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Verify: Is 78 truly the most energy-efficient temperature?

The summer heat is nearly upon us and that means you've probably already turned on the AC. But running your unit can be expensive. With a quick online search, you can find several claims that 78 degrees is the most energy-efficient temperature. We set out to verify if that is actually the magic number.

Summer is right around the corner and as temperatures continue to rise, many will do what they can to cool their home.

A quick search online shows several claims that 78 degrees is the most energy-efficient temperature to set your thermostat to.

We talked with Rick Kulbusauskas, an air conditioning and cooling specialist who said that is true and partially because of the demand placed on the power grid.

"Your system is not going to have to run as much as it would if you kept it down around 75 or 74," he said.

According to Kulbusauskas, for every two degrees difference on your thermostat, there is a roughly 20 percent difference on your energy bill. With that, he advises a few things to additionally cool your home:

  • Make sure your home is sealed properly. Kulbusauskas said heat is attracted to the cool and will seep through any cracks or holes in walls, windows and doors
  • Using fans will keep air moving and make the air feel cooler because of its movement
  • Make sure the hottest areas of your home (attic, walls) are properly insulated
  • Using a dehumidifier will make the air in a room feel cooler

Given all of that information, Kulbusauskas said 78 may not be the most comfortable temperature, in spite of its energy-efficiency.

"The general consumer, myself included, usually looks for a temperature around 75 or 76 degrees," Kulbusauskas said.

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