Want to lower your winter energy bills? Then you'll want to turn the thermostat to a more energy efficient temperature setting.
But, what is this magic setting? Well, it's not set in stone.
The most efficient temperature setting is the lowest setting your family can be comfortable at.
Also, it depends on if you're awake or at home.
Here's a process to help you find the most energy efficient settings that work for your family at any time of the day.
You need to start by finding a good baseline temperature you can live with. This will likely be anywhere from 62-71° F. One study seems to indicate that the colder climate you live in, the lower indoor temperature you’re comfortable with.
If you want to save money, you want to push your boundaries here a little bit. Try this:
Unless you’re a hermit, your home is likely empty for long periods of time—like when you go to work. Don’t pay to heat an empty home!
Whenever you’re home is empty for 8 hours or longer, lower the temperature on your thermostat. Energy.gov recommends dropping the temperature by 10-15° F.
This will save you money because your heater won’t have to run as long during the day.
Be careful, though. Temperatures below 55° F could leave you vulnerable to frozen pipes. In addition, colder indoor temperatures can lead to condensation that can damage your furnishings and appliances.
Next, have your thermostat drop the temperature a few degrees when you go to sleep. Not only will this save you some money, science shows that it can also help you sleep better.
The Huffington post reports that “most studies agree that a temperature between 60 and 67° F is optimal for sleeping”.
If you don’t already have a programmable thermostat, buy one. It’ll make your efficiency savings automatic.
Programmable thermostats change your temperature setting based on a schedule. There are several different types of programmable thermostats, make sure you get the one that will work for your normal daily routine:
So now your thermostat schedule should look like the following, where x is your home’s ideal temperature from step 1.
Make sure to adjust this for your weekend schedule, as well.
Tip: Set your thermostat to start increasing the temperature before you get home from work and wake up so that it’s nice and comfortable by the time you’re home and awake.
You can integrate your thermostat’s schedule into your security system so you can save money without even thinking about it.
For example, a simple “Away” scene could automatically change your thermostat, arm your security system—and more—with one touch of a button!