“The Overlooked Benefits of Setting Your Thermostat to 80 Degrees”

“The Overlooked Benefits of Setting Your Thermostat to 80 Degrees”

Setting your thermostat to a higher temperature like 80 degrees Fahrenheit can seem uncomfortable at first. However, doing so has many overlooked benefits that make it worthwhile to adjust. Here’s a look at why you should consider setting your thermostat to 80 this summer.

It Saves Energy and Lowers Bills

One of the biggest perks of raising your thermostat to 80 degrees is saving energy and money. Heating and cooling costs make up close to half of a typical home’s energy bills. So dialing up the temperature setting several degrees can lead to substantial savings.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), you can reduce energy usage by up to 3% for every degree you increase your thermostat in the summer. So going from 72 to 80 degrees could lower your bills by around 12%!

The impact depends on factors like your home’s size and insulation. But in general, higher thermostat settings translate to lower energy usage and costs. Over the hot summer months, those small daily savings really add up.

It Helps the Environment

Using less energy by turning up your thermostat also benefits the environment. Most electricity in the U.S. is still generated from fossil fuels like coal and natural gas. When you conserve energy, you reduce indirect greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.

Plus, if you have an air conditioner, raising the temperature setting minimizes emissions of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). These potent greenhouse gases can leak during AC operation.

The Natural Resources Defense Council estimates that setting your thermostat to 78 degrees in summer can reduce your AC’s HFC emissions by about 1,500 pounds per year! Simple thermostat adjustments make a real difference in fighting climate change.

It May Improve Your Sleep

Surprisingly, warmer bedroom temperatures around 75-80 degrees may actually lead to better sleep. Lower settings around 65-70 degrees might seem more pleasant. However, your body temperature drops naturally at night. Having cooler surrounding temperatures can interfere with this process and make it harder to fall and stay asleep.

There is limited research on optimal sleep temperatures. But several small studies have linked moderately warm bedrooms to deeper sleep quality. So don’t be afraid to turn up the heat – your rest may improve as a result!

It Could Boost Your Metabolism

Spending time in warm environments may subtly increase your metabolism as your body works to cool itself. One study found that adults experienced a slight boost in metabolic rate when temperatures were raised moderately. Researchers estimated that someone exposed to 79 degree F heat would burn about 50 extra calories per day.

While it’s not a massive difference, running your home warmer in the summer could potentially have a small metabolism-boosting effect. Those extra calories burned add up over time, and may make it a bit easier to maintain a healthy weight.

It Discourages Mold Growth

Here’s an icky but important point – lower indoor humidity levels resulting from higher AC temperatures help deter mold growth. Mold spreads rapidly in damp, humid conditions. But running your air conditioner frequently helps remove moisture from the air and stop it from accumulating.

Keeping indoor relative humidity under 50% is key to controlling mold. This is much easier to accomplish when you dial up the thermostat, since your AC will run longer and remove more moisture. Minimizing mold growth improves air quality and helps prevent associated health issues like allergies.

It May Strengthen Your Immune System

Emerging research indicates that regular exposure to slightly warmer temperatures may strengthen immune function. In particular, studies show heat stress can boost levels of beneficial immune cells and proteins. This natural adaptation to higher temperatures could enhance your ability to fight infection.

So while you might expect warm indoor conditions to have negative health impacts, the opposite may be true. Letting your home get a little hotter during summer may potentially help improve immune defenses against viruses and other pathogens. More research is still needed in this area, but the findings so far are promising.

It Makes Summer Clothes More Comfortable

Finally, having your home warmer means you can take full advantage of wearing lightweight summer clothing indoors. Things like shorts, dresses, tank tops and sandals become way more comfortable when the thermostat is set higher. You avoid the scenario of bundling up when already dressed for summer weather.

Turning up the heat lets you get into a summer mindset and really embrace the laidback fashions that come with the season. And transitioning between outdoor and indoor temperatures becomes less jarring.

The Takeaway

While keeping your thermostat around 80 degrees may sound sacrificial, doing so has many underrated perks for your budget, health, comfort and the planet. The energy savings alone make the higher setting worthwhile. But it also benefits the environment, sleep quality, immunity and even metabolism.

So don’t be afraid to let your home heat up a bit this summer. With a little time, you’ll adjust to the warmer conditions. And you’ll be reaping rewards in terms of energy savings and other overlooked benefits in the process. Give it a try – you might be surprised how quickly 80 degrees starts to feel just right.