Pocket worthyStories to fuel your mind

What’s the Best A/C Temperature for Sleeping—And Other Questions

One report says you should set your thermostat to 82 degrees when you sleep. Is that insane?

Popular Mechanics

Read when you’ve got time to spare.

hand adjusting thermostat

Grace Cary//Getty Images

It’s easy to argue about the air conditioning temperatures. What’s the best temp for when nobody is in the house? What’s the best during the summer? What’s the best A/C temperature for sleeping? We could go on and on—and trust us when we tell you we’ve had this debate in our own offices.

And it doesn’t take much for for this question to go viral. Take this one particular tweet that riled everyone up in 2019:

Screenshot 2024-05-08 at 5.50.51 PM.png

Jennifer Titus, an investigative reporter for WTSP 10 in the Tampa area of Florida, was the messenger of this debate. Still, she got ratioed because she pulled out the most eye-popping stats from a Consumer Reports article that recommended the best temperatures for your air conditioner, via Energy Star, a joint program from the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

According to the report, you should set your thermostat to 78 degrees Fahrenheit when you’re home, 85 degrees when you’re at work or away, and 82 degrees when you’re sleeping. It’s that last temperature that particularly irked the Twitterati, who weren’t super into the idea of going to bed every night in Tampa-like conditions.

It makes sense to not go overboard with your A/C during the summer. Cooling your house sucks up a lot of energy, and the DOE says you can slash about 3 percent off your energy bill for every degree you raise your central air’s temperature.

Economically and environmentally, an 82-degree bedroom checks out. From a comfort standpoint? Not so much. For the best A/C temperature for sleeping, the National Sleep Foundation, for its part, says your bedroom should be somewhere between 60 to 67 degrees for optimal snoozing, as that range helps your body cool down and fall asleep faster.

So here’s the million-dollar question: How cool do you keep your house? Let us know in the poll below.

When we surveyed my Popular Mechanics colleagues, many were in agreement that 82 degrees is indeed an insane sleeping temperature. There were a few dissenters, including one editor who said his ideal bedtime temp was “whatever it is outside … if it’s free, it’s for me.”

In the meantime, no matter where you fall, you still want to keep your home cool. If you’re trying to keep your energy costs down, here’s the best way to cool down a room without blasting A/C.

Andrew Daniels is the Director of News for Popular Mechanics, Runner's World, Bicycling, Best Products, and Biography. In a past life, he was a senior editor at Men’s Health and wrote for Playboy, among lots of other publications that have since deleted his work. He’s also the author of The Barstool Book of Sports: Stats, Stories, and Other Stuff for Drunken Debate, which one Amazon reviewer called “the perfect book for the crapper,” and another called “moronic.” He lives in Allentown, Pennsylvania with his wife and dog, Draper.

How was it? Save stories you love and never lose them.

Logo for Popular Mechanics

This post originally appeared on Popular Mechanics and was published September 6, 2021. This article is republished here with permission.

Get unlimited access to the weird world of Popular Mechanics.

Join Pop Mech Pro