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What Are the Best Thermostat Settings for Winter?


The Short Answer Is: The best thermostat settings for your home's heating system during winter typically involve setting the thermostat to around 68°F when you're at home and active, and lowering it a few degrees when you're asleep or away to save energy. However, individual comfort preferences may vary, so adjusting within the range of 65-70°F can help maintain a balance between comfort and energy efficiency.

Winter is almost here once again, and it's time to start thinking about how we can stay warm and cozy indoors. One of the most important factors that contribute to our comfort during the winter season is the temperature inside our homes.

But what are the recommended thermostat settings for winter in the home? This is a question that many homeowners ask themselves when the temperature drops. In this blog post, we will explore the different factors that affect the ideal thermostat setting for your home during the winter season.

Recommended Winter Thermostat Settings

First, it is important to understand that there is no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to the best temperature to set your programmable thermostat or smart thermostat in winter. The ideal thermostat setting for your home will depend on a number of factors, including the size of your home, the insulation, the activity level of your family members, and your personal preferences.

Generally, the U.S. Department of Energy advises recommended thermostat settings of 68°F during the winter season. However, this temperature might not be suitable for all households or work for the entire winter. Some people may find it too cold, while others may find it too warm. In fact, the ideal temperature settings for a home during the winter season ranges between 65°F and 72°F, depending on personal preferences. Set your thermostat temperature gradually lower to find your ideal temperature.

But why is it important to maintain the right winter thermostat setting? Aside from maintaining comfortable indoor temperature, proper temperature management can help your home's energy efficiency and cut down your energy bill. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, every degree that you decrease the thermostat temperature during the winter season can help you save up to 1% on your heating costs, as your heating system will use less energy.

Finding the Right Thermostat Settings for Your Household

So, what are some factors you should consider when determining the best temperature to set your thermostat over the winter? Here are a few things to keep in mind:

The size of your home

Larger homes usually require more energy to heat up, and it can take longer for them to warm up as well. Homes with multi-story settings may have a unique challenge as some rooms may need to be warmer than others. As such, it is important to consider the size of your home and the number of people who live in it when determining the ideal thermostat setting.

The insulation in your home

Another critical factor to consider is the level of insulation in your home. Home insulation plays a significant role in reducing heat loss inside a home. In general, houses with higher insulation require less heat to maintain a comfortable temperature than those without adequate insulation. If your home has poor insulation or drafty windows or doors, you may need to set your thermostat a few degrees higher to compensate.

The activity level of your family members

The activity levels of the occupants in your home can also affect the ideal thermostat setting. When people are active (think exercising or cooking), their bodies naturally produce heat, which can help increase the temperature in your home. As such, you may need to adjust your thermostat accordingly to ensure that your home remains comfortable.

Your personal preferences

Ultimately, how you set your thermostat depends on your personal preferences and comfort levels. Everyone has a different tolerance for cold or hot temperatures. Some people prefer to keep their homes a few degrees warmer during the winter season, while others may find this too warm and prefer a cooler temperature.

When it comes to setting your thermostat, it is vital to strike a balance between comfort, desired temperature, and energy efficiency to achieve the best thermostat setting. By properly managing your home's temperature, you can stay warm and comfortable all winter while you save energy and save money on your heating bill. Lower thermostat temperatures not only generate energy savings, but reduce the workload on your heating system, preventing wear and tear.

HVAC Tips to Save Money on Winter Heating Costs

Install a Programmable Thermostat or Smart Thermostat

One strategy to minimize energy cost is by using a programmable or smart thermostat. Programmable thermostats allow homeowners to automatically adjust their thermostat temperature settings based on their daily schedule. A smart thermostat has features like learning capabilities, which memorizes when your home is unoccupied, and reduces thermostat settings to a lower indoor temperature, thus enhancing efficiency and reducing heating bills.

HVAC System Maintenance

Maintaining the appropriate thermostat setting also expands to the type of heating system you have installed in your home. Regular HVAC maintenance checks, tune-ups, and professional service is essential in ensuring your HVAC system runs optimally, utilizes energy effectively, and extends the lifespan of your heating unit.

Humidifier Installation

Installing a whole home humidifier can be an effective way to reduce heating costs during the winter season. This is because humidifiers help to add moisture to the air, which makes the air feel warmer and more comfortable, thus reducing the need for a higher temperature setting.

When the air inside your home is dry, it causes the moisture on your skin to evaporate which leads to a cooler feeling. This can lead to an increased need for heating in order to maintain a comfortable temperature. By installing a whole home humidifier, homeowners can set the thermostat to a lower temperature while maintaining a consistent and comfortable interior temperature, thus utilizing less energy and lowering their heating bills.

More Tips to Save Money on Winter Energy Bills

  • Install Weather Stripping: Check for drafts and seal gaps with weather stripping. Heat escaping through gaps can add up to 20% to your energy bill.

  • Insulate Your Attic: Make sure your attic is well-insulated to prevent heat from escaping through the roof.

  • Use Curtains and Blinds: Use curtains and blinds to prevent heat from escaping through windows. Keep them open during the day to let in natural light, and close them at night to retain heat.

  • Use Ceiling Fans: Ceiling fans can help circulate warm air throughout occupied rooms, reducing the need for extra heating and allowing you to lower the thermostat from your normal temperature and stay comfortable at cooler temperatures.

  • Seal Ducts: Leaky ducts can waste up to 30% of your heating bill. Have a professional seal them to prevent heat loss.

Maintain a Comfortable Indoor Temperature This Season

The ideal temperature to set your thermostat during the winter season depends on several factors, including the size of your home, the amount of insulation, and personal preferences. Keeping these factors in mind, it's critical to aim for the range of 65°F to 72°F, a temperature that can ensure your comfort, energy efficiency, and savings on your heating bill. With the right thermostat settings, you can stay warm and cozy indoors all winter long.

By following these tips and considering the unique needs of your entire family, you can find the ideal thermostat settings for a cozy and cost-effective winter season while saving money. At Thomas & Galbraith, we are dedicated to helping homeowners maximize their comfort and savings through reliable heating and cooling services. Contact us today and schedule a consultation to start saving with thermostat installation, heating maintenance services, or humidifier installation.

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