Who wants to spend more money on heating and air than they absolutely have to? Knowing what temperatures to set your thermostat to can be an easy and effective way to keep your household costs down. Here are the optimal temperatures to set your thermostat at in the winter and summer to save money on heating and cooling – no HVAC system updates or call to your AC company required.
How Much Difference Can It Really Make?
A lot, it turns out. You can save up to 10% per year on heating and AC just by adjusting your thermostat 7-10 degrees for 8 hours every day. The idea is to more closely mimic outdoor temperatures inside your home. Your savings will be greater if you live in a milder climate instead of a severe one, but it’s an easy fix that’s well worth your trouble even in severe climates.
In the Winter
Set your heater around 68 degrees while you’re awake in the winter, lowering it while you’re asleep or out for the day. Most families have good results keeping their home cooler at night in the winter. It’s easy to double up on winter blankets to stay warm – and most people have an easier time sleeping in a cooler environment anyway.
In the Summer
Keep your AC around 78 degrees when you’re home on hot days – although hotter is better if your family is comfortable with it. When you’re at home or asleep, set the AC to 88 degrees. The air will only turn on if your home is uncomfortably hot, and the temperature inside your home will stay close to the temperature outside.
It’s estimated that for every degree above 78 degrees you keep your thermostat set during the summer months, you can save 6 to 8% on your energy bill. So it’s well worth resisting the urge to crank up the AC.
Other Cost-Saving Tips
Set It and Forget It
We recommend using a programmable thermostat to make the temperature adjustments if you can. That way you can follow the cost-saving tip of adjusting your heat while your house is empty or through the night without having to remember to adjust your thermostat multiple times a day. Programming the temperature also prevents you from having to ever come home to a freezing or scorching-hot house at the end of the day.
Be Judicious With Adjustments
If you notice your house is really warm or really cold on a day with extreme weather, resist the temptation to set your thermostat at a drastic temperature to try to warm up or cool the house faster. It’ll drive up your energy bill and can make your house uncomfortable hot or cold, over-correcting the problem and leaving you uncomfortable anyway.
Keeping your thermostat at a cost-effective temperature might take a bit of an adjustment, but if you’re serious about saving money on your heating and cooling bill, it’s a great place to start.