It's winter! And that means low temperatures and big heating costs. If you're looking to reduce your energy bills this season without sacrificing comfort, this guide is for you. We’ll discuss how to make sure your Houston home stays warm without costing you an arm and a leg. With these ideas, it'll be easy to keep warm all winter long!
Let’s go over what temperature to set your thermostat in winter:
- While you’re home during the day.
- While sleeping at night.
- While you’re gone.
We’ll also review how installing a smart thermostat can keep heating bills low, as well as a few of our favorite energy-saving tips for chilly weather.
Our Recommendations for Winter Thermostat Settings
You might be thinking if 70 is a good temperature for the winter. It can be, but it also depends on your comfort level and your goals for energy efficiency. According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), setting your thermostat at 68 is the best way to keep heating costs down.
What Temperature to Set Your Thermostat in Winter During the Day
The DOE recommends 68 degrees during the day. If you’re feeling too cold, there are a couple of other ways you can stay comfortable.
- Set your ceiling fan in reverse when you’re in a room. This redistributes warm air that gathers near the ceiling.
- Select energy-efficient window treatments, such as honeycomb shades or plantation shutters. If your home has old or drafty windows, putting up plastic sheeting or window blankets offers an extra barrier against the cold.
- Maximize natural warmth by opening south-facing window treatments during the day. Don’t forget to close them at night to minimize heat loss.
If it dips under 30 degrees, setting your thermostat between 64 and 65 degrees is a wise choice while gone. Your furnace won’t be pumping a lot of heat into an empty home, but it’ll be easy for the temperature to recover when you return.
You may want to set the thermostat somewhat higher if you have a dog, especially a puppy, senior dog, small dog or a dog with short hair. Between 66-67 degrees will keep them comfortable and happy.
What Temperature to Set Your Thermostat in Winter at Night
Keeping your bedroom cool can help you get a better night’s sleep. The National Sleep Foundation recommends a thermostat setting of 64-65 degrees.
That might seem too cold if you’re accustomed to a higher temperature. If you’re used to sleeping at 68 degrees, try slowly lowering it over the next few days and sleep with more blankets or warmer pajamas.
Other Ways to Lower Energy Costs in the Winter
Keeping your thermostat at the right temperature in the winter is a good first step to keeping energy costs low. But there are a few other things you can do to cut your bill.
- Get a new thermostat. Programmable thermostats are cheap, but most households don’t have them set up correctly. If yours is always on “hold,” you’re at a disadvantage for energy savings. While you can get your schedule set up, it can be a time-consuming process, especially if your schedule fluctuates from day to day. A smart thermostat can eliminate all that work because it can develop an energy-efficient heating schedule based on your routine and temperature preferences. Learn how you can get a free smart thermostat (or one at a greatly reduced cost)!
- Replace your furnace air filter often. A dirty air filter can create a lot of problems for your furnace, including making it use more energy or even causing it to break down. That’s why it’s important to replace yours every month if you use a flat filter. Or every three months if you use a pleated filter. If you have pets or someone in your home suffers from allergies or asthma, you may want to replace your filter more often.
- Add more insulation. Your home is likely among the 90% in the U.S. that don’t have enough attic insulation. Homes in northern climates require 16-18", while those in southern climates need 13-14".
- Get a new furnace. If your HVAC system is nearly 15 years old, it’s time to start thinking about furnace installation. Installing an ENERGY STAR® furnace can keep you comfier while keeping heating costs down. A new heating system is a big investment, but Marcos AC & Heating helps make it more budget friendly through rebates, special offers and financing for qualified customers.
Whenever you have concerns about what is the best temperature to set your thermostat at, energy efficiency during winter or any other home comfort questions, Marcos AC & Heating is here to assist you. We’re the heating and cooling company your friends and neighbors have relied on since 1987. Call us at 713-469-3357 to schedule your appointment today.