Optimal Home Thermostat Settings
“What temperature should I set my thermostat to in the winter months?”
Homeowners across Ohio ponder this question every year. When the temperatures get cold, we all try to keep our costs low and energy consumption to a minimum. Although there are optimal temperature ranges, energy usage varies from house to house and family to family. But it boils down to this… When a temperature setting is too high, you are throwing money out the window. The warmer your house is, the faster you will lose thermal energy. The lower the setting, the slower the rate of thermal energy loss. What is thermal energy? In a nutshell, when you bring two objects of different temperature together, energy will always be transferred from the hotter to the cooler object. The objects will exchange “thermal energy”, until thermal equilibrium is reached, i.e. until their temperatures are equal. Here are a few good ranges of temperature control to keep in mind.
At Home Settings:
— If someone is at home in the daytime, 72° F is a good start, but aim for 68° F.
— We feel 62° F to 66° F is best. This is a sufficient temperature range to offer everyone in the home a comfortable setting.
— When nobody is home, or the house is empty for an extended period, a good thermostat temperature to keep energy costs low is in the 58° F to 62° F range. This will keep the home’s pipes from freezing and lower your energy consumption dramatically.
Having energy efficient appliances is one the most effective ways to lower your energy costs across the board. Old furnace units and heat pumps that are ready to be replaced will take longer to heat a home. This will inadvertently make the house feel colder than it is. It’s always a good idea to have a technician at Advanced Air Solutions check your unit a few times a year to make sure it isn’t costing you more money than it should.
The Programmable Thermostat
Have a predictable schedule? Maybe it’s time to invest in a programmable type of thermostat. There really is no perfect temperature for every home, let alone every hour of the day. Many homeowners find that constantly altering the settings is either too time consuming, or they simply just forget. Enter the programmable thermostat. These clever devices simplify the chore of making optimal temperature changes in the house. During the installation process, you can program your furnace to run differently at different times of the day, depending on work schedules, etc. The settings can be programmed for weeks or months at a time, and can easily be managed using a smartphone app if you aren’t home. Optimal use of a programmable thermostat can save your energy costs by up to 15%, easily offsetting the initial cost of the unit and installation.
- Not using a room? Close the vents and then the door to the room. Let the furnace deliver the heat to the rooms that need it most.
- Make sure all your chairs and sofas are away from areas of drafts or cold windows.
- Open curtains on your south-facing windows during the day to allow sunlight to naturally heat your home, just remember to close them when the sun goes down.
- Seal all the air leaks around utility cut-throughs for pipes, chimney gaps, hearth gaps, and recessed lighting. You can use caulk or weather-stripping to seal air leaks around doors and windows too. Also look for those unfinished spaces behind your cupboards.
- Use a heavy-duty, clear plastic liner on your windows during the coldest of months. Make sure the plastic is sealed tightly to the frame to help reduce thermal energy loss.
- Set the water heater to 120°F. You’ll save money, and you won’t burn your hands.
- Use a heavy-duty, clear plastic liner on your windows. Make sure the plastic is sealed tightly to the frame to help reduce thermal energy loss.
- Above all, Maintain Your Furnace!