US Agency for International Development

Heating and cooling in relation to severity of outside temperatures saves energy and money!

Everything is relative. I suggest we provide relative comfort when setting thermostats for heating and cooling. If it's 100 degrees outside, then an A/C setting of 75 or 80 provides plenty of comfort. At 68 or even 70, that's too cold - and makes us want to put on a sweater in summer. In the winter, if the outside temperature is well below freezing, then a thermostat setting of 55 or 60 will feel plenty warm. If it's at 68 or 70, we'll need to take off our jackets or sweaters just to stay comfortable! In other words, when the mercury soars, turn the A/C not up (to a lower temperature), but down to a more moderate setting. In the winter, the same - when the temperature plunges we need less, not more, heat to feel comfortable. This will save us a huge amount on energy usage and costs.

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Idea No. 1401