By Amy DeYoung
Updated Nov 18, 2022
By Amy DeYoung
Updated Nov 18, 2022
The average American family spends $2,060 on average annually on their home utility bills. Part of your utility bill costs includes your heating and cooling costs.
With rising costs and inflation, many of us are looking to cut back and save money where we can. One of the best ways to cut back on your monthly costs is to reduce your heating costs during winter.
To help, we’re sharing the best winter thermostat settings to reduce your energy usage and utility bills during the winter months.
Per the U.S. Department of Energy, you can save up to 10% on your yearly energy bills by being smart and conservative.
The best thermostat temperature for saving money on energy bills during winter is the lowest comfortable temperature. For many people, this will be around 68°F. A lower temperature within your comfort level allows your HVAC system to work less to keep your house warm, reducing energy bills. Even reducing your thermostat to 70°F — if that’s more comfortable — can save you money during winter.
Wearing a jacket and warm socks or throwing a blanket over your legs can keep you more comfortable if you reduce the temperature in your home.
It’s critical that your thermostat is installed in the right area of your home. Otherwise, it could get “ghost readings,” which are incorrect temperature readings caused by external factors near your thermostat. For example, drafts, doorways, and sunlight can alter your temperature reading. Too much furniture near your thermostat can also impede airflow, impairing your thermostat’s ability to read the home’s temperature accurately.
We recommend positioning your thermostat on an interior wall that is out of the sunlight, not under an air vent, and experiencing natural airflow from your home.
If you have a smart thermostat, you have even more options to save on energy costs.
There are many benefits to sleeping in a cool room, such as improving sleep quality and melatonin levels, preventing metabolic disease, reducing stress levels, and much more.
If you have a programmable thermostat, consider setting your thermostat to between 60°F and 68°F before bed. Then, program your thermostat to warm your home to 68°F an hour or so before you wake up. This change in temperature before you wake up can help you wake up easier and make the house more comfortable. In contrast, setting your temperature cooler overnight reduces energy costs and provides health benefits.
The ultimate way to improve your energy savings during winter and summer is by assessing your home’s insulation levels. If your home is struggling with escaping energy due to a lack of insulation or cracks in your home’s exterior, it will be difficult for your HVAC system to maintain a comfortable temperature.
A lack of insulation is a huge drain and stress on your home’s heating system, which is trying to maintain a comfortable interior temperature during cold winter weather. Consider installing more insulation in your home’s attic and basement, common areas where homes lose heat. Keeping your roof well-maintained and insulated can also reduce energy costs and help your thermostat maintain a comfortable temperature and be more energy efficient.
If you don’t work from home, consider turning your thermostat down by 10 degrees during the day. This can give you higher savings on your energy bills.
If you have pets, your pets will still need to be left in a comfortable enough temperature. Consider your pet’s comfort level in cooler temperatures. If it’s comfortable enough, lowering the temperature can be an excellent way to save money on your utility bills.
Here are a few more ways to save money on your energy bills in winter:
Chipping away at your energy bill is one way you can save money as a homeowner. Regular maintenance and setting your thermostat to an optimal temperature will reduce energy costs and help your home run smoothly in the long run. Overall, the recommended temperature to keep your thermostat at in winter is the lowest temperature you can live in comfortably. Double-check that all your appliances are working correctly to ensure that your home is not using additional energy to make up for old or worn-out appliances. Otherwise, these appliances will increase your heating bill and sabotage any money you may have saved by lowering your thermostat.
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