Best AC Temperature for Energy Saving in the Atlanta Metro Area

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Thermostat set to the best AC temperature for energy saving in a home.
Setting your thermostat to the best AC temperature for energy saving can significantly reduce energy bills and enhance comfort in the Atlanta Metro area.

Today, Atlanta Metro folks experienced a high of 81°F during the day and a low of 61°F at night; it felt like 88°F at the peak. Humidity levels were around 64%, and the weather was partly cloudy with some rain. As summer sets in, such conditions are typical for this part of the country. The combination of heat and humidity can make staying cool a challenge. Managing your indoor climate becomes very important to maintain a good quality of life, and one should stay conscious of saving energy and reducing costs.

The hot and humid climate of Georgia means that air conditioners work overtime to maintain comfortable indoor temperatures. This constant demand can lead to high energy bills if your AC system isn’t managed efficiently. We decided to talk about some best practices for programming your air conditioner so you could achieve significant energy savings while keeping your home comfortable.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, setting your air conditioner to specific temperatures can significantly enhance energy efficiency. Here’s a detailed breakdown:

  • Daytime (at home): Set your air conditioner to 78°F (25.5°C). This temperature balances comfort and energy savings.
  • Nighttime (sleeping): For sleeping, a cooler setting around 74°F (23°C) is recommended. This ensures comfort without excessive energy use.
  • Away from Home / Vacation: When you’re not at home, set the thermostat to 85°F (29.5°C) or higher. This reduces energy consumption significantly without compromising your comfort when you return.

Table of Recommended Temperature Settings

Use the table below if you want to program your thermostat yourself, or call Aaron Services and our technicians will set it all up for you:

Climate / ScenarioDaytime (at home)Nighttime (sleeping)Away from Home / Vacation
Hot and Humid Climates78°F (25.5°C)74°F (23°C)85°F (29.5°C) or higher
Dry Climates77°F (25°C)73°F (22.5°C)85°F (29.5°C) or higher
Moderate Climates78°F (25.5°C) or natural ventilation74°F (23°C)85°F (29.5°C) or higher
Winter68°F (20°C)66°F (19°C)55°F (13°C)

The Impact of Humidity on Comfort and Energy Savings

High humidity significantly affects indoor comfort. When humidity levels are high, the air feels warmer than it actually is, which increases discomfort and forces your AC to work harder, leading to higher energy use. Managing indoor climate effectively in Atlanta’s hot and humid summers can profoundly impact your energy bills and overall comfort. Here are some key strategies to help you get started on this journey to energy efficiency.

The Role of Humidity

  • How High Humidity Affects Comfort and Perceived Temperature: High humidity makes the air feel warmer than the actual temperature because it slows the evaporation of sweat from your skin, which is your body’s natural cooling mechanism. This can make indoor environments feel sticky and uncomfortable, even if the temperature is not excessively high.
  • Importance of Managing Humidity for Energy Efficiency: Controlling indoor humidity is essential for maintaining a comfortable environment and reducing energy costs. When humidity is properly managed, your air conditioning system doesn’t have to work as hard to cool your home, leading to lower energy consumption and costs.

Variable Speed HVAC Systems

  • Benefits of Variable Speed Systems in Controlling Humidity: Variable speed HVAC systems can adjust their speed to match the cooling needs of your home, which allows them to remove humidity more effectively without overcooling the air. These systems run at lower speeds for longer periods, providing consistent cooling and better humidity control.
  • Example: For instance, in Atlanta’s hot and humid climate, air with reduced humidity at 78°F (25.5°C) can feel more refreshing and comfortable than cooler, humid air. This can further optimize energy savings while maintaining comfort.

Dehumidifiers and Their Role

Types of Dehumidifiers:

  • Portable Dehumidifiers: These are ideal for individual rooms or specific areas in your home where humidity is particularly high. They are easy to move and can be used as needed.
  • Whole-House Dehumidifiers: Integrated with your HVAC system, these dehumidifiers manage humidity throughout your entire home, providing a comprehensive solution.

