The Best Thermostat Setting For Winter: Thermostat Heating Tips
Superior Home Supplies Resources
Winter is a season where high energy use is common, especially in more northern locations. When the air sends a chill through your body, you may find yourself abandoning normal settings on your thermostat and opting for a higher temperature in your home. While doing this may improve your comfort temporarily, it is likely unnecessary and can result in higher than normal energy bills.
So how can you save money this winter while maintaining the comfort of your home? Follow the few thermostat setting tips below to enjoy a comfortable winter season for your home and wallet.
The Most Efficient Thermostat Setting For Winter
Finding the proper thermostat settings for winter can lower overall energy use and help you save money on your monthly bills. In fact, you can save as much as 10% off of your heating costs and energy bills by reducing your indoor temperature by just 7 to 10 degrees for 8 hours. To get started on your utility savings, you will need to find the best temperature for your home, both for comfort and cost
When to Lower Your Thermostat in Winter
When it comes to winter thermostat settings, most homeowners tend to set the thermostat temperature higher than needed to maintain comfort. When it is cold, outside homeowners will significantly increase their home’s temperature so that they will feel immediate warmth when they enter. While this can be comforting at first, it is likely not necessary and will increase your energy use.
Yet, you can maintain comfort with a much less drastic shift in temperature. The difference between 70 degrees Fahrenheit and 68 degrees Fahrenheit is rarely felt. This is especially true at night when your body needs to be cooler. If you want to keep your home warmer during the day, be sure to lower it when you go to sleep. You will save money and likely enjoy a more comfortable and restful sleep.
The Benefits of a Consistent Temperature
The more consistent your home’s interior temperature, the greater your comfort level will be. Significant fluctuations can affect your comfort and also increase your overall energy costs and the longevity of your heating and cooling system. When the temperature can fluctuate gradually, your system will not have to work as hard or expend as much energy.
The best way to maintain a consistent temperature in your home is through a programmable thermostat or smart thermostat. With either of these options, you can set the temperatures for various times of the day and allow for a gradual increase or decrease in temperature as needed.
Home Energy Audits
Another way to ensure that your energy usage is as low as it should be is by performing a home energy audit. Professional home energy audits can help you find potential problems in your home that may lead to higher energy use. They also can help you improve your home comfort without having to utilize more energy. Some of the items your home energy audit professional will check, include:
- Air Leaks: A major issue that can affect your energy use is air leaks. During your audit, baseboards, fireplaces, outlets, windows, and your foundation will be checked for cracks to ensure that there is nowhere for cool or warm air to leak out.
- Lighting: Lighting in your home can also account for higher than normal energy use. All fixtures will be checked to ensure they are energy-efficient, and it may be recommended that you switch to CFL or LED bulbs to lower your energy bills.
- Insulation: Poor or damaged insulation can lead to high energy use in your home. During your energy audit, interior walls, attic space, and basements may be checked to ensure that you have the necessary insulation to keep your house temperature comfortable and your energy costs down.
- Doors and windows: Older doors and windows can be an area where significant heat loss occurs during the winter months. If you feel cool air or a draft by any of your windows or doors, they may need to be replaced or resealed to prevent the warmed air in your home from escaping.
- HVAC system: An HVAC inspection will be part of an energy audit. Your heater and air conditioning unit will be checked to ensure it is clean, free from damage, and operates optimally.
- Appliances: The best way to help lower energy costs is by choosing energy star appliances. These appliances will lower the overall energy output of your home and may even earn you some rebates.
Tips to Lower Your Heating Bill in Winter
Since winter is one of the seasons when your energy usage is the highest, finding ways to lower your bill while keeping your home at a comfortable temperature is vital. While lowering the temperature in your home is one of the easiest ways to save on home heating, there are a few other tips that will enable you to save even more.
Programmable thermostats are the perfect option when you are looking to save money on your energy costs and maintain an ideal temperature in your home. With a programmable thermostat, you can set your temperature to a lower degree when you are away from home and allow it to gradually increase the temperature to your comfort level before you arrive.
Furnace Filters & Tune-Ups
A properly maintained heating system would allow your home to be heated more consistently and evenly while maintaining efficiency. Regularly check and change your HVAC filter as needed. Buildup in the filter can inhibit airflow, causing your system to work harder than it needs to to get your home to the desired temperature. You will also want to have your system serviced before the winter months. During the maintenance visit, your HVAC professional can repair and lubricate parts, clean the system, and check for issues that may diminish efficiency.
