronics emit heat, so turn them off or unplug them when you leave home to minimize heat gain.
  • Use Fans: Ceiling or floor fans can circulate air and make your home feel cooler without using AC.
  • Close Curtains: Close curtains or blinds on windows that receive direct sunlight to block heat gain.
  • Consider a Smart Thermostat: Smart thermostats can automatically adjust the temperature based on your schedule and preferences, saving energy and keeping your home comfortable.

Table: Temperature Recommendations Based on Circumstances

CircumstanceTemperature Range
Normal daytime80-82 degrees Fahrenheit (27-28 degrees Celsius)
Extended absence83-85 degrees Fahrenheit (28-29 degrees Celsius)
Well-insulated home82 degrees Fahrenheit (28 degrees Celsius)
Home with large windows78-80 degrees Fahrenheit (25-27 degrees Celsius)

Interesting Pieces of Information

  • The average household spends over $2,000 per year on cooling costs.
  • Setting your AC to 78 degrees Fahrenheit (25 degrees Celsius) or higher can reduce energy consumption by up to 10%.
  • Every degree you lower your thermostat below 78 degrees Fahrenheit (25 degrees Celsius) increases energy consumption by about 6%.
  • A ceiling fan can make a room feel up to 10 degrees Fahrenheit (5 degrees Celsius) cooler.
  • Air conditioners use more energy when they have to start up from a higher temperature.


1. How much money can I save by setting my AC to a higher temperature?

  • The amount of money you save will vary depending on factors such as your energy rates, local climate, and cooling system efficiency. However, you can expect to save up to 10% on your cooling costs by setting your AC to 78 degrees Fahrenheit (25 degrees Celsius) or higher.

2. Is it OK to set my AC to 68 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) when I’m not home?

  • While it may be tempting to set your AC to a lower temperature for maximum comfort, this is not recommended when you’re away. It will consume significantly more energy and may not provide much additional coolness.

3. Should I turn my AC off completely when I’m not home?

  • It is generally not recommended to turn your AC off completely for short periods. The startup process can consume more energy than simply leaving the AC on at a higher temperature.

4. What if I have pets at home?

  • If you have pets, you may want to set your AC slightly lower, such as 76-78 degrees Fahrenheit (24-25 degrees Celsius), to ensure their comfort.

5. How often should I change my AC filter?

  • Changing your AC filter regularly (every 3-6 months) will help maintain efficiency and prevent premature wear and tear.


Setting your AC to the optimal temperature when you’re not home can significantly reduce your energy consumption and utility costs while still providing a comfortable level of coolness. By considering factors such as climate, length of absence, home insulation, and sunlight exposure, you can choose the ideal temperature setting for your specific circumstances. Remember to turn off electronics, use fans, and close curtains to minimize heat gain and enhance the efficiency of your AC system.

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