This Is the Temp the Feds Say Your Home Should Be

The internet doesn't think it's literally or metaphorically cool enough
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 21, 2019 7:53 AM CDT
Energy Star's Guideline for Home Temps Fires Up Internet
This Sept. 10, 2015, photo shows a Nest Learning Thermostat at Nest Labs in Palo Alto, Calif.   (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

If you've been heeding the advice of sleep hygienists and dozing off in a cool bedroom each night—a standard suggestion is somewhere between 65 degrees and 72 degrees Fahrenheit—the feds have just upended that routine, and people are getting heated about it. Energy Star, jointly run by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy, is now recommending your thermostat be automatically set to balmier temps in the spring and summer, not necessarily for optimal zzz's, but to promote energy efficiency, per CNN: 82 degrees for sleeping, and 78 degrees during the day if you're at home (if you're not, crank it up to a rather warm-sounding 85 degrees). "Set your thermostat as high as comfortably possible in the summer," the DOE notes on its website. "The smaller the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the lower your overall cooling bill will be."

Energy Star says by keeping a tight rein on your thermostat, consumers can keep about $180 in their wallets annually. Still, as CNN notes, "the internet is freaking out" over the guidelines. "Who in the hell [thinks] 78 degrees indoors is fine? A dog drinking coffee?" was one remark posted, per ABC News. "Anybody who willingly keeps their home warmer than 78, ESPECIALLY WHEN SLEEPING, is a psychopath," tweeted another cynic. But while research generally backs up cooler temps, at least for sleep purposes, it appears those resisting Energy Star's recommendations wouldn't suffer irreparable harm by adhering to them during the day. "Office temperature and humidity conditions are generally a matter of human comfort rather than hazards that could cause death or serious physical harm," OSHA notes, offering its own suggestion to keep an office at between 68 degrees and 76 degrees. (This Guardian columnist agrees it's time to tamp down the air conditioning.)

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