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Finding the Best Temperature Setting for Winter

What’s the Optimal Temperature Setting for My Heater in Winter?

Both comfort and energy use are important factors for any home. Finding a wintertime balance between comfort and energy savings can be tricky. Because indoor comfort during winter weather is such an individual preference, there isn’t an optimal temperature that works for everyone. So, the solution is really a matter of just that – finding a balance that keeps you, and everyone in your home comfortable and you comfortable with the electric bills.

As expected, the lower you set your thermostat, the lower your energy consumption is going to be. To maximize comfort and minimize cost, we suggest choosing the lowest temperature you’re comfortable with. Generally, the recommended daytime indoor temperature in winter is 68 degrees. This is a great starting point for finding the right temperature for your home, providing a nice balance between comfort and energy use.  

Best Temperature for Heater in Winter at Night

As a general rule, the recommended heater temperature at night is between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit. A thermostat setting of around 65 degrees is actually better for your health. Again, your optimum nighttime temperature will vary based on your preferences.

Reducing the temperature overnight can provide additional energy savings, but finding a balance between those savings and the extra energy your system uses to recover in the morning can vary. This can vary based on the outside temperature, how your home is insulated and the specific system you have.

How to Save Money on Heating Costs in Winter

Install a Programmable Thermostat

The ability to reduce the temperature automatically during times when you’re away or during the evenings to save energy can go a long way to reducing your heating bill. When choosing the right thermostat and settings for you, consider the type of heater you have. Gas furnaces tend to recover faster when returning the home to your ideal temperature setting. Heat pumps are better at monitoring and maintaining a set temperature around the clock. 

System maintenance

Proper year-round maintenance of your equipment is important to seasonal cost savings. As the homeowner, changing your filters regularly can reduce stress on your system and optimized air flow within your home. In addition, regular inspections and a yearly tune-up by an HVAC professional can help identify potential problems and efficiency issues that could affect winter performance. These steps will help ensure your heater is at its most reliable and efficient during the months it needs to work hardest. Find a Lennox dealer near you to schedule your next inspection.

During your next inspection, be sure to have the technician take a look at your ductwork as well. Old or damaged ductwork can cause major reductions to overall system efficiency. Identify and correct leaks, poorly insulated ducts, and improperly sized ductwork. These repairs will improve year-round comfort, air quality, and energy efficiency.

Proper home insulation

Having the proper type and amount of insulation for your home is critical to keeping your family warm. Have a professional inspect your attic to determine if there are any issues that can be corrected before cold weather hits.

You should also take the time to inspect for drafts and leaks around your home, especially around windows and doors. Even a small amount of cold air seeping in can make your heater work harder. Most of these drafts can be eliminated with inexpensive do-it-yourself fixes. 

Efficiency of your equipment

The type and efficiency-level of your equipment plays a major factor in both comfort and cost. Choosing equipment with higher efficiency-ratings is key. If you’re installing or upgrading, consider spending a bit more on the front end. The long-term energy savings will quickly pay you back.

Other budget-conscious things to consider

While you’re prepared your system settings for the winter months, consider these budget-friendly ways to up the comfort factor – and reduce the burden on your heater.

  • Add a space heater for additional warmth in a specific room. Space heaters are affordable and can help reduce the load you put on your system.
  • Add a humidifier to a room or your system. The added humidity will make a lower temperature setting feel more comfortable.
  • Practice sweater weather indoors. Dressing a little warmer is an easy way to make a slightly lower temperature setting less noticeable.
  • Add some extra blankets to your couches and beds to add an extra layer of comfort.

We hope these tips help you on your path to perfect air this winter – and reduce the burden of your winter energy bills.

Visit the Department of Energy Fall and Winter Tips page to learn more about optimizing your home and your HVAC system for cold weather.

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