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The Best Temperature To Set Your AC While Away

The Best Temperature To Set Your Ac While Away

Suppose you’ve tried turning off your air conditioner while you were away on vacation. In that case, you may have had the unpleasant experience of returning to a stuffy, humid, strange-smelling home.

Without an air conditioner to control temperature and reduce humidity, bacteria, and microbes thrive in your space, causing all sorts of stenches and even mold as while as mildew.

For this reason, most homeowners prefer keeping their air conditioner on while they are away. So the only question is, what is the ideal temperature to set your AC when you vacation?

Here’s a complete guide.

  • Turning up your thermostat when you’re away can save you on electricity bills.
  • According to experts, you should set your AC at 80 to 85°F if you’re vacationing.
  • You can adjust your current settings by 5 to 8°F to match your climate and weather.
  • Make adjustments to keep your AC functioning optimally while you’re not home.

If you’re leaving home for a while, it might be counterproductive to turn your air conditioner on with the same thermostat settings you always use.

With nobody to enjoy the cool comfort, there’s no need to dial down your indoor climate to match your unique thermostat preference.

Changing the settings while you’re away can maintain the air quality in your home without needlessly incurring high electricity charges.

The Best Temperature To Set Your AC When Away

The Best Temperature To Set Your Ac When Away

According to the Department of Energy, homeowners can feel most comfortable by setting their air conditioner to 78°F.

This temperature combines cooling comfort and energy savings, letting you enjoy the perks of your AC without overworking the unit and incurring costly electricity bills.

This is, however, the recommended temperature for when you’re at home. These settings need to change when there’s no one around to enjoy the cool airflow.

Essentially, leaving your air conditioner turned on when you’re not home is to manage air quality, prevent mold and mildew, and neutralize odor-causing bacteria.

These are effects that you can achieve with much warmer thermostat settings. All that said, experts recommend setting your air conditioner to a temperature of 80 to 85°F if you’re leaving.

Alternatively, you can set your thermostat to 5 to 7° warmer than you usually set it. This might feel warmer than your usual settings, but it’s enough to maintain your home’s air quality properly.

Important Tips To Note While Leaving Your AC On When You Are Away

Important Tips To Note While Leaving Your Ac On When You Are Away
  1. Use the ‘vacation setting’ or the hold feature to lock the thermostat while away.
  2. Keep fan speed to a minimum to reduce energy usage.
  3. Close all windows, doors, and curtains to control the climate more efficiently.
  4. Seal off any sources of humidity, like bathrooms, utility rooms, and other spaces that use water.
  5. Install a smart thermostat to monitor your home’s climate even when you are away.
  6. If you are leaving for less than a week, consider turning off the unit instead.


Air conditioners can keep your home feeling and smell fresh if you plan to leave for a vacation.

However, since no one will be around to enjoy the cool comfort, you might as well tweak your thermostat to keep electricity bills at bay.

Turning your settings up by 5 to 7° of your normal AC temperature should let your AC do its job while regulating energy use.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Can I Leave My Air Conditioner on When I’m on Vacation?

According to experts, you should only leave your air conditioner on if you leave for a maximum of two weeks. A vacation longer than that might require more careful planning.

If you can install smart controls for your air conditioner, you should be able to enjoy a much longer vacation. Please turn off the unit now and again via your smartphone to give it a rest before turning it back on.

Should I Change My Thermostat if I’m Leaving for Work?

If you’re leaving for around 8 to 12 hours, you could enjoy up to 10% savings on your electricity bills by turning up your thermostat by 4 to 6°F while away.

To streamline the adjustments, you can automatically use the timer setting on your air conditioner to enable thermostat changes at specific hours throughout the day.

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