Last month, Consumer Reports released an article aiming to help Americans combat high energy bills in summer, referring to ENERGY STAR’s recommendation to never let the AC go below 78 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and 82 degrees while sleeping. It also mentions that it’s a good idea to turn up the temp even more if you’re using ceiling fans. The article caused quite a stir (over 16,000 responding tweets!) on Twitter when a reporter shared the advice with her audience. Apparently, a lot of homeowners find 82 degrees much too hot to sleep comfortably.
So what is the best temperature for sleeping? The National Sleep Foundation suggests that, “bedroom temperature should be between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit for optimal sleep.” This is because when lying in bed trying to sleep, body temperature decreases to initiate sleep—and cooler temperatures can help facilitate this. Thermostat settings higher than 67 could lead to restlessness and affect sleep quality.
Whether you agree with The National Sleep Foundation’s advice or you go along with ENERGY STAR’s recommendation, any time you can live with the air conditioning even a couple of degrees higher than you’re used to will save you money. You may not need to sleep at 82 degrees, but if you’re used to 72, try 74 with the fan on. You’ll see changes in your energy bill, especially in hot months like we’re in now.
Along with air conditioner temperature recommendations, the Consumer Reports article also offers the following advice to keep energy costs down:
- Use a programmable or smart thermostat to increase the temp several degrees after you leave for work in the morning, and to decrease to your desired comfortable temp just before you arrive home. A programmable thermostat can save you around $200 per year.
- Avoid using your washer, dryer, and dishwasher during the heat of the day. And use the exhaust fans in your kitchen when you’re cooking or in the bathroom when you’re taking a shower.
- Cook outside on the grill to keep the house from heating up.
One Hour Heating and Air Conditioning Can Help You Save on Energy Bills
If your energy bills are through the roof all summer, there could be a good reason other than your chosen comfortable temperature. Your AC could need regular maintenance including a filter change and cleaning — which can end up making it work much more efficiently. Or if your AC is older than 10 years old, it may be a good idea to look at some more energy-efficient models. The only way to know is to call us! We’d love to help.
Sweet dreams, Harford County!