Benefits of Dehumidifiers

Dehumidifiers help reduce indoor humidity levels, making your home feel cooler and more comfortable. They also prevent the growth of mold and mildew, which can thrive in humid conditions and cause health issues and structural damage.

Specific Recommendations for Homes in the Atlanta Metro Area

Given the high humidity levels typical of Atlanta summers, investing in a whole-house dehumidifier can be particularly beneficial. These systems work in conjunction with your HVAC system to provide consistent humidity control throughout your home, enhancing comfort and efficiency.

By effectively managing humidity with variable speed HVAC systems and dehumidifiers, you can maintain a comfortable indoor environment while optimizing energy use. Implementing these strategies is especially important in the Atlanta Metro area, where high humidity is a common challenge during the summer months.

Reducing HVAC-Related Energy Costs

High humidity can significantly impact both comfort and energy costs, especially in areas like the Atlanta Metro. One summer, a local family noticed their energy bills spiking despite their efforts to keep the house cool. They decided to investigate further and discovered several key areas where they could improve their home’s energy efficiency.

Smart Thermostats

The family’s first step was to install a smart thermostat. Devices like Nest and Ecobee offer numerous advantages for optimizing energy use. These thermostats learn your schedule, automatically adjust temperatures, and allow remote control via smartphone. For instance, the family found that by setting their thermostat to adjust temperatures during the day when no one was home, they could save significantly on energy costs.

  • Advantages: Smart thermostats optimize energy use by learning your routine and adjusting temperatures accordingly. They also provide remote control capabilities, allowing you to manage your home’s climate from anywhere.
  • How They Work: These devices learn your schedule, predict when you’re home or away, and make temperature adjustments to save energy without sacrificing comfort.

Sealing Leaky Windows and Doors

Next, they tackled sealing leaky windows and doors. They noticed that cool air was escaping through small gaps around windows and doors, making their AC work harder to maintain the desired temperature. By using simple solutions like weatherstripping, caulking, and door sweeps, they were able to prevent cool air from escaping, enhancing comfort and reducing the workload on their air conditioner.

  • Importance: Preventing cool air from escaping is crucial for maintaining an efficient HVAC system.
  • Simple Solutions: Weatherstripping, caulking, and installing door sweeps can effectively seal gaps and improve your home’s insulation.

Regular AC Tune-Ups

They also realized the importance of regular AC tune-ups. Despite being relatively new, their system was not running as efficiently as it could. A professional tune-up included cleaning coils, checking refrigerant levels, and ensuring all components were in good working order. After this comprehensive maintenance, their AC ran more efficiently, reducing energy consumption.

  • Importance: Regular maintenance is essential for ensuring your HVAC system runs efficiently and has a long lifespan.
  • What’s Included: A comprehensive tune-up typically involves cleaning coils, checking refrigerant levels, and ensuring all components are functioning properly.

Practical Tips for Energy Savings

The family also adopted several practical tips for energy savings:

  • Use Ceiling Fans: Ceiling fans help distribute cool air effectively, allowing for a higher thermostat setting without sacrificing comfort.
  • Close Curtains and Blinds: By reducing heat gain from direct sunlight, they were able to keep their home cooler naturally.
  • Install Energy-Efficient Windows: Although an investment, energy-efficient windows improve insulation and significantly reduce cooling costs.

Through these strategies, the family not only managed to reduce their energy bills but also maintained a comfortable home environment throughout the hot and humid Atlanta summer. These tips and solutions are practical for any homeowner looking to optimize their HVAC system’s performance and save on energy costs.

