What is the Coldest Temperature for an Air Conditioner?

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Updated August 19, 2022

If you are new to the world of personal cooling, you may wonder about the coldest temperature for an air conditioner. Some of the best air conditioners can get pretty cold, even when the outside air is sweltering. So what is the coldest temperature for an AC unit and how can you make sure your appliance reaches its full potential, so you won’t have to wonder what if your air conditioner’s tonnage is too small? Keep reading to find out.


  • Most air conditioners are designed to cool a room 20 degrees colder than the outdoor temperature.
  • Many air conditioning systems boast a minimum cooling temperature of 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • To ensure a decent lifespan for your air conditioning units and cut down on energy costs, clean or replace the air filter regularly, turn it off during cold weather, and hire a pro for an annual inspection.

Air Conditioner Temperatures

The average air conditioner cools the room 20 degrees colder than the relative temperature outside. In other words, if you are wondering what is wrong with your central air conditioner, the answer could be nothing if it is extremely hot outside. Beyond that, most AC units boast a minimum temperature of 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Even central units adhere to this standard if you wonder about the definition of a central AC system. Some commercial-grade air conditioners can cool beyond 60 F, but those are for offices and industrial locations.

Insider Tip

Smart AC units can save money as you can easily program use cycles that power down conditioner when not needed.

If you want to know what temperature to set your air conditioner at in winter, or during any other season, maximize appliance efficiency by following some common-sense guidelines.

Tips to Maximize AC Efficiency

Keep your AC blowing cool, cool air by following some simple, yet highly effective, maintenance steps.

Change or Clean the Air Filters

The most effective way to ensure your AC adequately cools down your living space is to keep on top of your air filters. Some air filters need to be replaced when they get dirty, such as HEPA filters, while others can be cleaned or replaced. Check the manual for specific instructions on how to complete this process. Generally speaking, reusable air filters should be cleaned once every one to two months, while other types of filters should be removed and replaced every three months.

Conduct an Annual Inspection

Hire a professional inspector to conduct an annual inspection of your HVAC system. This will ensure that the unit operates properly and lasts a long while before needing major repairs.

Clean the Components

Take some time every few months to give the various components a good and thorough cleaning. If you have a central unit, don’t forget the exterior components, and pay special attention to any debris that may have accumulated throughout. You should also clean the ductwork to the best of your ability.


What is the best air conditioner temperature that saves money?

Set your AC to 74 to 78 degrees Fahrenheit to save some money. Other cost-saving tips? Keep the unit off during cold weather and only use it when you need it during the summer months.

How low should I set my air conditioner?

Temperature setting depends largely on personal preference, as those that prefer cold temperatures will set it in the 60s, while others will prefer a minimum temperature of around 74 F.

Is it cheaper to leave an AC on all day?

It is not cheaper to leave your unit on all day unless you are there and need the cool air as you work. If you are at home during the day for long periods of time, use a ceiling fan to reach comfortable temperatures.

STAT: You can save as much as 10% a year on heating and cooling by simply turning your thermostat back 7°-10°F for 8 hours a day from its normal setting. (source)

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