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What Temperature Should You Set Your AC When You’re Away? A Phoenix Tech Answers

If you’re planning on being away from your home (whether you’re just at work for 8 hours or on vacation), chances are you don’t want to pay for your home to be cooled while you’re gone.

That being said, turning your AC off completely is hard on your system and can result in breakdowns or a shortened system lifespan.

So here’s the trick to keeping your home cool when you’re there and saving money when you’re not:

Set your thermostat 5-10 degrees higher than your optimal temperature when you’re away.

Below, we’ll break down why you should set your temperature higher when you’re away and the best way to seamlessly change your home’s temperature.

Why set your thermostat 5-10 degrees higher

According to Energy.gov, you can save up to 10% a year on heating and cooling if you turn your thermostat 7°-10°F higher/lower than your typical temperature setting for 8 hours a day.

However, in Arizona, where temperatures regularly reach over 100 degrees, that large of an increase may be too difficult on your AC system. Our suggestion would be to increase your home’s temperature 5-10 degrees instead, so the temperature swing isn’t so hard on your system.

For example, in the summer, if you keep your thermostat at 75 degrees, turning it up to 80-85 degrees while you’re at work could save you money.

During the winter, if you keep your thermostat at 75 degrees, turning it down between 65-70 degrees for 8 hours a day could save you money.


Let's take a closer look at how this tip saves you money in the summer...

The smaller the difference between the indoor temperature and the outdoor temperature, the less your AC has to work. The less your AC has to work, the lower your overall cooling expenses will be.

Essentially, if you set your temperature 5-10 degrees closer to the outside temperature, cooling your home back down to your ideal temperature won’t take as much energy.

Okay, but if I’m turning my AC up that high, can I just turn the system off completely?

Turning your AC on and off puts a lot of strain on your system, which can result in costly repairs and spikes in cooling costs.

Think of it like this: Your car will burn through more gas if you slam on your breaks and then hit the gas pedal instead of gradually slowing down and then speeding back up. Turning your AC on and off will burn more energy than simply changing the temperature.

That being said, we understand that adjusting your thermostat before you leave and when you return is inconvenient and uncomfortable (i.e. coming home to a stuffy, warm house).

The solution: Install a smart thermostat.

Automate your temperature changes with a smart thermostat

Installing a smart thermostat allows you to easily control the temperature in your home, whether you’re there or not.

For example, let’s say you want to set the temperature to 78° while you’re home but increase to 83° while you’re away.

With a smart thermostat, you could set the thermostat to automatically adjust at set times that coordinate with your schedule. That way, by the time you return home, your air is cool and you don’t have to come home to a hot, stuffy house.

The best part? With a smart thermostat, you can control your home’s temperature from your phone.

Ready to save money on cooling bills? Contact our team of pros

Our team of experienced professionals can help you choose the best smart thermostat for your home and install it for you. Ready to save money and make cooling your home easier?

Schedule thermostat installation