My roommate keeps throwing the thermostat to extremes every day

When I left home for college at 18, I never could have anticipated the struggles I’d face daily having to live with several roommates for the first time.  The school gave us the option of on-campus housing that were essentially traditional dorm rooms, but extremely old and somewhat dilapidated not having been remodeled in the past two decades.  The alternative was private housing right off campus that was technically a standard apartment complex, but 98% of the occupants were students from my school. Most of the rooms were these tiny suites that four of us each shared with one another. There was a bathroom on each end of the room and a small kitchen in the living room area between the bedrooms and the entrance to the suite. The catch with the private housing was having to pay utilities; although you saved enormously on basic rental fees compared to room and board on campus, having to pay for electricity and water can sometimes balance the costs.  One roommate was particularly bad with the HVAC thermostat. Everyday when he got back from class, he would crank the air conditioner down ten degrees and try to leave it there until the following morning, or at least until one of my other roommates got fed up and switched it back. In the mornings he would turn the thermostat up really high, thinking that would offset the electricity costs. What he didn’t realize was that indoor air conditioning is not solely achieved via immediate cooling effects from a running air conditioner. Rather, the interior spaces being treated are ideally insulated, so in reality you’re trying to maintain a temperature threshold in an insulated space.  Once you get the space cooled for instance, the air conditioner uses less energy than it would if it had to drop the temperature down several degrees to get there from a warm house. So what actually happens is you pay less if you set your thermostat to a steady temperature for most of the day and don’t attempt to jump from extreme heat to extreme cold or vice versa. It will take longer to cool your apartment if the starting temperature is already much higher than the target temperature.

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