Home > Maintenance & Renovation > What Should I Set My Thermostat to in Winter?

What Should I Set My Thermostat to in Winter?

Updated Nov 18, 2022

Updated Nov 18, 2022

Home > Maintenance & Renovation > What Should I Set My Thermostat to in Winter?

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.

What Should I Set My Home’s Temperature to During Winter?

man setting a home thermostat
Image Source: Canva

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.

Other Energy-saving Tips To Optimize Your Thermostat in Winter

Install Your Thermostat in the Best Spot

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.

thermostat on a wall in a hallway
Image Source: Canva

Optimizing Your Smart Thermostat

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.

Improve Your Home’s Insulation

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.

Turn Your Thermostat Down During the Day

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.

Additional Ways To Save Money on Energy Costs in Winter

Here are a few more ways to save money on your energy bills in winter:

  • Regularly check and replace filters so your HVAC system can run optimally.
  • Seal windows and exterior doors with caulk or sealant to prevent air from escaping your home.
  • Check your faucets and pipes for leaks. Keep your pipes insulated by installing heat sleeves or wrapping them in blankets to prevent your pipes from freezing, forcing your HVAC system to work overtime to warm things up again.
  • Take advantage of sunny days and open your blinds or curtains to let sunlight in to warm your home up.
  • Get regular inspections before winter to have your furnace and appliances checked and tuned up. Old heat pumps and furnaces can make it harder for your home to warm up, increasing your energy costs. Ask about Energy Star and energy-efficient home appliance options if you need to replace anything.
  • Install weather stripping on windows and doors that are used often to prevent heat loss.
  • Wear warm clothing and blankets to keep yourself more comfortable in cooler temperatures.
couple wearing warm weather clothing and blankets
Image Source: Canva

Final Thoughts

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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