We’re arguing about air conditioners today, because what else do you yell about with strangers when you’re all stuck in the oppressively sweaty doldrums of August? Here’s the tweet that’s riling everyone up:
How cool do you keep your house?— Jennifer Titus (@jenntitus10) August 19, 2019
New report our shows these as the recommended temps for energy efficiency:
• 78° F when you’re home
• 85° F when you’re at work or away
• 82° F when you’re sleeping pic.twitter.com/iNOSaqX35c
Jennifer Titus, an investigative reporter for WTSP 10 in the Tampa area of Florida, is just the messenger here. Still, she’s getting ratioed because she pulled out the most eye-popping stats from a Consumer Reports article that recommends the best temperatures for your air conditioner, via Energy Star, a joint program from the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
According to the report, you should set your thermostat to 78 degrees Fahrenheit when you’re home, 85 degrees when you’re at work or away, and 82 degrees when you’re sleeping. It’s that last temperature that has particularly irked the Twitterati, who aren’t super into the idea of going to bed every night in Tampa-like conditions, especially in the dead of August.
It makes sense to not go overboard with your A/C during the summer. Cooling your house sucks up a lot of energy, and the DOE says you can slash about 3 percent off your energy bill for every degree you raise your central air’s temperature.
Economically and environmentally, an 82-degree bedroom checks out. From a comfort standpoint? Not so much. The National Sleep Foundation, for its part, says your bedroom should be somewhere between 60 to 67 degrees for optimal snoozing, as that range helps your body cool down and fall asleep faster.
So while we get to work interviewing energy experts about the best, science-backed thermostat setting, we want to hear from you. Here’s the million-dollar question: How cool do you keep your house?
When I surveyed my Popular Mechanics colleagues—an opinionated bunch keen to argue about everything, especially viral math problems—many were in agreement that 82 degrees is indeed an insane sleeping temperature. There were a few dissenters, including one editor who said his ideal bedtime temp was “whatever it is outside … if it’s free, it’s for me.”
In the meantime, no matter where you fall, you still want to keep your home cool. If you’re trying to keep your energy costs down, here’s the best way to cool down a room without blasting A/C. But if you’re in the market for a new unit, we have you covered:
Check back for the final verdict from scientists—and to see just how your fellow readers sleep at night.
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