Expert Tips for Maintaining Ideal Indoor Conditions

Monitor and Adjust Humidity Levels: Maintaining proper humidity levels is crucial for both comfort and energy efficiency. Using hygrometers to track indoor humidity can help you stay within the ideal range of 30% to 50%. This range prevents the air from feeling too dry or too humid, which can lead to discomfort and potential health issues. In Atlanta’s humid climate, it’s especially important to monitor humidity levels during the summer months. A hygrometer is a simple and effective tool that provides real-time humidity readings, allowing you to make necessary adjustments promptly.

Regularly monitoring your indoor humidity with a hygrometer can significantly improve your home’s comfort and energy efficiency. It helps maintain optimal humidity levels, which is crucial in areas like Atlanta, where humidity can fluctuate drastically.
Aaron A.
CEO of Aaron Services
Replacing air filters regularly and keeping vents clear are simple yet effective ways to optimize your HVAC system’s performance. These practices help maintain good airflow, improve air quality, and extend the lifespan of your system.
John P.
HVAC Technician

Optimize HVAC System Performance: Optimizing your HVAC system’s performance is essential for maintaining a comfortable indoor environment. One key practice is regularly replacing air filters. Dirty or clogged filters can restrict airflow, causing your HVAC system to work harder and less efficiently. Replacing filters every one to three months, depending on your system and usage, can enhance airflow and improve indoor air quality. Additionally, keeping vents and registers clear of obstructions ensures that air can circulate freely throughout your home, preventing hot or cold spots and reducing the strain on your HVAC system.

Energy-Saving Practices: Implementing energy-saving practices can lead to significant cost savings and improved HVAC efficiency. Scheduling regular HVAC maintenance is crucial. Professional maintenance typically includes inspecting and cleaning components, checking refrigerant levels, and ensuring the system operates efficiently. This proactive approach can prevent costly repairs and extend the life of your HVAC system. Additionally, using programmable thermostats to automate temperature adjustments can optimize energy use. Programmable thermostats allow you to set different temperatures for different times of the day, ensuring your system runs efficiently without sacrificing comfort.

Regularly monitoring your indoor humidity with a hygrometer can significantly Schedule regular maintenance, and using programmable thermostats is a key energy-saving practice. These steps help your HVAC system run more efficiently, reducing energy consumption and lowering utility bills.
Hunter H.
HVAC Technician

Take the Next Step

Ready to optimize your home’s climate and enjoy the benefits of improved comfort and energy savings? Let Aaron Services help you make the necessary changes. From smart thermostat installations and humidity management to comprehensive HVAC tune-ups, our team of experts is dedicated to providing you with the best solutions tailored to your needs.

Take the next step towards a more efficient and comfortable home. Schedule a service with Aaron Services today and discover how our personalized HVAC services can transform your indoor environment. Schedule Service

Experience the peace of mind that comes with professional care and expertise. Aaron Services: your trusted partner in HVAC excellence since 1978.


Case Study


During the peak summer heat, it’s crucial to adjust your thermostat settings to keep your home cool while managing energy costs. Setting your AC to 78°F (25.5°C) during the day helps balance comfort and efficiency. Atlanta summers are known for their intense heat and high humidity, often reaching temperatures in the high 80s to 90s°F (30-35°C). Using dehumidifiers can effectively manage the high humidity levels, which can exceed 60%, making your indoor environment more comfortable.


In Atlanta’s mild winters, which typically see temperatures ranging from the 30s to 50s°F (0-10°C), you can save on heating costs by setting your thermostat to lower temperatures, around 68°F (20°C) during the day. Unlike more northern regions, Atlanta winters are relatively mild, but occasional cold snaps can occur. Ensuring your heating system runs efficiently with regular maintenance can further enhance heating efficiency and comfort during these cooler months.

Spring and Fall:

During the moderate temperatures of spring and fall, which often range from the 60s to 70s°F (15-25°C), take advantage of natural ventilation by opening windows when possible. This reduces the need for air conditioning. Spring in Atlanta can bring pollen and other allergens, so balancing ventilation with indoor air quality is important. Adjusting your AC settings accordingly can help maintain comfort without over-reliance on your HVAC system, thus saving energy.