The US Department of Energy encourages homeowners to keep their thermostats at 78 degrees when they’re home. The guidelines come from Energy Star, a government-backed program to promote energy efficiency.  The program suggests different settings to automate at various times: 78 degrees when you wake up and 82 degrees when you’re sleeping.  Energy Star says homeowners can save about $180 a year with a properly-set programmable thermostat.

  • Set your thermostat as high as comfortably possible in the summer. The smaller the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the lower your overall cooling bill will be.
  • 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. A programmable thermostat can make it easy to set back your temperature.
  • Avoid setting your thermostat at a colder setting than normal when you turn on your air conditioner. It will not cool your home any faster and could result in excessive cooling and unnecessary expense.