It seems most families have an ongoing thermostat battle among its members. Maybe he likes it a bit warmer, but she prefers to be a little less toasty. Or perhaps the kids sneak the temperature up a couple of degrees because they want to go barefoot and wear shorts in the house. End the madness by learning about the ideal thermostat settings for your home for staying cozy while saving energy and money!
Set it to the sweet for WINTER
When you are at home (and awake), setting your thermostat to 68 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius creates the perfect trade-off between comfort and efficiency, according to ENERGY STAR. But dialing the temperature back by about 10 degrees 68 degrees Fahrenheit overnight or when you’re away pumps up the is the magic to saving.
DIAL IT UP AND DOWN – BUT NOT TOO OFTEN
Energy Star’s research indicates you save as much as 10% a year in heating and cooling costs by adjusting your thermostat 7 – 10 degrees Fahrenheit for eight hours a day. So, dial it back overnight or when no one is home. However, don’t shift the dial up and down while you’re at home because frequent adjustments – or forgetting to set it to the right temp at the right time – will cost you more over time. Create a routine where you adjust right before bed and as you leave the house, and limit the adjustments to those times of day. And tell the kids (or spouse): Hands off!
PLACE YOUR THERMOSTAT properly
Creating the routine, setting to the proper temperature, and using your thermostat correctly won’t help much if your thermostat is improperly placed. Ideally, your thermostat should be placed on an interior wall near the center of the house for best results. Also, it’s best to have it near the main living area, where people spend the most time, as these are the rooms you want to make the most comfortable.
Avoid These Areas for Thermostat Placement
- Areas in direct sunlight
- Directly above air vents
- Close to doors or windows
UPGRADE YOUR THERMOSTAT TO SAVE
Newer heating and cooling systems have been engineered to deliver whole home comfort while using far less energy than older models. However, you can maximize your energy efficient HVAC system by replacing your old, standard thermostat with one with more features. Yes, you can manually adjust your thermostat every day, but programmable or “smart” thermostats make it easier on you and help you achieve energy savings, especially when you’re away from home.
Programmable thermostats allow you to set a variety of temperature preferences during the day for each day of the week. The thermostat will automatically make the adjustments you program into it on the schedule your specify. For example, if everyone is out at school or work from 7:00 AM to 5:00 PM, the thermostat can be programmed to dial down the heat at 6:30 AM and to kick it back up at 4:30 PM – so it’s comfortable again when everyone gets home after a long day.
Programmable thermostats can be great, but help with your energy efficiency and comfort if you use them properly. You’ll end up spending more, not less, on your utility bill if you (or those darn kids!) frequently adjusts the temperature when people are at home.
Get smart! A smart home thermostat takes nearly all of the effort out of daily adjustments for you. They not only keep your home warm and cozy all winter, one of the reasons they’re “smart” is that they actually learn your patterns of coming and going and automatically adjust the temperature for max efficiency and energy savings! Plus, using an app on your phone allows you to get real-time performance alerts, to adjust the temp while you’re out of the house, and even to hide the digital display with a screen saver of your choice. The kids don’t even have to know where there thermostat is set – and they can’t mess with it!
These smart thermostats can also integrate with other smart home devices such as lights and locks for additional control of your home environment, whether you are at home or not. One of the smart thermostats we recommend is the Trane ComfortLink™ II XL1050. If you’re interested in upgrading to a smart thermostat, we’ll assess your home and recommend the best thermostat for your family.
Click here to learn more about the benefits of a smart thermostat.
INVEST IN AN ENERGY EFFICIENT FURNACE
You may not see your electric bill go down if your system isn’t running efficiently, not matter how well you manage your thermostat settings. If you have an older furnace, give us a call and we can assess your unit to make sure it’s operating at its best and audit your home for energy saving adjustments. Little things such as leaky air ducts, poor insulation, and old filters affect efficiency, and we can help you ensure you’re not losing efficiency do to these easy fixes.
But if it’s time for an HVAC upgrade, here are a few things to understand. A newer Energy Star certified system with high ratings (e.g., Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER), Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE), or Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF)) will be 15% more efficient than older, less energy-conscious models. Newer systems can also improve your comfort, since they typically feature multiple or variable heating stages, which will keep your home consistently warm and reduce temperature swings. These systems also run longer without the starts and stops that use excess energy – which can help lower your energy bill.
One Last Tip
Want to know more about how to heat your home comfortably and save money doing it? Contact us today for a custom home heating and cooling system evaluation.