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What's the Recommended Setting for an Air Conditioner's Thermostat?

No doubt you’ve been in some air-conditioned homes or buildings that felt like refrigerators and others in which you wondered if the system was working. The ‘perfect” temperature setting for an air conditioner varies from person to person, but groups that monitor energy consumption make specific recommendations. What do the experts have to say about the recommended setting for an air conditioning system's thermostat?

U.S. Department of Energy

The number might seem surprisingly high, but the Department of Energy recommends that you set your air conditioner thermostat at 78 degrees Fahrenheit. This is the temperature that maximizes energy savings and still keeps homes cool enough for most people to be relatively comfortable.

Energy Star

Energy Star is a program run by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Department of Energy. The purpose of Energy Star is to promote energy efficiency and provide people with details about the energy consumption of products in their homes. Energy Star encourages people to raise their air conditioner thermostat by noting that for every degree they do so, their energy costs will drop from 3-5%

American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE)

According to ASHRAE, the preferred temperature range for occupants dressed in summer clothes is 73F to 79F. ASHRAE notes that it’s worth experimenting a bit to see how close to the upper end of the range you can get before you are uncomfortable. You’ll appreciate the effort when you see a lower power bill.

How close do you come to meeting these guidelines concerning the recommended setting for an air conditioning system's thermostat?

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