Federal Officials Are Asking Americans to Set Their Thermostats to This Temperature for the Rest of the Summer
The EPA and the Department of Energy chose this number in order to save resources; they're also suggesting an even higher temperature while you sleep.
In the midst of a very hot week for most of the country, you may be spending most of your time indoors with a cool glass of water in hand, comfortably camped in front of your air conditioning unit. You wouldn't be the only one, either; USA Today reports that most states are using more energy and resources than ever—Texas just had a record high month in July—to keep cool. And since most meteorologists are forecasting an unseasonably hot fall season, you may be wondering just how cool you should be keeping your home in the meantime.
New recommendations from Energy Star, a federal efficiency program spearheaded by officials at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Energy, contains an optimal temperature for thermostats to avoid additional overuse of energy resources in your local state. According to Energy Star, you should set your thermostat as high as comfortably possible throughout the rest of the summer—at an optimal 78 degrees, to be exact.
While EPA and DoE experts say this temperature is best during the day when you're at home, they suggest raising it further to 82 degrees while you sleep, especially if you have a ceiling fan or other device to keep air moving.
What about when you're not home or when you head out for a vacation, you might ask? The best way to keep your home sufficiently cooled while preserving resources is to set your thermostat to 85 degrees, which should prevent excessive heat outside from affecting any of your interior features. "Avoid setting your thermostat at a colder setting than normal when you turn on your air conditioner," the guidelines suggest. "It will not cool your home any faster and could result in excessive cooling and unnecessary expense."