Skip navigation

Location pin iconYou are viewing the Tallahassee, FL location.
Not your area? Select your location here:
Location pin iconWe serve 6 locations!
Select your location to get started:
Location pin iconYou are viewing the Tallahassee, FL location.
Not your area? Select your location here:
Location pin iconWe serve 6 locations!
Select your location to get started:

Serving the Gulf Coast

Professionals You Can Trust



Peaden Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical Blog

Understanding Your Thermostat and the Best Settings for Summer


We’re going to look over some air conditioning basics in this post, but often the basics are what people need to hear the most. When you have a malfunctioning air conditioning system, all you really need to remember is to call our professionals for air conditioning repair in Tallahassee, FL. We take care of all the complicated work to ensure your AC is back in working order. 

But when it comes to something basic like setting your thermostat, you might be making mistakes that cost you in both comfort and energy. We’re here to help you better understand your thermostat and how to set it to maximize both your cooling and your energy savings this summer.

The thermostat is a switch, not a throttle

You come back to a sweltering hot home in the afternoon. Do you run to the thermostat and crank it down low so you’ll cool the house off faster? Sorry to say this, but that won’t work—because that’s not how thermostats operate. A thermostat isn’t a throttle where the more you push it down (i.e. the temperature setting) the more it increases the output of cooling. 

A thermostat is a switch that tells the compressor of the AC when to cycle on and off. If you set it lower, it simply means the AC will run for longer to get to that colder temperature. Probably a temperature that’s too cold. If you set the thermostat too low (below 68°F), it may cause the AC to freeze up. This is why you want to have the thermostat raised as high as you find comfortable so it will lower the amount of time the air conditioner runs, reducing strain on the system and lowering your bills.

Slowing down heat gain

Another reason to push the thermostat up higher is to slow down heat gain in your home. When it’s hot outside, heat naturally moves into your house because it’s cooler. Insulation helps to slow it down, but it will still get in. However, the smaller the gap between indoor and outdoor temperatures, the slower heat gain occurs. So when you raise the thermostat, you’re helping to keep your house from getting too hot again too quickly, further reducing the amount of work the AC must do.

Recommended settings

Here are the thermostat settings that we and the US Department of Energy recommend to find the right match of comfort and lower energy use:

  • During the day when people are home: 78°F
  • At night or when the house is empty: 86°F–88°F

If 78°F feels too hot for your household, set the thermostat lower and then raise it one degree each day until people acclimatize to the higher setting. You should be able to get to 78°F wearing cooling clothes. Ceiling fans are also a great help.

Thermostat upgrade

If you still have an old manual thermostat that uses sliders and dials, or a plain digital thermostat without programmable features, it’s a wise idea to upgrade to the newest generation of Wi-Fi and smart thermostats. These devices give you new tools to save energy, from remote access to algorithms that learn your temperature patterns and create settings that maximize performance and efficiency. Feel free to talk to us about great thermostat upgrade choices.

Call today to discover The Peaden Way: Service Is Our Passion, Safety Is Our Priority, Satisfaction Is Our Promise.

Comments are closed.