Your home’s insulation will also play a significant role in your home’s energy use. Before the winter months, check your home’s insulation. If there is damaged insulation, you should have it replaced. If you find areas where your insulation is worn or broken down, you may need to add more. The better your insulation, the better your home can prevent heat loss.
Add Rugs to Your Home
If you have hardwood, laminate, or tile flooring throughout your home, you may find that they are colder in the winter than carpeted rooms. You can improve the warmth in these rooms by adding an area rug.
Check The Seals on Windows And Doors
Heat loss during the winter months can also occur through cracks or damaged seals around windows and doors. Before the winter months, checking around your doors and windows for visible cracks or drafts is a good idea. If any are detected, consider adding caulking or replacing the seals.
Increase Air Circulation
Increasing the air circulation in your home can prevent your HVAC system from working harder than it needs to maintain the correct temperatures. Ensure all of your air vents are open and not blocked by furniture, blinds, curtains, or decorations. The more open the area around your air vents, the more easily the warmed air will be able to fill the room and achieve the correct temperature.
Other Settings to Support Energy Savings in The Winter Months
Lowering your temperature settings and using programmable thermostats are some of the best ways to reduce energy use in the winter. But you can even take your energy savings a step further during the winter months by trying the few additional setting tips listed below.
Program a Lower Temperature at Night
When it is time to sleep, your body temperature will lower to prepare you for slumber. Being cooler when you sleep can help to improve your quality of sleep and allow you to fall asleep more quickly. You may notice how restless you are in the summer if you don’t have an air conditioner. This is because it takes longer for your body to reach the best temperature for sleep.
In the winter, you can prepare for better sleep and lower your overall utility bills simply by programming your thermostat to be about five to seven degrees lower than you have the temperature in your house during the day.
Only Use Small Incremental Changes
As mentioned before, wide fluctuations in temperature can cause your furnace to work harder and run longer than if the temperature increases gradually. Avoid coming home and cranking up the furnace ten degrees. If you are looking to save money and lower your energy use when you are away, program your thermostat to a different temperature during the daytime hours you will be away and program it to your comfortable temperature for the time you get home. This way, your system will gradually increase or decrease the temperature, so it is the desired comfort level for the time you are occupying the house.
How to Test Your Thermostat is Working
While understanding the best thermostat settings for winter for your thermostat is vital, so is being able to check that it is working properly. Some HVAC technicians will perform a thermostat check during your routine maintenance visit. If they don’t, and you notice a problem with your HVAC system starting up, your thermostat could be the culprit. The good news is that checking the thermostat is easy with a few simple steps.
- Remove the thermostat cover: For safety, you will want to flip the breaker on your furnace before removing the cover from your thermostat. When you remove the cover, the wires will be exposed and should include a red, white, green, yellow, and c wire. In some cases, though, only some of the wires may be connected. You will need to re-connect these wires at the end, so it is a good idea to take a picture with your phone before disconnecting anything.
- Disconnect the wires: Once you have recorded where the wires are placed, you will need to remove them from their terminals. Ensure that the wires do not fall into the wall when disconnected.
- Attach the bare ends of the wires together: The red and white wires typically represent the power and heat. Twist the two bare ends of these wires together, ensuring that the other wires do not touch them.
- Flip the furnace breaker: Next, you will need to power your furnace back up. Flip the fuse. If you hear the blower in the furnace start up and see the burner ignite, you have either connected the wires wrong, or the thermostat is not working. If, after rechecking the wires, you have the same results, it is time to replace the thermostat.
- Watch the burner: If you turn your furnace back on and the burner does not ignite, you will want to ensure that there is no damage to one of the wires. If the wires are intact, your thermostat is not likely the problem, and you may need to call in a technician.
- Re-connect and tighten terminals: Once you have completed your checks, re-connect and retighten your wires to the terminal screws. Replace the faceplate of your thermostat.
Superior Home Supplies Can Help With All Your Home Heating Needs
Whether you are looking for a new furnace or a programmable thermostat to help reduce your energy consumption, Superior Home Supplies has the best brands and the options you need. Contact Superior Home Supplies today or check out their available inventory.