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In the summer and even into the fall, utility bills can be quite high as we try to stay cool in the blistering heat, and most of us keep our air conditioning running high.

According to Consumer Reports, while it may take some compromise from some members of your family, the Department of Energy and Energy Star recommends that for optimal cooling and energy efficiency, you find a temperature at which you’re comfortable when you’re at home and awake.

Once your family agrees on a thermostat setting, Energy Star suggests increasing the temperature setting by 4° F when you’re asleep and 7° F when no one is home.

For example, you can try the following settings:
• 78° F when you’re home
• 85° F when you’re at work or away
• 82° F when you’re sleeping

In the national Consumer Reports survey (PDF) of 2,280 U.S. adults in June 2021, the average temperature that Americans keep their thermostats set to is about 71 degrees during the day and night.

The temperature varies a smidge by region, with Americans living in the South reporting that they set their temperatures the highest (72° F during the day and 71° F at night), and those living in the Northeast set it coldest (70° F both day and night).