Meteorologist warns of thermostat misuse that could be costing you big bucks — here’s what experts recommend

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A meteorologist is explaining a simple thermostat hack that will save you money on your energy bill and avoid using excessive power.

The scoop

In a TikTok, Rob Jones (@tvmeteorologist) insists we should set our thermostats to no higher than 68 degrees Fahrenheit (or 20 degrees Celsius) during the winter. 

In response to learning that some opt to turn their thermostats to 74 degrees, Jones says “74 is nuts, and I live in Florida.”

@tvmeteorologist #stitch with @andr3wsky are you whining and sniffling about it being too cold in your house at 74° degrees??? s#setour thermostat to 68° in order to be energy efficient this winter. ##donttouchthethermostat##smartthermostat##nestthermostat@@Google##energyefficient##energysmart##coldnights##wintercold ♬ original sound – Rob Jones – Meteorologist

“I don’t know how common this is across the rest of the U.S., but I know there’s many people in Florida that resist turning on the heat, especially because they probably only need it for a couple of days,” he continues. He also shows off a meme of a cat swaddled in a blanket with the caption “must resist switching the heating on for a little longer,” saying he uses the same tactic and can be seen swaddled in a similar blanket in some of his other videos.

“We did have a pretty intense cold snap for Christmas and the new year, and temperatures were in the 40s and 50s for highs with 30s for lows at night,” Jones said of last year. “And my house did get down to 65, and that’s when the heat turns on.”

How it’s helping

Jones explains Energy.gov suggests setting the thermostat to 68 degrees during the winter. The Energy Department website says people with programmable thermostats can save up to 10% of their energy bill every year by adjusting the temperature just 7-10 degrees lower for eight hours a day, proposing setting the thermostat around 68 degrees in the winter during waking hours. It also says that the same strategy can be applied in the summer, as keeping the house a little warmer than you like while you’re asleep or away can save a ton of money on your electricity bill, as programmable thermostats default to heating or cooling at a particular temperature regardless of the time of day.

Overall, the Department of Energy says the closer your indoor temperature is to the outdoor temperature, the less energy you’ll expend and the more money you’ll save, as it takes more power to change the interior temperature with each additional degree of difference. 

Moreover, setting the temperature to a more extreme number when turning on the AC or heater does not help the temperature change quicker.

As the planet continues to dangerously overheat, it’s essential that we use energy as efficiently as possible, especially when it comes to air conditioning, which literally shoots hot air out of buildings and into the atmosphere. Numerous architectural and engineering breakthroughs are helping homeowners and businesses keep their air conditioning use to a minimum.

What everyone’s saying

Commenters explained how easy it is to keep their heat off in the winter.

“Been in FL for over 10 years and still haven’t turn on my heat,” one user wrote.

“Lol, live in Indiana, Max temp that our house is set to is 62, & at night we drop it to 55 before the heat kicks on,” another user said. 

“Couple days? We only need it a couple hours. I turn it on when my house goes below 70 tho,” a third user stated.

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