Your energy bill will thank you.
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One of the things that gives me the most anxiety is my thermostat. It's to the point that I cannot sleep if it's at 74 degrees instead of 75 (think of all that wasted money!) and "What do you keep your thermostat set at?" is a common question I ask on dates (yes, really).
Basically, I am a woman obsessed with finding the perfect temperature: not too cold, not too hot.
And now, I may have received the answer to my thermostat-setting prayers. A new report from Energy Star—a partnership between the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency—recently went viral after it revealed the ideal temperature for your house whether you're at home, sleeping, or away.
According to Energy Star, the coolest that your thermostat should ever be set at is 78 degrees, which is ideal for when you're at home. You can bump it up to 85 degrees whenever you leave (like for work during the day) and then, at night, the report recommends dropping it back down to a balmy 82 degrees for sleeping.
Energy Star explains that for each degree that you raise your thermostat, you'll save about three percent on your energy bill. Which can add up fast in savings, the cooler you keep your house.
While Energy Star's recommendation may save you the most money, it doesn't necessarily mean it's best for everyone. Our senior testing technician, Jonathan Chan, explains that it all depends on your lifestyle and preferences. For example, if you're someone who has difficulty sleeping, you might lower the thermostat significantly at night (the National Sleep Foundation has previously said that the ideal sleep temperature is between 60 and 67 degrees).
However if you do want to cut costs, Jonathan—who doesn't turn the air conditioning on in his house until it's 80 degrees—has some advice for adjusting to a higher temperature. "I think people should take a day and try 'creeping' up the temperature," he says. "Start at 68 and increase the temperature one degree every 45 minutes until it's 78 degrees."
Besides the obvious (a.k.a keep your thermostat set at a higher temperature), there are other easy ways to lower your energy bill each month while still staying comfortable. "Doing simple things like keeping the shades closed in the day and drinking plenty of water will help keep you cool," Jonathan recommends.
You can also turn on an electric fan—or ceiling fans if you have them—to circulate cool air around the house. They're much more energy efficient than an air conditioner, using about one percent of the electricity that your AC uses.