What is the correct temperature to set my air conditioner at?

Small temperature differences can have a big impact on your comfort

If you have ever worked in a large office you will likely have felt the effects of air conditioner temperature settings - whether they have lead to you feeling too hot or too cold.

If you are too hot you will feel uncomfortable.

If you are too cold you will need to expend extra energy just to stay warm. This can have a negative impact on your concentration and productivity.

People feel air temperature differently - so different people may feel hot or cold when experiencing the same temperature.

There is an ideal temperature to set your air condtioner - but you may need to moderate that by a degree or two based on your personal preferences.

How Does My Air Conditioner Unit Maintain the Set Temperature?

The set temperature on your air conditioner is based on a temperature reading from your air conditioners indoor unit. The location of the temperature sensor will vary based on the type, brand and settings of your system.

Normally it is in the return air pathway.

The air conditioner will compare the temperature of the return air vs the set temperature - where there is a difference the air conditioner will continue to work until that difference has been closed.

It is something of an urban myth that the lower you set the temperature on an air conditioner the harder it will work. How hard your air conditioner is working is generally dependent on the size of the temperature difference between the set temperature range and the return air temperature. If the difference is small the air con will ramp down, if the difference is large the air con will ramp up. If the air con is fully ramped up - it doesn't matter how low you set the temperature - it cannot ramp up any more.

What you should consider when setting your Air Conditioner temperature?

The right temperature for for your air conditioner is dependent on a number of factors:


The average human, based on various studies, is most comfortable at a room temperature of 23 - 24 degrees (and humidity of around 50%).

Everybody feels temperature differently, some of those differences are due to their body makeup - namely percentage of body fat and muscle mass. For example those with a higher body mass tend to generate higher interal heat and may appreciate a slightly lower set temperature.

Energy efficiency

Every 1 degree celcius change in set temperature has an impact of 5-10% on energy consumption.

The closer your air conditioner set temperature is to the outdoor temperature, the less work your air conditioner will need to do and the lower your electricity bill.

So in summer if you raise the set temperature from 24 degrees to 25 degrees your air conditioner will use less energy to achieve the set temperature.

What is the best temperature to set Air Conditioner in summer in Australia?

Australia is a large country - with big differences in summer temperatures and humidity levels. Notwithstanding that - outdoor conditions generally shouldn't have any impact on the set temperature you are trying to achieve from a comfort perspective. As stated above the ideal perceived temperature is 23 - 24 degrees - and generally speaking humidity levels once set temperatures are achieved would be equal irrespective of whether the set temperature on the system is set lower than 23 degrees.

What is the best temperature to set Air Conditioner in winter in Australia?

Obviously in winter your reverse cycle air conditioner is trying to raise the indoor temperature, above the outdoor temperature, to meet the set point. There is no reason from a human comfort perspective to set the temperature at anything other than 23 - 24 degrees.

However, depending on where you are located, there can be a very large difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures - eg. the outdoor temperature is 0 degrees celsius and the set temperature is 24 degrees celsius - there is a 24 degree difference. Which is a lot of work for the air conditioner to do. As a resut many people recommend a lower temperature setting in winter to reduce the amount of energy consumed in heating the house - often 21 - 22 degrees celsius.

It is far cheaper to put on an extrat layer of clothing and have your room at 21 degrees, rather than have the temperature set at 24 degrees and walking around in the middle of cold weather inside the house in t-shirts and shorts.

What temperature should I set my air conditioner at?

As discussed above we would recommend a summer temperature setting of 23 - 24 degrees celcius. If you are not comfortable with that temperature - it would not be unusual to have a set temperature a degree warmer or colder.

If your temperature is set in that range, and you are still uncomfortable, there may be a problem with your air con. In that case the best course is to get an experienced service provider like Sun City Air Conditioning to come out and carry out a diagnosis of the problem with your system and then effect repairs.

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