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WRITTEN BY
JOE COOLS
27
November 2017

What’s the best temperature to set your air conditioner to during summer?

The simple answer is there isn’t one. It’s arbitrary and can vary depending upon what your family considers ‘best’ for the household.

Setting the perfect air conditioning temperature that makes everyone happy can be awfully difficult. So how do you determine the right temperature that’s comfortably cool enough for those hot summer days and won’t send your energy bill sky high?

Handy pointers to the best temperature to set your air conditioner to during summer.

Here’s a ‘COOL IDEA’ on how to strike the perfect balance between comfort and affordability.

First set the temperature that’s optimal for your family’s comfort during the summer. This may require negotiation, as we all know what’s a comfortable temperature for one person can be completely different for another.

Second be mindful about the temperature setting. The lower the temperature setting, the more your air conditioner will consume energy resulting in you just blowing your dough.

The thermal comfort level for a human being depends on whether they are male or female, what their age is, their height, coverage of body fat, level of physical activity and the clothing worn inside the home. The notion of one-size-fits-all for temperature is a thermostatic misnomer.

Modern ducted air conditioning system’s have special features such as programmable thermostats and zoned areas which can make it very easy to match the cooling needs to your family’s comfort and their activity schedule.

Consumer satisfaction research company Canstar Blue says that for optimum cooling and energy efficiency, it’s best to set your air conditioner’s temperature in summer to 24-25 degrees. Every degree cooler than this optimum temperature will generally consume about 10 percent or more energy.

If you’re a little more heat tolerant, experiment with the temperature by raising it one degree at a time to see how it affects your comfort and energy consumption. Small changes to the set cooling temperature can make a significant difference to the cost of running an air conditioner.

The table below demonstrates cost of cooling according to the size of the air conditioning appliance and the temperature selected by the household.

Table 1: Hourly cost of air con cooling temperature settings

Cooling Capacity 21° 22° 23° 24° 25°
2.5kW $0.16 $0.14 $0.13 $0.12 $0.11
3.5kW $0.26 $0.24 $0.21 $0.19 $0.18
5.0kW $0.40 $0.37 $0.33 $0.30 $0.25
6.0kW $0.50 $0.46 $0.40 $0.37 $0.33
7.1kW $0.58 $0.53 $0.47 $0.43 $0.38
8.0kW $0.66 $0.61 $0.53 $0.49 $0.46
10kW $0.87 $0.80 $0.70 $0.65; $0.52
14kW $1.34 $1.22 $1.08 $0.99 $0.92

Assumes 28.479c/kWh electricity usage rate.
Source: https://www.canstarblue.com.au/energy/electricity/air-con-temperature-costing/

When you do find the ‘best’ set temperature for your air conditioning system, keep in mind the location of the temperature sensor is generally located in a common area (for ease of accessibility) and this may be a different location in the home to that which you are occupying. For example the sensor may be located in the hallway but you are working in the kitchen/dining room. This means that you may need to adjust the temperature setting to compensate for the difference in temperature between the two locations or where you spend most of your time.

And remember, temperatures fluctuate throughout the day depending upon where the heat load is within the home. So it’s a ‘COOL IDEA’ to experiment with the temperature setting to discover exactly what is the best temperature for you.

  • Let us know if you’ve been able to keep your cool and find the ‘best’ temperature to strike that perfect balance between comfort and affordability.
  • If you can’t and would like to know more about installing an air conditioning system that allows for greater flexibility in matching your comfort needs and budget – just contact us.

Contact Joe Cools Adelaide.

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