“It’s too hot!”
“It’s too cold!”
“No… it’s just right!”
When it comes to the thermostat setting, the conversation in my house sounds a little too much like an all-too-familiar children’s story. For years, it’s seemed like we could never agree on one temperature to set our thermostat—so it was adjusted daily, depending on what we were doing or cooking or wearing. Luckily, experts are agreeing on a number to cool your house to during the summer so we can stop bickering: 78 degrees Fahrenheit.
Since heating and cooling your home can account for more than half of your home’s total energy usage each month, it’s important to keep your thermostat as close to this guideline as possible if you want to save energy and money. In fact, a study in the state of Florida found a 12% average increase in energy use with every single degree drop in the thermostat setting. Think about that: you probably won’t notice the difference between 75 degrees and 78 degrees. But those 3 degrees can save you a whopping 36% more energy! Granted every home is different, and depending on a lot of factors, you might see more or less savings.
The next time you’re near your thermostat, check the dial to see where you stand. If you air condition your home like a walk-in cooler, try increasing your setting by just one degree each day instead of changing it all at once. If you find your family still at odds, try making a compromise. At my house, we can live with 78 on the first floor, but set the second level at 75 so it’s more comfortable to sleep. Do you have a different strategy? Why? I’d like to hear about it on the Youtility Facebook page! And for a more personalized calculation, you can try the Duke Energy thermostat calculator form.