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86 degrees in my house? Ohhhhh, no.

Recently, I read about a blogger who sets his thermostat at 86 degrees during the summer and I’m not gonna lie: I was kind of horrified at the thought.

I am an unabashed air-conditioning lover and I am frequently grateful that I was born after this blessed invention.


I tend to run on the hot side (it doesn’t take much to make me feel overheated), and humidity makes me feel unbearably crabby.

There aren’t really even words to describe how much I hate the feeling of humid air.

(Mr. FG and Sonia seem to barely even notice it! It has to be almost 100% humidity before they say, “Hmm. Feeling a little humid out there today.”)

I wish I felt more tolerant of heat and humidity, but here we are.

What’s my thermostat at?

When money was a little tighter, I kept the A/C set at 80 (that does at least knock the humidity down vs. no A/C), but now that we have more wiggle room in our budget, I set the thermostat at 76/77 degrees.

(a full ten degrees lower than said blogger!)

Does this cost more than keeping it at 86?


Is it worth it to me?


When the house is hot and sticky, I feel irritable.

I also don’t feel like doing anything.

And I really hate sleeping in hot and sticky air.

If things get really tight financially in the future, I will consider raising the thermostat.  But it’ll be one of the last expenses I will cut.

I’m also quick to turn the A/C on.

Some frugal people manage to push off the first spring/summer day of A/C for quite a while.



I’m over here pressing that button as soon as my house feels uncomfortable.  I am not interested in suffering.

I also don’t hesitate to turn the A/C on if the temperature is somewhat low, but the humidity is high. If I run it just enough to get the humidity level down, my sanity makes a speedy return.

The saving/spending tipping point

I love to save money (obviously!)

And I’m willing to do a lot of things in order to save money.

But there are some things that are just so painful for me, they’re not worth it.

What good is a few more dollars in the bank if I feel miserable all summer long?  My future self might enjoy that money, but is that worth making my current self melt into a sad puddle?

For me, the answer is a solid no. 

The juice is just not worth the squeeze.

Sweaty from working outside? Fine. But I don’t want to feel like that inside!

I’m not being completely foolhardy.

I employ some energy-saving, heat-surviving methods, despite my somewhat spendthrift A/C habits!

  • I open the windows when the weather is nice and shut then before the heat of the day.
  • I try not to use my oven when the weather is hot.
  • I keep curtains closed when the sun is shining on them.
  • I make sure to keep doors and windows tightly shut.
  • I take cool showers and wear light clothing.
  • I make cooler foods in the summer.
  • I run ceiling fans when I’m in a room, to help the air feel cooler.

Those tactics all feel manageable to me, so I’m able to use them cheerfully.

But there is no way on God’s green earth that I will ever set my A/C at 86 degrees and retain any semblance of cheerfulness.

And that’s that.








Tell me about your A/C habits! Are you like me, or do you not care that much about A/C?

P.S. It should be said that I live in a climate that is quite hot and humid in the summer. There’s usually no really tolerable air outside for a solid 3-4 months. If I lived further north or somewhere more dry, I’d be much less addicted to my A/C.

P.P.S. Un-air-conditioned air is rather terrible for the health of a piano.  So, I could try to tell you that I run it for the benefit of my lovely piano. That would be a bold-faced lie, though.

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Sunday 28th of February 2021

I live in the South now after 15 years of living in almost humidity-free Colorado. The humidity here gets awful. For example, outside right now it’s only 71 degrees, but our humidity is at 83% and when I checked my inside thermostat a few minutes ago it said the house is at 88 degrees! Which forces me to have to turn my central air on —-IN FEBRUARY! Due to my house being older (built in 1977) and large enough it has to have 2 central units (master BR/BA, utility/laundry room, kitchen, dining & LR on 1 unit and the back bedrooms, hallways & large bath on the other unit) I just can’t seem to catch a break on my electric bill. It’s like we have to go from running central heat straight to running central air. But, I can say that I can’t sleep hot, even with my CPAP & 02, and it seems like the higher the humidity the less energy I seem to have, so it’s not that it’s not worth the high electric bills these old Central air/heat units cause. But gosh I still would rather save that money or spend it on things besides giving so much to the power company! I’ve thought about possibly buying me a 110 window unit for my bedroom & just running it at night tho instead of cooling all these extra rooms that are so big & that no one is even in during the night. Has anyone tried doing this? And if so, did it seem to cut down your electric bill a good bit?

