What is a Reasonable Thermostat Setting in the Winter
The temperature outside is dropping, but we have the luxury of climate control inside. That leads many people to wonder, what is a reasonable temperature for a house in the winter? Is 76 degrees Fahrenheit the ideal year-round? Should you keep it cooler inside or does it need to be hotter to make it comfortable indoors?
Let’s dive into these questions to figure out a reasonable temperature for your house this winter.
The Temperature That Keeps Everyone Comfortable
Some will say a reasonable temperature for winter is the lowest setting where everyone in the house feels comfortable. However, what feels comfortable is relative. Comfortable in a t-shirt and shorts is different than feeling comfortable in flannel pajamas and a robe.
Make it a rule that if someone feels cold they first put on a sweater, robe, coat, etc. If that still doesn’t keep the chills at bay then the temperature can be increased by a few degrees. The goal is to find the lowest temperature where everyone feels reasonably comfortable without having to keep adding on layers.
Do keep in mind if anyone has medical conditions that require constant temperature regulation that takes precedence. If there’s a baby in the house you’ll need to keep it warmer than recommended because babies can lose heat up to four times faster than adults. The elderly also feel the effects of the cold more than younger people.
The Best Temperature in Winter for Energy Efficiency
If you’re concerned about utility bills you may want to lower the temperature a bit both when you’re at home and when you’re away. We recommend the following temperatures:
- The ideal temperature when people are at home is around 68 degrees Fahrenheit.
- The ideal temperature when everyone is away from home is around 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
- The ideal temperature when everyone is asleep is around 62 degrees Fahrenheit.
Those who are cold-natured may want to ease into it by setting the temperature to 72 degrees. Every few days or so lower it by 1 degree to get acclimated.
Avoid lowering the temperature below 56 degrees F even if you’ll be away for a few days on a holiday vacation. Anything lower than that increases the risk of frozen pipes that can burst. You’ll also need to keep it closer to 60 degrees if there are houseplants or pets indoors.
The rule of thumb is that for every eight hours that the temperature is turned down you’ll reduce energy use by 1% per degree. So, if you bump the temperature down from 68 degrees to 60 degrees each night while you’re sleeping you’ll save 8% on your utility costs.
Program the Thermostat for the Winter
Once you decide on the ideal temperatures while you’re at home and away, it’s time to program your thermostat. Doing so can help you save up to 10% on your electric bill. It’s also very convenient since you can set it now and forget about it for the rest of the winter.
Make sure to program times for:
- When you are away at work.
- When you are asleep.
- Times when you are regularly out of the house such as going to church or the gym.
- The weekends.
Set the thermostat so that the temperature goes up about 30 minutes before you get home and decreases a few minutes before you leave or go to sleep. Check out this article for more tips on how to program your thermostat for energy savings.