With the outside temperatures dropping rapidly, now is a good time to start thinking about your thermostat settings for the long Minnesota winter. Understanding the proper way to control indoor temperature is critical for maximizing comfort and minimizing utility bills all year round. Read our blog as we discuss the ideal temperature settings for all seasons.
Did you know that the U.S. Department of Energy estimates you can save up to 1 percent in energy costs in the winter for each degree you set your thermostat back from your “comfort setting?” Alternately, increasing your thermostat in the summer while you’re away at work or on vacation can lead to significant cost savings as well. Thermostat settings vary with the season, your habits and lifestyle, and the composition of your home. However, studies show there is an ideal range of temperatures to increase comfort, quality of life, and energy efficiency.
When the weather outside is frightful, optimal comfort can be reached with the thermostat set between 68° to 74° F when you’re at home during the day. If you’re away or sleeping at night, many find they can lower the temperature to 58° to 62° F and still be comfortable. However, if your household has someone very young or elderly, or anyone with health issues, lowering temperatures at night may not be a good idea. Be sure to check with family members and loved ones when you change the temperature. If they’re shivering, you may want to raise the thermostat a few degrees.
The recommended temperature for the warmer months is between 73° and 78° F, higher if you’re away on vacation or out of the house for an extended period of time. Studies show that most people are comfortable when the thermostat is set to 75°. Raising the temperature at night or when you’re away can save you money and still keep you comfortable. Excess humidity is also an issue in the summer months. If your AC fails to lower the humidity adequately, the air will feel cool but moist, which can lead to issues with flooring, walls, and furniture.
Spring is the time of year when you transition from heating to cooling. On warm spring days, set the temperature to the highest comfortable setting. We recommend 78° when you’re at home or asleep. While you’re away, raise the thermostat to 85° to avoid cooling an empty house.
Fall, on the other hand, is the time of year when you transition from cooling to heating. On colder fall days, set the temperature to 68° while home and between 60° to 65° while away and at night. But before you crank up the heat on the first cold day, try keeping your thermostat set at a lower temperature and layering clothing.
A good quality programmable thermostat makes it easy to set, change, and maintain temperatures in your home. Programmable thermostats let you change the temperatures based on your schedule and lifestyle. Used properly, it can save a significant amount on your heating and cooling bills as well as increase energy efficiency.
The professionals at Heating & Cooling Two can help with all your HVAC needs. Contact us today for more information or questions about your HVAC system or to schedule preventative maintenance or repair.