Thermostat with a knitted hat on top showing the word 'Save' on its screen

As temperatures remain especially cold, you might be asking yourself, “What temperature should I set my thermostat to in winter?”  Whether you’re getting the setting right for a dinner party or simply making sure everyone at home is cozy, most of us look to balance being comfortable and maintaining an environmentally-friendly, sustainable household.

While comfort is all about personal taste, you can remain environmentally-conscious every time you set your thermostat, and even potentially save along the way. According to Energy Hub, you can save up to five percent in heating costs for every degree you lower your thermostat between 60 and 70 degrees.




While the safety of those at home should always come first, here are settings you may want to consider.

  • Daytime: 70° – 72° Fahrenheit
  • Nighttime: 66° – 68° Fahrenheit
  • Away From Home For the Day: 64° Fahrenheit
  • Away From Home on Vacation: 60° Fahrenheit or Off

If your home currently runs temperatures much higher, you can try easing into the temperature changes. Start with a benchmark temperature, and then try lowering it by one degree every three days. Just this minor one degree reduction, maintained for eight hours, could reduce your home’s energy costs by 1%. When the change is gradual, those around you are less likely to notice.

And if you don’t want to focus on a number, here are some helpful tips for an energy-efficient winter heating strategy.

1. Keep Your Thermostat In Good Condition.

While it may seem as though there are fewer parts that could break down compared to your heating and cooling system, a thermostat can definitely malfunction over time. Dirt or movement of the cover or base can affect the thermostat’s calibration, which may interfere with your thermostat setting. Check wiring, batteries, and placement of the casing regularly to ensure it is working properly.

2. Consider a Programmable Thermostat

Not only can you now control your thermostat setting from a smart device, but you can also program it to adjust itself when no one is at home or while everyone is sleeping. Many brands allow you to change the temperature of your thermostat setting up to six or more times a day. Nest, Honeywell, and other leading brands offer programmable thermostats that allow for more control of your energy usage. With auto-scheduling features, programmable thermostats will cycle through your personalized schedule and change the setting to reduce energy.

3. Keep Your Home in Top Shape

From having your furnace inspected to sealing cracks around windows and doors, these minor efforts can help your home maintain its warmth. Also, be sure to close doors and vents in unused rooms so that the air flow is delivered to the occupied spaces.

Of course at home, you want to dress comfortably. During the winter season, that also typically means dressing warmly. While you don’t want your loved ones in scarves and mittens indoors, keep throw blankets handy and also consider space heaters as an efficient alternative to raising your thermostat. Giving the tactics above a try this winter may just warm your heart with the good deed for the planet, and be far more manageable than you think.

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