These Are the ‘Optimal’ Winter Thermostat Settings for the Lowest Energy Bills


Image for article titled These Are the 'Optimal' Winter Thermostat Settings for the Lowest Energy Bills

Photo: Elena Masiutkina (Shutterstock)

With winter setting in across the country, and the COVID-19 pandemic still going strong, it looks like we’ll be spending a lot of time indoors for the next few months. Though it can be tempting to crank up the thermostat inside your home when it’s cold outside, doing so on a regular basis throughout an entire season can leave you with sky-high energy bills.

But there are strategies for setting your thermostat during the winter that will make sure you stay warm(ish), while still being able to afford your heating bills. Here’s what to know.

Energy-saving winter thermostat settings

For a variety of reasons, people are comfortable at different indoor temperatures. Some prefer keeping it on the cooler side, and then getting cozy under blankets and in warm clothing. Others would rather wear shorts and T-shirts all winter, and keep their home feeling more like a tropical climate.

But if you’re approaching it strictly in terms of keeping your heating costs low, Energy Saver, the U.S. Department of Energy’s consumer resource on saving energy, has some recommendations—starting with setting your thermostat to around 68°F during the daytime in the winter, and a few degrees cooler at night, and when you’re away from home.

If 68°F sounds a bit chilly, there’s a reason for that. According to Energy Saver, the smaller the difference is between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the lower your energy bill will be:

During winter, the lower the interior temperature, the slower the heat loss. So the longer your house remains at the lower temperature, the more energy you save, because your house has lost less energy than it would have at the higher temperature.

Other cost-saving winter heating tips

In addition to your thermostat settings, here are a few other tips from Energy Saver to help you stay warm this winter, while keeping your heating costs down:

  • Clean and/or replace furnace filters once a month, or according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Keep heating vents/registers, baseboard heaters, and radiators clean.
  • Make sure that heating vents/registers, baseboard heaters, and radiators aren’t not blocked by furniture, carpeting, or drapes.
  • Put your window treatments to work, keeping curtains/drapes and shades on your south-facing windows open during the day (to allow the sunlight in) and closed at night to help block out any drafts.

And if keeping your thermostat at 68°F or lower isn’t exactly your idea of comfortable, remember that it is winter, and time to break out the thick sweaters, sweatpants, and blankets.



Read More: These Are the ‘Optimal’ Winter Thermostat Settings for the Lowest Energy Bills

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments