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What’s the Best Temperature to Set My Thermostat in Winter?

December 11, 2017

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We often get this question from homeowners who are interested in staying warm and comfortable while also lowering their monthly energy bills.

Our answer? Well, it depends. 

  • When you’re home, we suggest setting your thermostat to 68° (you can go even lower at night or while you’re out)
  • When you’re not home (i.e. vacation), we suggest setting your thermostat to around 50°

We’ll explain our answers below…

Set your thermostat to 68° when you’re home

When homeowners ask us what they should set their thermostat to when they’re home, we always suggest going no higher than 68°. But for optimal savings, we suggest going 10 degrees lower (58° F) when you leave the house for the day.

If you can go lower, do it. The lower you can set your thermostat (and still be comfortable), the better. Lowering the temperature means your heating system works less. And less work means less energy consumption and lower monthly utility bills.

But how much are you really saving by lowering your thermostat?

Well, according to Energy.gov, when you set back your thermostat 8° to 10° for 8 hours a day from its normal setting, you can save up to 10% on your heating bill.

Now let’s look at how you should set your thermostat when you aren’t at home.

Set your thermostat to 50° when you’re away from home

If you’re going on vacation, we suggest leaving the thermostat set to 50° F.

Why? Well, leaving your empty home at 50° F offers both:

  1. Low heating bills
  2. Protection for your pipes

You see, given Colorado’s temperatures, if you set your thermostat to 50°, your heating system will most likely only run during cold nights. And this means minimal energy usage (low monthly utility bills).

BUT it also means your home’s pipes will be protected. Keeping heat on during very cold nights means that your pipes stay warm enough to prevent them from freezing over and bursting, potentially saving you hundreds in pipe repairs.

Use a programmable thermostat to automate your savings

Worried you’ll forget to set your thermostat back every time you leave the house? Or maybe you’re not excited to come back to a 50° house after a long vacation?

That’s where a programmable thermostat comes in to save the day.

A programmable thermostat’s main benefit is its ability to automatically adjust your home’s thermostat according to your schedule.

You see, programmable thermostats allow you to “program” up to 7 different daily schedules. We’ll look at an example of how this could save you money:

Let’s say that you always leave the house at 7:30am and come back home around 6pm. To help you keep energy-efficient temperatures, you can schedule your thermostat to:

  • Lower the temperature 10° at 7:30
  • Return your ideal temperature at 5:30 (so you come home to a warm house)
  • Lower the temperature 10° again at 11pm (while you sleep)

Going on vacation but not sure when you’ll be back home? Well some programmable thermostats also allow you to control your home’s temperature remotely through WiFi via a phone, laptop, etc.

Want to learn more about programmable thermostats?

Just contact us. We can help you choose the right model for your home and heating needs.

Need a programmable thermostat professionally installed? We can do that too.

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