Setting your thermostat to the right temperature is not easy, especially when temperatures fluctuate outside. We’ve outlined some guidelines in this article on what temperature settings are optimal for the season. These suggestions are energy efficient and can also help you save money. However, remember that your comfort is key and these guidelines are suggestions—you may want to simply use them as a starting point for finding the settings optimal for you and your family’s needs.
Spring & Summer Thermostat Settings
In warmer seasons such as spring and summer, we suggest setting your thermostat to about 78 ℉. You can increase this if you leave the house. This way, your air conditioning unit won’t turn on unless it’s needed. If this seems too hot for you, you can try setting the thermostat to 72 ℉ – 76℉. Keep in mind that it always helps to have a ceiling fan turned on—you can get away with a 4 ℉ increase in your thermostat settings and not feel it.
Fall & Winter Thermostat Settings
In cooler months, such as fall and winter, we suggest keeping your thermostat at about 68 ℉. This is optimal for energy saving, but if this is too cool for you, you can set the temperature to between 70 ℉ – 72 ℉. When you get ready for bed, you can reduce the temperature to below 68 ℉ since most people find sleeping in cooler temperatures more comfortable.
A programmable thermostat allows you to set temperatures for your home in advance. You can create your schedule in the thermostat and set specific timings for certain temperatures. For example, if you want daytime temperature to be set at a comfortable 72 ℉, and the night hours between 9:00 p.m. – 6:00 a.m. set to a cooler 68 ℉ you can easily program this. You can even set it to repeat everyday if you want. Thermostats are quite advanced now, as some are touchscreen and can connect to Wi-Fi so programming your settings is easy.
How Does a Programmable Thermostat Save Energy and Money?
If you program your heating or cooling system to run more optimally for 8 hours a day—such as when the house is empty when you’re at work, you can save some energy and money.
The U.S. Dept. of Energy calculates that you can save up to 10% per year on both heating and cooling if you turn your thermostat back 7°-10°F for 8 hours a day from its normal setting. So if you normally set your temperature to 72 ℉, setting it to 65 ℉ you will save on energy and reduce your bill.
Your home is your castle, so make sure to set the thermostat to what suits your comfort needs. People prefer different temperatures, as we see in offices often—some people will be wearing blankets, and others tank tops. So set the thermostat to what you’re most comfortable with, and keep in mind that when special conditions or issues arise, such as the common cold, you will need to adjust your settings. Also remember that babies, kids and pets usually require warmer temperatures.
Other Things to Keep in Mind
Do you ever get the feeling that your unit is not getting or staying at the right temperature, but everything is working fine? It could be that your thermostat is located in an ill-suited place in your home. You want to read the installation guide for your thermostat and make sure to keep it in an area away from direct sunlight ,drafts and windows—all these can cause incorrect readings by the thermostat and lead to your unit turning on/off at the wrong times. The U.S. Department of Energy offers these tips about thermostat location:
Prefer interior walls
Keep away from doorways and skylights
Keep away from furniture and make sure the air flow in front of the thermostat is not blocked
Keep your thermostat in a place where you can see it and program it easily