Want to Save Money? Set Your Thermostat to This Temperature

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Woman sitting in front of a fan
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The federal government is offering advice about how to keep a lid on your summer cooling bills.

Its official Energy Star website says you can “achieve significant energy and money savings” when you properly use a programmable thermostat.

But before you rush over to your thermostat to implement Uncle Sam’s advice, we must warn you: It appears he likes things a tad warm.

Following are the government’s suggestions for programming your thermostat during the course of a summer day.

During the day

man trying to stay cool in summer heat
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The government says that during the course of the day, you should keep your thermostat set at a robust 85 degrees Fahrenheit.

To be fair, the government implies — without explicitly stating — that you would be away from home during this time, presumably at work.

During the evening

Woman drinking water at home in the summer
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As nighttime approaches, it is fine to cool your place — but just a bit. The government suggests keeping the temperature at 78 degrees during this time.

When you’re sleeping

Man sleeping at home in the summer
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As you turn in for the night, the government suggests keeping your thermostat set at 82 degrees.

Interestingly, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a much different take. To get the kind of high-quality sleep the CDC says we need, it recommends sleeping in a room that’s somewhere between 65 and 68 degrees.

More ways to save on cooling costs

Woman adjusts thermostat
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If just reading these recommendations has you breaking out in a sweat, feel free to tweak them.

Even if you don’t follow the government’s advice, you can still save if you set a baseline temperature, then adjust that reading throughout the day by following a formula. According to Energy Star:

“The key is to establish a program that automatically reduces heating and cooling in your home when you don’t need as much. In order to save energy, consider a temperature set-up of 7 degrees in summer and a setback of 8 degrees in winter when your home is unoccupied for long periods of time and a 4 degree adjustment when occupants are asleep.”

For more on keeping your home cool during the summer, check out “5 Unusual but Effective Tips to Stay Cool Without A/C.”