There’s been a certain amount of hilarity hereabouts – not to mention anger – at the latest bureaucratic advice on how to deal with hot weather.
The coolest temperature Americans should keep their thermostats set to is 78 degrees Fahrenheit, according to Energy Star, a federal program aimed at energy efficiency and cost savings for consumers. But many on social media do not agree with that recommendation.
And social media users were even more vocal in objecting to Energy Star’s recommendation for nighttime thermostat settings.
. . .
Energy Star, a joint federal program run by the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), recommends that for optimal cooling and energy efficiency, the coolest temperature consumers should keep home thermostats set to is 78 F — and that’s only when they’re at home and awake.
When consumers are out of the home, Energy Star recommends to keep thermostats set at 85 F and suggests 82 F as the optimal temperature for sleeping.
There’s more at the link.
Sounds good . . . except that here in north Texas, I don’t think the temperature’s been as low as 78 degrees since sometime last month! We’ve had over-100-degree days non-stop for the past few weeks. At night, the actual air temperature outside may drop to the low 80’s or high 70’s, but indoors, in heat-soaked buildings that haven’t lost the warmth of the day, it’s usually at least ten to fifteen degrees warmer than that without adequate air-conditioning. Even at sunrise, if I walk into our attached (non-air-conditioned) garage, it’s at least ten degrees hotter than the rest of the house. The building simply doesn’t cool down at this time of year.
Standard domestic central air-conditioning units don’t cope well with such temperatures. We’ll start the day with ours set to 72 degrees, but by late afternoon it’ll be ten degrees hotter than that, and stay at the higher level right through till bedtime. The only way we can cool the house further is to run a window A/C unit in our master bedroom, which pours cooler air out of its door into the main air intake to the master A/C unit. That, in turn, means the main A/C receives cooler-than-ambient air, which it can cool even further before spreading it to the rest of the house. By running the two in combination, we can get the house down to the mid-seventies by bedtime . . . and that’s the only thing that makes it bearable to try to sleep.
I can only doff my hat in real respect to the original settlers here, who had to deal with such temperatures without even electricity, let alone air-conditioning. I know they built their homes to be as cool as possible in summer, but even so, I simply can’t imagine going through an entire summer of such heat without any escape. As for working outside during it, in the fields or on cattle drives, the thought just boggles my mind!
If I ever have the opportunity to build a home to my own specifications, it’s going to be over-climate-controlled for its size, so that no matter what the outside temperature, hot or cold, it’ll hold the internal temperature I want. If Energy Star doesn’t like that, well, that’s just too bad!