Heating up your home during the winter can be a lot more expensive than you’d think. However, studies show that lowering your thermostat by 1 degree tends to reduce heating expenses by 3%. Although you may feel that trying to find a temperature that’s both affordable and comfortable is difficult, many people find setting the thermostat to 68 degrees does the trick. Here are some other ways you can use your thermostat’s settings to save this winter.
What Temperature Should You Set It While You’re Home?
Obviously, while you’re at home, you’ll want to keep the house a little warmer. We suggest setting it somewhere around 68 to 70 degrees. Compared to 74 degrees, you’d spend about 10% less overall. Lowering it further would help you save even more, but you might feel uncomfortable.
You could try setting it as low as 65 degrees to save up to 15% on your monthly heating bills. Of course, you’ll almost certainly feel a little chilly at that temperature. Layering up could help you tolerate such cold indoor temperatures, though. You could even carry a blanket around with you.
At 62 degrees, you’d save up to 20% on your monthly heating costs. While that may sound extreme, if money is tight, it could be worth it.
What About When You’re Asleep?
Most of the time, people can tolerate colder temperatures when they’re in bed. They’re usually underneath a pile of blankets. Plus, cold temperatures make it easier to fall asleep.
So, while you’re in bed, try lowering the temperature another two or three degrees. That could help you save another 5-10% on your overall heating costs, too.
If you’ve got a programmable thermostat, you could automate this process. That way, when it’s time for bed, the temperature will drop. Then, around the time you wake up, it’ll automatically readjust. If set up properly, you’ll never even realize the temperature went so low.
Should You Turn the Thermostat Off While You’re Gone?
To save even more, remember to turn off the thermostat while you’re gone. Turning it off on your way out could reduce your expenses by another 5-10%. However, you’ll be walking into a cold home when you get back. So, you might not want to turn it off, entirely.
Instead, try lowering it all the way down to 60 degrees. Setting it that low should reduce your expenses. However, it shouldn’t take too long for it to start feeling comfortable again once you turn up the heat.
Turning it all the way off would help you save the most, though. It’s up to you to decide if that’s worth it. If you’re serious about minimizing expenses, it could be a no-brainer. But, if you’re sensitive to the cold, you might not want to turn it off completely.
Are Smart Thermostats Worthwhile Investments?
Upgrading to a smart thermostat is an easy way to reduce your heating bills. These can learn your habits. Then, once it has figured out your schedule, it will adjust automatically. You wouldn’t have to remember to turn it off whenever you’re away from home.
Also, smart thermostats tend to detect temperature differences a bit better. As a result, they won’t turn on the furnace unnecessarily. And, you’ll have fewer instances of short cycling, too.
Although smart thermostats cost approximately $200, the costs could even out in about a year. Most of the time, smart thermostats save around 15% off your usual heating expenses.
If you’re paying about $150 each month, then you’d save around $22.5 every month. After 10 months, you’d have saved over $200. That should be enough to cover the cost of a new smart thermostat, too. After that, every bit of savings would be a net gain.
What Else Can You Do to Save on Heating Expenses During the Winter?
Saving money during winter seems like it’s on everyone’s minds. Fortunately, there are a ton of ways to reduce expenses on heating this time of year.
One of the easiest things you can do would be to reverse your ceiling fans. Since hot air likes to rise, reversing them would force warm air to the ground. Then, you’ll be able to enjoy the benefits of that warm air.
Also, you could try wearing additional layers of clothing. Each layer of clothes could help you lower the temperature a little bit more. The more clothes you’re wearing, the less heat you’ll need.
Setting up a space heater could work in a pinch, too. These emit enough heat to warm up a small room. It’d be tough to heat the house with them, though. Still, using a space heater isn’t as expensive as using a furnace. So, if you live alone, you could carry it from room to room.
What’s the Best Temperature During the Summer?
Now, we’ve covered how you should use the thermostat during the winter. How should you set it during the summer, though? Most places use the air conditioner once the temperatures rise. Depending on where you live, it could get warm.
According to the Department of Energy, during the summer, the best temperature setting would be around 78 degrees. That’s cool enough to prevent excessive sweating. But it’s about 20% less expensive than setting it all the way to 70 degrees.
Whenever you leave home during the summer, raise the temperature another 8 degrees. That could help you save another 5 to 10% overall. Then, once you get back home, set it to where you’d like.
What Temperature Would Be the Best for Pet Owners?
If you have a pet, you might be worried they’ll feel uncomfortable. That’s a reasonable concern. So, you might not want to turn the thermostat off completely. Still, pets are covered in fur, so they typically can tolerate the cold.
Try setting the temperature as low as 64 degrees while you’re away from home. For most pets, that won’t be too low. When you get back, check on them to see if they’re cold. If they are, then try setting it to 66 degrees the next time you leave your home.
Upgrade Your Furnace to Save Even More
When was the last time you got a new furnace? If it’s been more than a few years, upgrading to an energy-efficient unit could save you a ton of money. In fact, it might save you more than adjusting the thermostat.
New systems tend to have variable staging, and they burn fuels more efficiently. As a result, upgrading to a new furnace could reduce your heating bills by as much as 20%.
Your Reliable Winter Heating Experts
Polar Air & Heating, Inc. has been helping people stay warm in Las Vegas since 1988. Our technicians are highly trained at installing, repairing, and maintaining furnaces. We also offer comprehensive air conditioning, mini-split systems, and indoor air quality services. Contact Polar Air & Heating, Inc. today to get a free quote or to schedule a service.