What is the Ideal Setting for My Thermostat?

It’s challenging to keep your home comfortable without seeing a huge increase in energy expenses during the cooling and heating seasons. Many wonder, “What should thermostat be set on in summer and in winter?” As you endeavor to find the best thermostat setting for your home, there are some important considerations to keep in mind.

Types of Thermostats

There are both programmable and non-programmable thermostats. If you have an older dial thermostat, the chances are good that your home isn’t operating with the best energy efficiency possible. It’s easy for your settings to be imprecise. A digital thermostat is a much better option. When you install a programmable model, you can control settings based on household activity. This will save quite a bit of money as you can use less extreme settings when you are away from home.

Some modern controls are even accessible by smartphone or PC app, allowing you to check trends in energy use or adjust temperatures while you are out of the house. In some cases, these remote access thermostats work together with specialized AC and heating systems.

Best Thermostat Settings

Energy Star guidelines provide starting points, also called setpoint temperatures, for both heating and cooling seasons. The organization then recommends that you fine-tune your settings based on your own household schedules, comfort and activities.

Heating Settings

  • Wakeup time: set your thermostat below 70 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Daytime: reduce your settings at least eight degrees
  • Evening: return your settings to wakeup levels
  • Sleep: reduce your settings by eight degrees

Cooling Settings

  • Wakeup time: set your thermostat above 78 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Daytime: increase your settings by at least seven degrees
  • Evening: return your settings to wakeup levels
  • Sleep: increase your settings by at least four degrees

Making Adjustments

The recommended settings provide you with a starting point, allowing you to make adjustments based on your personal comfort and preferences. You can also make use of complementary practices to enhance the heating or cooling effect of your equipment without significant impact on your temperature settings. For example, use of ceiling fans during the summer can make your home feel cooler without the need to lower your thermostat settings.

Thermostat Misconceptions

There are some common practices that homeowners engage in to reach better comfort levels, but these can reduce your energy efficiency while leading to less consistent comfort. For example, cranking your thermostat to extremely high or low settings doesn’t provide faster results in heating or cooling the house. Another belief is that keeping interior temperatures too low in the winter or too high in the summer will be more costly because of the effort required to return to normal levels when necessary. The reality is that lower winter settings and higher summer settings will cause energy loss from your home to occur at a slower rate.

Consult with an Expert

If you are concerned about improving your home’s energy performance, an energy audit can provide a great deal of helpful information. The experts at Ray & Son are happy to evaluate your Nashville, GA home to provide specific information about managing your HVAC energy use.