Southern Thing Column

The ‘expert’ who says thermostats should stay at 82 in summer must have been born in a barn

If you missed this week’s column on It’s a Southern Thing (, you can read it by clicking here. Below are the first paragraphs.

Y’all. A group of “experts” says we need to set our thermostats at 78 in summer – and 82 on summer nights – and the internet wants to pinch their heads off. But the internet will have to get in line behind me because I’m fixin’ to go cut a switch … just as soon as the temperature drops to below 90 degrees outside.

I thought surely the report was a joke but I found it on Newsweek’s website, which says “news” right there in the title, and confirmed the recommendations were issued by Energy Star, an official U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Energy program.

I nearly had a panic attack. I can’t even wait in the car for the amount of time it takes Sweetums to get into the driver’s seat and turn the key so I can have some cold air blasting my face. It takes about 2.4 seconds for me to feel as if I’m going to spontaneously combust, leaving nothing behind but a puff of smoke, a piece of charcoal and a little sweat stain on the seat.

I wasn’t the only one having a conniption after Jennifer Titus, a reporter for a Florida TV station, tweeted Monday about the report issued last month recommending that thermostats be set at “78 degrees at minimum for energy efficiency.” The report further recommended thermostats be “kept at 85 degrees when residents aren’t at home and 82 degrees while people were sleeping,” Newsweek reported. The tweet made Southerners’ blood boil. Obvi, whoever wrote that report is not from the South, has never been to the South and has no understanding of where, exactly, the South is located. (Hint: It is in the southernmost part of the United States, where a baby’s first words are often “relative humidity” and “excessive heat warning.”) Click here to be read the full column.

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