What’s the best setting for your thermostat during the summer?

What's the best setting for your thermostat during the summer?
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They say home is where the heart is, but in the summer it could also be where the heat is — and that’s not cool. In the hotter months you may be wondering what to set the thermostat on in the home.

If the rising mercury outside is starting to turn your residence into a hotbox, you surely are going to want to beat the heat. So how cool should your home be?

How to cool your home: What is the ideal summer thermostat setting?

The U.S. Department of Energy has some recommendations for Americans looking to keep their homes cool in the summer. But first, let’s answer the often-asked question: What is the best thermostat setting for summertime?

The Energy Department says, “Keep your house warmer than normal when you are away, and lower the thermostat setting to 78°F (26°C) only when you are at home and need cooling.”

That’s it, folks. Keeping your unit at the Energy Department’s recommended setting will ensure optimum cooling as well as efficient results from your unit.

Of course, if you have an expansive mansion or multi-story home, you may need to tweak the settings.

What does Clark keep his thermostat set on in the summertime?

Money expert Clark Howard says he keeps his thermostat at 78 degrees, as well. “But with the Nest [thermostat], it dials down at bedtime.”

That means 74 degrees for the kids rooms and “whatever my wife wants” for their part of the house, he says.

Here’s how other members of Team Clark cool their homes:

  • Grace says that her ceiling fan has become such a valued member of her home that it has a nickname: Gloria.
  • Clark Howard Inc. General Manager Christa says that she puts her thermostat at 68 degrees at night and 76 during the day.

Included in the government’s energy advice are some other tips that may even go against your long-held beliefs about heating and cooling.

2 home cooling myths you need to know

Setting the thermostat drastically lower won’t cool your home any quicker: Do you usually set your thermometer colder than you need it just to get the temperature down quickly? “It will not cool your home any faster and could result in excessive cooling and unnecessary expense,” says on the Energy.gov website.

Setting your thermostat on your comfort won’t keep your bill low: Looking to save money on your energy bill? Pay attention to what the temperature is outside to know what to set your thermostat to inside.


“The smaller the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the lower your overall cooling bill will be,” the nation’s energy department says.

Have some energy tips that have brought your bill down? Let us know in the comments.

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