As the seasons change, your home’s heating and cooling needs will too. But many homeowners are leery of making wild adjustments to their thermostat for fear of incurring elevated home heating bills and cooling costs.
There’s no reason to be worried, however, as your home’s hvac system is designed to work with the greatest efficiency based upon the heating and cooling necessities dictated by your personal comfort. Yet energy conservation is also a smart thing to consider as you adjust your thermostat to meet the challenges of the climate surrounding you and your home.
In this seemingly never-ending struggle to find a happy medium between comfort and conservation, there have been a series of ideal thermostat settings established for a variety of situations and conditions in the home. Some of these may already be familiar to you, others might not be as widely known, but give these suggestions some consideration the next time you reach for the thermostat.
The Basic Setting
Most consumers will set their home’s thermostat at 78 degrees. This is the recommended temperature for when there are occupants inside the house. But what about when you’re gone or if there are pets living in the home? Is there an ideal temperature for the winter and the summer? These are all questions that consumers have and we’re here to help answer some of them.
What about energy conservation? Does saving money mean suffering in the heat or cold? It’s no secret that the closer you set your thermostat to the outdoor temperature, the more money you can save.
Saving on energy costs comes with knowing how to adjust your thermostat for the best energy efficiency and anyone who wants to save money on their energy bills can reduce their costs by as much as 9% for every degree over 78 that is displayed on the meter.
Setting the Temperature for Empty Homes
This all depends on how long you plan to be gone, if there are any other living things residing inside while you’re out, and the outdoor temperature. For those of you planning to go on vacation for a week or two, you may want to just turn the system off altogether.
This will greatly reduce or increase the temperature in the house based on the climate outside and this could pose a risk to plants, pets, even certain electronics or other home components that might feel the sudden change in your home’s internal temperature.
If you are concerned with letting the home’s temperature rise or fall based on the weather outdoors, you may want to just set it to a number that’s a little more comfortable yet doesn’t put much of a strain on your system.
When you get back home and the inside isn’t as comfortable as you would like, simply turn the thermostat up or down accordingly and your system will start up, running as efficiently as if you had been home the entire time. Many homeowners are concerned that making radical adjustments to the thermostat will dramatically increase their energy costs.
But that is not the case, the system will run like normal and you won’t have to worry about it becoming overworked just to meet your personal comfort zone.
The Winter Months
When it’s cold out, the best temperature for ultimate home comfort is 68 degrees. This is the best choice by experts for when you are in the home and active. When you retire to bed, you may want to lower it by about 10 degrees since you can rely on blankets to keep you warm while you are asleep.
Lowering your thermostat overnight can bring a potential savings on your heating bill of around 12%. Reducing the temperature is a great way to keep your energy costs down and the more you lower it, the more money you can keep in your pocket.
The Summer Months
We’ve already established that 78 degrees is the ideal overall temperature and it’s applicable in the summer months more than the winter. Raising it up or shutting it down while you’re not at home can have a significant effect on lowering your cooling costs.
The heat can be dangerous to animals and plants so you need to be sure you set the thermostat appropriately to meet the demands of your home’s comfort. Programmable thermostats can be rather handy in keeping the home cool when you’re not home. These units are beneficial for lowering cooling costs because they allow you to keep the system from running while you’re out.
There’s no sense in cooling a home you’re not going to be in for long periods of time and a programmable thermostat can let you set your system to start cooling down your home in the moments before you arrive. Adjusting your thermostat to cool the home gradually can prevent you from overtaxing your system to bring the temperature back to a comfortable level.
Running your system at full blast is not recommended and can lead to costly hvac repair bills from overuse.
Pets and Plants
Both can be susceptible to feeling the change in temperature which is why it’s important to keep them in mind when you adjust your settings.
For pets, anywhere between 68 degrees and 78 degrees is acceptable for keeping your pets safe and comfortable. Most dogs, cats, and other common pets have ways to deal with changes in climate that can keep them healthy. But for more exotic pets, you may need to get additional climate control apparatuses such as heat lamps or heated rocks depending on the needs of the pet.
As for plants, dramatic shifts in temperature can mean certain doom as some types thrive best in certain climates and environments. Many houseplants can do well in temperatures from 60 to 78 degrees and anything much lower or higher can be detrimental to their well-being.
When you buy your plants, be sure to ask the salesperson what the best conditions are for their survival and be sure to adjust your thermostat to meet the demands of that particular plant.