Alfredo Garcia

Tuesday 1st of December 2020

Hi, Get Seer 19 AC, I got New windows so my Electric bill is 10 dollars. With solar Panels it’s 30 dollars with bad windows and bad AC. With Solar Panels and New Windows and new 19 Seer AC 10 dollars. With Global warming one can expect 35% more Humidity. I live in San Antonio, Tex just wondering what’s the average Temperature one sleeps in their Bedroom? I can’t sleep below 70, well I can but with more blankets. Some studies state that sleeping at 60 to 69 are healthy. Lowers Cholesterol and other Health. Do you know anything about lower temperatures for sleep? I keep my AC in the Summer at 73 and winter 73 day and 71 night. Most everyone has there thermostat at 77 or 78. I agree Humidity is the engine for cold or hot weather. Much of Latin Americans live in Altitudes at 6,000 feet so they sleep at those temperatures with humidity. Lots of questions on Humidity and Temperatures and sleep. I’ve checked online study’s for me it’s not enough information on Humidity.

laura s hubbard

Saturday 5th of September 2020

girrl i kid you not my family tends to overheat more easily than others we blame it on the fact we were born and raised in england. our excuse lol. as it stand now i live with my ex boyfriend and his parents who are both almost 90. these people do not believe in opening windows or putting on the air conditioning. they say they are always cold. im like for the love of god its stifling in here at least open the windows and a sliding glass door to give a cross breeze. iam exactly like you. has to be a comfortable tempurture in the house so i set the air around 78 turn it on early before it gets hot so it doesnt fight the heat it has to push out of the house. see air conditooning displaxes heat it doen acutally cool. somehting i learned 4 years ago when i said hell no im buying a standing air conditioning unit for my room. running joke is i charge them per minute to cool down lol. with those standing air conditioners u want to make sure u dont use water and it has a de humidifier button on it makes a huge difference. the only thing worse than heat is humidity lord have mercy. i live in so cal sept 5th today it is 112 in simi valley where i live. never happens labor day time. i could feel that heat heat up last nigth 4am when i went to the bathroom unheard of it was around 90. i am exactly like you i dont know how in the helll my exes parents can breath with the way they keep the temperature. we live in single dwelling house not huge all he has to do is run the air at aournd 78 before it gets hot doesnt have to run it long and within 5 minutes its 30 degrees cooler thats when you close doors windows. keep it set at 85 if your cheap lol. its not bad dont decide to run it when your house is a hot box around 90 degrees your wasting energy. set it on aorunf 10am your set then open windows and slideing glass doors. opening one side of the house not the other you wont get that cross breeze. his parents are insane its so unhealthy. the few minutes i spent getting somthing to drink a few minutes ago i was dying i was dizzy and said see ya. i said dont ask me to anything today for you i will not live in a hot box 90 degrees it makes me sick. she likes help on the computer i said not your gal i cannot stand how hot you keep this house


Saturday 27th of June 2020

86° too high? My ideal indoor temperature is 88° (good for reptiles) - I can slum it naked, spread myself on various pieces of furniture, and feel completely relaxed. But only summertime warmth. Artificial heat at those temperatures makes me ill.


Sunday 18th of August 2019

Ahahahaha yep. I live in a stone Georgian cottage, so it doesn't get too hot in summer, but it's freezing in winter! I'm totally ok with spending more on heating just to get through the cold months. I REFUSE to be cold, and as much as we wear warm clothes/use all the blankets/etc I don't feel guilty about having the heater on.

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