When the temperature is cold, most homeowners are tempted to turn their thermostats up to make their homes toasty warm. Excessive raising and lowering the temperature can cause your energy bills to spike. Plus moving the temperature often can cause your HVAC system to work too hard. But is there an ideal room temperature that you should set to ensure comfort in the winter and minimize your increased costs?
But what should these temperatures be?
Well it depends. There’s really no easy answer since everyone is different. Some people like cooler temperatures so living in a house set to 65 degrees in the winter may be fine for them. For others, 65 degrees will send us searching for a big wooly sweater. So you need to figure out what works for you.
We do know that the closer your interior temperature is to the exterior, the less money you’ll spend. Setting the thermostat high when it is cold outside causes your home to lose heat faster. The lower the temperature inside the home, the slower the rate of heat loss. If you can live with a bit lower temperatures when you are home, every degree you lower your thermostat can save you 1 to 3% on your energy bill.
Finding the right temperature for you
Try this experiment. If you normally set your temperature to 72 degrees when you and your family is home, try lowering it to 70 degrees and see if you can still be comfortable. If you have a ceiling fan, reverse the spin of the fan to clockwise in the fall and winter. This will circulate warm air properly by ensuring you are blowing the warm air down and into the room.
Do a similar experiment for night time temperatures. Lower your heat to 66 degrees and see how people sleep. Then try lowering it a bit more to 64 degrees. If no one complains about being cold, you could try lowering it again.
For away temperatures, you can set them at 62 degrees and have your thermostat raise it to your home temperature 30 minutes before you plan to arrive home.
Invest in a programmable thermostat
Having to manually adjust your thermostat for all the different settings just won’t happen. We’re all busy and we will definitely forget. If you don’t have a programmable thermostat, invest in one. They allow you can set the temperatures to remain consistent throughout the system for different events and specific times of the day. During the winter, keep your home cool while you’re at work. Then, 30 minutes before you get home, raise the temperature to your “at home” temperature so when you walk in the door it’s nice and toasty. Then the thermostat will automatically drop the temperature for when you sleep.
You also might want to upgrade to an app-enabled smart thermostat to better manage your heating (and cooling) systems. You can adjust your thermostat from your phone or mobile device. This will allow you to make adjustments in real-time.
Ideal recommended temperatures
To make your home comfortable, the Department of Energy recommends setting thermostats between 68 to 72 degrees when you are home. When you are away or sleeping, it is a good idea to keep the temperature between 62 to 66 degrees.
The ideal average room temperature in winter is a matter of preference. You can certainly adjust these recommended guidelines to your own preferences. If you are cold, set it a bit higher and then lower it when you want to save up some money. But if you apply these indoor temperature strategies for winter, you will stay warm and comfortable throughout the season.