Government program Energy Star sparks impassioned feedback over recommended thermostat settings.
Thermostat Set to 78 Degrees
Credit: koinseb/Getty Images

To know summer in the South is to have a love/hate relationship with summer in the South. At times, it feels like our only ally in the fight against the scorching temps is our air conditioner and thermostat.

Energy Star, a U.S. governement program, has news for you: Keep your thermostat at 78°F when you're at home and awake, and a whopping 82°F when you're sleeping, according to their programmable thermostat guidelines. When you're not at home, Energy Star advises keeping your thermostat at 85°F.

Not surprisingly, when one Tampa resident, who also happens to be an investigative reporter at 10 News WTSP, tweeted about the guidelines, people chimed in with spirited opinions ranging from "Everyone in the south is laughing" to "They obviously don't live in Tennessee in the summer."

Of course, the incentive behind these recommendations is well-intentioned—to help conserve energy and cut back on energy bills for the customer. On Energy Star's website, the program even notes "The average household spends more than $2,000 a year on energy bills - nearly half of which goes to heating and cooling. Homeowners can save about $180 a year by properly setting their programmable thermostats and maintaining those settings."

WATCH: This Is the Best Temperature for Sleep, According to a Sleep Doctor

While $180 extra dollars in your pocket is superb and all, it's also important that said bill-payer doesn't, you know, melt this summer.