How cool do you keep your home?

This week, as Tennessee temperatures topped out in the mid-90s with high levels of humidity, Southerners scoffed at an Energy Star recommendation for how cool to keep your home temperature.

Energy Star, which is run by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy, recommends that the temperature in your home should go no lower than 78 degrees during the summer. While you’re away, Energy Star suggests keeping your home at 85 degrees. And when you’re asleep, Energy Star suggests keeping your home no cooler than 82 degrees.

Unless you’re talking about the fun of college football tailgating or the sainthood of Dolly Parton, it can be difficult to get Tennesseans to come to a consensus on much of anything. But according to a WKRN-TV poll, Tuesday, 91 percent of readers disagreed with the Energy Star recommendations.

One reader commented, “I would literally ROAST. We keep it around 72, and even that is too hot for my personal liking. I would like it to be set on 69.”

Another wrote, “Until they pay my bills….they have no say so nor an opinion I will consider.”

While another weighed in not just on the high temperature or rising bills, but on potential health hazards: “Absolutely do not agree, for energy efficiency to coincide with safety they will need to revamp that, it may be okay to do those temps in a drier area, but Tennessee/Kansas/Louisiana etc, no no no, with those temps you can bet you’ll end up with over 70 percent humidity levels in your home and at that level of humidity, you will more than likely have mold growth throughout your home, and in older homes with poor insulation and poor cleaning habits you could very well physically see mushrooms literally growing out of drywall. Special formulas should go into telling people were to keep a tstat. Not numbers just thrown out there under god knows what circumstances.”

One person simply said, “Paid $10,000 for this unit… I refuse to be hot.”

According to its website, Energy Star is “the government-backed symbol for energy efficiency, providing simple, credible, and unbiased information that consumers and businesses rely on to make well-informed decisions. Thousands of industrial, commercial, utility, state, and local organizations—including more than 40 percent of the Fortune 500®—partner with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to deliver cost-saving energy efficiency solutions that improve air quality and protect the climate.” Energy Star and its partners helped Americans avoid $30 billion in energy costs in 2017, according to the website.

But if you’re not willing to keep your home at 78 degrees in the middle of summer, we have a few ideas that could lower your bills. 

For starters, we recommend you sign up for Roscoe Brown’s Maintenance Agreement. The single most important step you can take to save money, save energy, extend your current equipment’s life and live comfortably in your home is to schedule semi-annual (twice a year) maintenance on your HVAC system. With it, you can rest assured your home will remain comfortable and operate efficiently and economically all year long.

Benefits of Heating & Air Maintenance Agreement

 Twice-annual system tune-ups:

  • Improve efficiency and reduce your energy bills by keeping your equipment running at optimum performance.
  • Extend the life of your equipment four to six years, or 25%, saving you money over the long run.
  • Result in your experiencing fewer costly repairs by diagnosing problems early, and giving you a chance to make less-costly interim repairs to keep your current system working.
  • Keep your unit under the manufacturer’s warranty terms.

Heating Tune-Up

The Roscoe Brown annual heating tune-up consists of filter check, gas valve, operation of safety controls, sequencer, heating element in operation, CO level, heat exchanger; clean blower, interior of manifold compartment, pilot, burners; test for gas leaks; clean and calibrate thermostat; check and clean humidifier; check heat pump reversing valve and defrost cycle.

Air Conditioning Tune-Up

The air conditioning tune-up consists of a filter check, compressor performance, freon charge, all safety controls, test crankcase heater, operating pressure. We will also inspect condenser coil, evaporator coil, evaporator drain pan, condensate drain, blower and clean if necessary. We’ll record superheat. We’ll lubricate all necessary parts. And, finally, we’ll clean and calibrate the thermostat.