As the mercury dips and you hear your furnace kick in increasingly more often, your energy bills will rise as well.
Energy bills aren't the only things that heat up, though. Tempers can flare as thermostat wars in a home begin.
The answer to one question can end these terrible skirmishes: what is the best temperature to set a thermostat in winter?
Keep reading to learn about the best temperature to set a thermostat in the winter and how to make the most of your HVAC system during these chilly months.
Your Best Heating Temperatures
Thermostat wars are a real thing. They happen in offices, and they happen in homes. They strain marriages and partner relationships.
The fact that people quibble over the temperature in a room indicates one thing: everyone feels comfortable at different temperatures. So how you live and work with people who define "comfortable temperature" differently than you?
You look to the experts, and you dress appropriately.
Is Your Thermostat Working?
Before you decide what temperature suits you and your housemates best, determine that your thermostat is indeed working. The thermostat settings won't matter if you need a new HVAC system.
If your furnace will not turn on regardless of the temperature of your thermostat, you may have a malfunctioning thermostat. Conversely, if your furnace will not shut off, the thermostat may not be working properly. Make sure you have a properly functioning thermostat and HVAC system before you lose your temper at the person who keeps messing with the thermostat.
Best Temperature Everyday
The best temperature every day in your home depends on the season. If you want to maximize the lifetime of your HVAC system, then do not tax them. Vary your thermostat settings based on the season at hand.
For example, energy star recommends keeping your thermostat at 78 on warmer days when you're home all day and then raising it to 88 when you're not. This way your HVAC system does not work overtime to cool an empty house. If you have pets, the 78 to 88 range still is a livable temperature.
Best Temperature for Sleeping
Sleep experts claim that you should keep your thermostat set between 60 and 68 degrees for optimal sleeping.
When you sleep, your body temperature decreases to start a sleep cycle. Cooler room temperatures can help your body temperature go down and thus help you fall asleep more quickly. A room with too warm or too cool of temperature can actually lead to restless and nearly sleepless nights.
The National Sleep Foundation recommends thinking of your bedroom as a cave. Keep it dark and cool, and pretend you're a bear headed down for hibernation. The right temperature will facilitate great sleep.
If you think that 60 is too cool of a temperature, remember, you can always throw a blanket on the bed to keep you warm.
Best Temperature to Set a Thermostat in the Winter
As outside temperatures begin to dip in the fall and winter, you should ease your thermostat into a winter thermostat setting mode as well.
In the winter, your HVAC system works hard to generate heat, but you do not need to keep it cranked up when no one is home.
Experts recommend setting thermostat temperatures to 68 degrees when you're home and then lowering the temperature ten to twelve degrees for eight hours at night or when you're not home.
Just like how you do not want to tax your system in the summer to cool an empty house, you should not tax the system in the winter to heat an empty house. Experts say you can save up to ten percent on your energy bill in a year when you reduce the load ten to twelve degrees for eight hours a day.
if that doesn't convince you, some experts say you can save three percent on your heating bill for every degree you turn your thermostat down. Your best temperature for a heater in winter weather is the one that can save you the most amount of money without sacrificing comfort.
No matter how you put it, you're saving money.
Does the HVAC System Work Overtime When I Get Home?
This is a fair question. It only makes sense that you would assume your HVAC system works hard to get the house back up to an ideal temperature when you arrive home.
But experts say this does not happen. The system just does its job.
It's not working hard all day to heat the house, but it will gradually raise the temperature once you get home and adjust the thermostat.
What Kind of Thermostats Do This?
Technology offers us three different types of thermostats. Each has its own high and low points. You need to know what works best for you and your home to make an informed decision.
Manual thermostats are good old-fashioned thermostats that respond to the touch of your fingers and the flick of a wrist. Manual thermostats respond just to you, and you have to be there in person to adjust them.
Manual thermostats are arguably the most reliable system since they do not rely on wifi or smart technology or even a computer chip. They're less prone to user error as well since you just turn a dial and the heat turns on.
Programmable thermostats offer you the luxury of setting the thermostat without needing to be there. You can have the thermostat set to warm your house up thirty minutes before you get home and to stop heating the house after you leave for work. It can also automatically drop the temperature around bedtime.
Programmable thermostats take away the responsibility of having to remember to do one more thing, and they ultimately can save you money. You can also set them to maintain a particular temperature while you're away on vacation or a longer trip.
Wi-Fi Enabled and Smart Thermostats
Wi-Fi enabled and smart thermostats use modern digital technology to help maintain the temperature of your home. The electronics of the thermostat is connected to some kind of a central hub or a device with software and networks. These devices will communicate with each other rather than you.
You can typically control a smart thermostat with your smartphone or any other connected device. A wireless or wi-fi thermostat can have a sensor that controls the temperature by itself.
Wi-fi enabled thermostats will often have the luxury of an alarm. So if the temperature dips too low or rises too high, you can receive a warning that you need to head home and see what's going on. These alarms can avert disasters like frozen pipes or overheated pets.
Old Fashioned Temperature Control
You want to save money and lengthen the life of your HVAC system. However, what if you still think a thermostat setting in the 60s is cold? Go back to the old-fashioned tried and true methods of temperature control.
Begin with what you wear. Put on a sweater or some long underwear.
Then, move onto your feet. Keep your feet with some thick, hard-soled slippers. The thick soles will prevent cold from the floor from seeping through your socks.
Stay home for the evening and cook supper. Every time you use your stove or oven, you're letting heat off in your home that will help warm you and the home.
When you're done using the oven, turn it off but let it cool by leaving it cracked open. The heat from the oven will fill your kitchen.
Do not be stagnant. Find a closet to clean or some housework to do because movement will help you stay warm as well.
Close the doors of rooms you do not regularly use. You do not need to heat a room that no one uses, so keep those doors shut to keep your heat in the main living parts of your home.
Focus on winterizing your home by sealing the cracks in the doors and windows. Get some fun draft stoppers to put at the base of your doors to keep drafts at bay.
Call an HVAC expert to come and maintain your furnace. Maybe you just need a new filter to help your furnace work more efficiently. An HVAC expert will help your system do its job the best it can in the least amount of time.
If you live in a home with hard floors, get a few throw rugs. Soft, warm floors will help you warm up and keep your house cozy on cold, winter days.
Where to Put Your Thermostat
The location of your thermostat matters. If you have your thermostat in the wrong place, your HVAC system will not heat your home as much as you desire.
For example, if you put your thermostat in direct sunlight, the thermostat will always be warm but your house may not. Avoid putting your thermostat in these areas:
- Areas in direct sunlight
- Locations above air vents
- Near doors or windows
Save Money and Stay Warm
So, what is the best temperature to set a thermostat in the winter? Ultimately, you and your housemates make this decision. Once you've decided on the best temperature, peace and harmony will reign and the thermostat wars will cease.
For all of your HVAC needs, you can count on us to help! Want to replace your thermostat - schedule a service call today!
Looking for HVAC coupons to save on your next A/C unit or even furnace?
HVAC Maintenance Plan
Want two preventative maintenance visits per year AND VIP treatment on any repair service?