What Temperature To Set The AC When Away

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Updated April 29, 2023

Even with a premium air conditioner, you may wonder about the ideal temperature setting while on summer vacation or running errands. Many experts recommend keeping your central air conditioning unit running to combat humidity levels inside your home. So, if you need to know what temperature to set the air conditioner when away, we can help you find the sweet spot.

  • Less than 4 Hours Away
    • While you can adjust your AC for a quick shopping trip or errand, it will not affect your energy cost.
    • If you plan on immediately returning the AC setting to normal, your unit will use more power as it tries to reach your preferred temperature, so it’s best to leave it as is.
  • More than 4 Hours Away
    • You can adjust your thermostat for a day away from home for work or errands, which should help maintain a normal temperature for your family.
    • Simply turn your thermostat up 5 degrees in the summer or down 5 degrees in the winter.
  • Week-Long Vacation During the Summer Months
    • We recommend increasing your thermostat temperature by 7-10 degrees while away for longer periods as a rule of thumb.
    • Running your air conditioner in summer temperatures keeps your home safe from humidity. While it won’t feel like an optimal temperature when you get home, the AC system is imperative to keeping your home safe from silent damage.


  • For best results, try to match outdoor temperatures while maintaining a comfortable indoor climate for your family.
  • If you’re away for work, consider turning your thermostat up or down five degrees to ease the strain on the AC system.
  • If you’re out of town for a week or more, turn your AC system up 7-10 degrees in the summer and down 7-10 degrees in the winter.

While there are different AC energy efficiency guidelines for winter, you want your indoor temperature to combat the outdoor temperatures. The average homeowner might not know that their AC unit protects their home and keeps their family comfortable during hot summer days.

Insider Tip

You can save money on heating and air with a smart thermostat. You can make a pre-set schedule that automatically adjusts your indoor temperature based on need, saving energy costs.

For example, if you don’t know what to do when your AC isn’t cooling, you’ll end up with a hothouse that might suffer damage to the drywall and encourage the growth of mold and insects. This is why heating repairs, like when your AC sensor is not working, are essential to fix.

If you’re leaving home for an extended period, have an energy plan for your AC. For many consumers, this means shutting off their AC system. Contrary to popular belief, adjusting the temperature setting is the best choice for saving energy. In addition, leaving your AC running helps with humidity control.


Ensure that your efficient window air conditioner is well-secured on the window sill, so no one gets hurt while you’re away.

STAT: According to a U.S. EIA (Energy Information Administration) Residential Energy Consumption Survey, 88% of U.S. homes use some type of AC system. (source)


What is the best placement for a thermostat?

Place your programmable thermostat away from direct sunlight, vents, or heat-emitting appliances. Ideally, you should install your thermostat near the center of your home.

What temperature should I set on my thermostat in the winter and fall?

Most experts recommend finding a balance between comfort levels and outdoor temperatures. This means you should set your AC as close to outdoor temperatures as possible without making your family uncomfortable. This will quell your concerns about comfort and reduce your energy expenses.

Does it use less money to turn your AC off?

Turning off your AC system when away is a common-sense energy savings tip that ultimately doesn’t pay off. While you will see diminished energy usage, you may not save on your energy bill. Your AC will have to work hard to reach a comfortable temperature. We recommend turning your thermostat up a few degrees but not off.

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