Energy Star is a joint federal program run by the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), so right there you know it’s probably not to be trusted. Still, they've released some recommendations for setting your thermostat and we would be remiss if we didn't pass this important information along to the general public.

A recent article from Consumer Reports claims the Energy Star program recommends leaving your thermostat set at 85° when you’re not home, as if they’re testing the limits of human endurance or something.

They actually recommend a slightly more tolerable 82° when you’re sleeping though, presumably while naked and lying on a block of ice under a ceiling fan because clearly, no one in the DOE or EPA has ever spent a summer in Deep South.

The lowest recommended setting is 78° when you’re home and, I guess, sitting absolutely still in front of an open refrigerator since that’s the only way any of these numbers make sense.

Sure, following these recommendations will save you money and cut down on electricity use, but since we’ll probably all die of heatstroke while wearing naught but our underwear while sitting in our La-Z-Boys waiting for the end to come, it doesn’t really much matter.


The 78° bit is the bare minimum for AC cooling allowed in my home, where I rule over the thermostat like an angry god waiting to unleash his wrath upon any non-believers who dare lower it without authorization. However, I also have multiple fans blowing air across every square inch of my exposed skin’s available surface area at all times, so it’s not too bad.

I concede that setting the thermostat to 85° when no one’s home would be a great way to save money during the summer months when we all pledge our immortal souls to the electric company to just keep us alive through the fall, but leaving it at that temperature all day would likely also get me brought up on animal cruelty charges after my dogs drink all the water from every open toilet bowl and still die of exposure.

What monster sleeps with it set at 82°, though? I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m a night sweater and so is my kid. In the winter, we actually save money on the heating bill by making him go to bed early so his body will begin radiating heat throughout the rest of the house because we all need to do our part for the environment or whatever.

What do you keep your thermostat set to during the summer? Am I crazy for keeping mine in the mid-‘70s most of the time, or 78° when money’s tight and we broke till payday, y’all?

Thermometer on the summer heat

Yeah, I might spend a fortune during the summer, but I make my money back in the winter when I tell everyone else in my house that they can just put on more layers or get under a blanket if they’re so very cold, thankyouverymuch. However, in the hell-heat of a southern summer, we can only cool down by getting just so naked before someone calls the cops, which is where air conditioning comes in.

It’s not an indulgence.
It’s survival.

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