Recommended Thermostat Settings in the Winter

January 29, 2018

Winter in Ohio is notorious for being bitterly cold, which leads to high energy bills. If you’re looking to balance comfort with energy savings for the remainder of the season, follow these recommended thermostat settings in the winter.

Set the Right Temperature

Begin by manually setting the thermostat to a temperature you feel comfortable with while you’re at home. We recommend dressing for the weather and setting the thermostat to 68 degrees, though anything at or below 70 degrees is ideal. Remember, the lower you set your thermostat in the winter, the more money you’ll save.

Next, choose a setback temperature for the hours when everyone is away. Setbacks are worthwhile anytime your house is vacant for more than four hours. We recommend setting the thermostat to 62 degrees or lower while you’re gone to avoid paying to heat an empty house. However, to prevent frozen pipes, you shouldn’t set the furnace any lower than 55 degrees.

Use a Programmable Thermostat

Installing a programmable thermostat keeps you comfortable when you’re at home and saves you money when you’re away. Once you program the settings you want, you can go about your day while the programmable thermostat automatically adjusts the temperature based on your schedule. There’s no need to remember to turn the temperature down when you leave for work in the morning, and best of all, the thermostat recovers a comfortable setting by the time you get home. It’s the best of both worlds!

Consider the specific features of the programmable thermostat you choose:

  • Day settings: Seven-day units allow you to program a different schedule for every day of the week. 5-1-1 models let you program Monday through Friday on the same setting and Saturday and Sunday differently from one another. 5+2-day models allow for a different setting on weekdays and weekends.
  • Program settings per day: Many programmable thermostats allow you to enter up to four settings per day. These periods are typically named Wake, Day, Evening, and Sleep.
  • Wi-Fi capabilities: “Smart” thermostats connect to the internet, making them accessible from an app on your phone. This allows you to check and change the temperature from anywhere.

Get the Most from Your Programmable Thermostat

To maximize heating efficiency and help your new programmable thermostat pay for itself in energy savings, follow these tips:

  • Use the hold feature properly: You can pause the regular thermostat schedule when you’re away for extended periods with the vacation/permanent hold setting. You can also override programmed settings on a daily basis if you feel uncomfortable. Just remember that every time you turn up the thermostat, you’re using more energy and increasing your heating costs.
  • Refrain from cranking up the temperature: You won’t heat up your home any faster by boosting the setting to 90 degrees. All this does is increase your bills as the temperature exceeds your comfort level. Instead, adjust the temperature by a degree or two at a time to minimize energy waste.
  • Consider adding a zoning system: If your home suffers from uneven temperatures, one way to combat the problem is with a zoning system. This incorporates multiple thermostats and dampers in the ductwork to control the temperature in different rooms independently. Be sure to set each programmable thermostat according to the above recommendations to maximize comfort and energy efficiency.

Get More Recommendations for Setting Your Thermostat from Rick’s Heating & Cooling

If you have any questions about the recommended thermostat settings explained here, or you’re interested in installing a programmable thermostat, please contact Rick’s Heating & Cooling today. We perform expert HVAC services in homes and businesses across Southwest Ohio.