Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 23 September 2019

This is the lowest temperature you should keep your air conditioning on, US government advises

What's cooler than cool? Not ice cold, as the song would have you believe

The optimum temperature to keep your air conditioning bat is warmer than you may think. Getty Images
The optimum temperature to keep your air conditioning bat is warmer than you may think. Getty Images

With the summer's heat and humidity at its peak, it can be tempting to dial our home air conditioning right down to temper the blaze outside.

However, the ideal temperature to keep your AC on is actually higher than you might expect.

According to US government programme Energy Star, to keep your energy usage and cost at the most efficient rate, you should hover your thermostat at the 25.5°C mark.

While that might sound surprisingly warm to some, this temperature should result in consistent energy bills, according to the federal programme.

The US Department of Energy also recommends setting your air conditioning to 25.5°C when you are at home, and using an additional dehumidifier if you find the air in your home particularly moist.

In a report released last month, Energy Star also recommended setting your AC at 29.4°C when you're out of the house, and 27.7°C while you're sleeping.

If that sounds too high for climes in the Middle East, you might be mistaken. Florida's Public Service Commission recommends residents also use the same AC temperatures advised by Energy Star, in a state where humidity levels can top more than 90 per cent.

What we should we be doing with our AC when we're away?

For those in two minds about whether they should turn their air conditioning off when leaving home for a vacation, the expert advice is to leave it running at a stable temperature.

“Before leaving, make sure that you leave your AC on, on low, setting it to turn on once per day for a short amount of time – don’t turn it off,” Manar Alkassar, founder and managing director of Helpling Middle East, told The National last month. “The AC not only cools down the house but also removes humidity that could form due to condensation, which prevents mould spreading. It also avoids the overheating of the ambiences, protecting electronic items and furniture from being exposed to high summer temperatures."

The optimum temperature for your home during the summer is 24°C, according to Helpling Middle East; however, when you are not at home, they advise shifting the thermostat 4°C to 6°C higher. Keeping your home at 29.5°C for eight hours a day can save you between five and 15 per cent on your water cooler bills each year.

Updated: August 20, 2019 09:58 AM

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