Summer and winter can mark the arrival of some of the hottest or coldest outdoor temperatures of the year. While many families have heating and cooling units for their homes, plenty of homeowners feel stumped about choosing thermostat settings that ensure livable indoor temperatures. Constantly switching or changing the thermostat temperature can result in each family member feeling uncomfortable and frustrated. At the same time, tampering with the thermostat without a real strategy can also trigger the start of extra HVAC cycles. This forces your heating and cooling system to overwork and can result in an exorbitant utility bill.

According to research from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the average U.S. family spends more than $2,200 annually on energy bills, and nearly 50% of that amount goes toward heating and cooling expenses. In addition, research from the National Energy Assistance Directors Association (NEADA) indicates that energy costs may increase by 35% by the end of the decade. Learning the right thermostat settings can help you navigate seasonal extremes, thereby cooling your house comfortably in the summer and warm in the winter without breaking the bank. A look at the most popular thermostat control methods to save money during summer and winter can provide information and resources that benefit your budget throughout the year.

What Temperature Should I Set My Thermostat During the Winter?

Choosing a thermostat control setting is an important part of winterizing your household. According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the recommended thermostat setting for winter is 68 °F during the daytime while you are awake and at home. If you are away from home, you can also consider lowering the temperature to reduce heating bills. According to the DOE, households may save as much as 10% on heating and cooling costs by turning the thermostat back 10-15% for eight hours each day. This translates into adjusting the thermostat to approximately 7 °-10 °F for about a third of the day.

What Temperature Should I Set My Thermostat During the Summer?

During the summer, it is important to select an efficient temperature setting that does not raise energy costs. According to the DOE, the ideal thermostat setting for the summer is 78 °F. Supplement your cooling system with ceiling fans to maintain a comfortable indoor environment. Ceiling fans circulate preexisting air conditioning within a room. This creates a windchill or cooling effect that enables you to raise the thermostat setting slightly without sacrificing overall comfort.

What Is the Recommended Thermostat Setting for the Rest of the Year?

Even if you are not facing seasonal weather extremes, it is natural to the ideal temperature settings for your thermostat throughout the year. According to the DOE and EPA’s ENERGY STAR program, ideal home temperatures range between 70-78 °F. To maximize energy efficiency, consider adjusting the settings up or down by eight degrees when you are away from home to lower your heating and cooling costs.

What Are the Most Popular Types of Thermostats for Energy Efficiency?

Selecting the right thermostat and optimizing the available settings can help make your home more efficient. The four main categories of thermostats include programmable thermostats, smart thermostats, WiFi thermostats, and manual devices.

Programmable Thermostats

Programmable thermostats provide the opportunity to present different temperature schedules throughout the day. By programming temperatures to match your daily routine, you can avoid drastic adjustments as well as the error of heating or cooling an empty home. Programming your HVAC units to operate primarily when you are at home can help with energy savings. Digital thermostats provide a range of features like multiple setback settings, overrides for default settings, and adjustments for special circumstances like daylight savings time. This makes digital devices a popular choice, but there is also a learning curve for new owners. In contrast, electromechanical units use manual pegs or sliding bars to adjust the electric settings. This makes electromechanical devices popular for beginners.

To get the most out of your programmable thermostat, experts advise that you consider when you wake up, sleep, or leave for work. For example, you can program the device to increase temperatures shortly before you wake up, thereby ensuring a daytime environment. In the hours when you are typically away from the house, program your thermostat to reduce the output of heating or cooling. This can help prevent wasted energy. Finally, you can program the thermostat to lower the temperature slightly while household occupants are sleeping to save energy without disrupting comfort. Automatic programming is a solid option for people with consistent schedules. According to ENERGY STAR, a properly installed programmable thermostat can save families around $180 per year in utility costs.

Smart Thermostats

Smart thermostats take programmable thermostats a step further through the integration of advanced features like artificial intelligence, machine learning, and algorithms to automatically adjust the temperature of your home. You can often control these thermostats remotely using smartphone apps that help you manage the settings for your home. If your daily habits are variable instead of routine, a smart thermostat can match your lifestyle. For example, smart settings use geofencing to automatically detect your absence from home and lower the thermostat temperature while you are away. Some smart thermostats also use geolocation tools to suggest indoor temperatures based on weather or climate data. Many smart thermostats can use learning algorithms to track your preferences and create customized schedules with your household’s needs.

WiFi Thermostats

WiFi thermostats are popular due to their remote control and connectivity features. These devices automatically connect to your existing WiFi network and enable programming through web-based apps. A key benefit of a WiFi-enabled thermostat is that you can usually adjust settings from your smartphone, tablet, or laptop browser. Many WiFi units also provide usage reports that detail energy consumption and provide suggestions for improvement. This may help lower your energy bills and help you save money.

Manual Thermostats

Manual thermostats offer a conventional approach to managing household energy needs. Some homeowners select these thermostats due to their familiar and straightforward use. However, it is important to remain mindful of manually adjusting the temperature when leaving the house or before going to sleep to avoid excessive heating or cooling.

What Is the Best Way To Help My Home Conserve Temperature Settings?

Once the thermostat has helped your home reach an optimal temperature, the best way to conserve this comfortable environment is through regular HVAC maintenance. For example, proper HVAC maintenance includes air filters, vents, and register upkeep. This keeps these areas unobstructed and allows your home to sustain ideal temperatures. HVAC maintenance can also ensure adequate insulation to keep your house warm during winter and to prevent the loss of conditioned air during the summer.

Contact Us Today

Installing the right thermostat can boost energy efficiency and reduce utility costs. A professional can help you make the best choice for your household. Sigwald Service Co. provides heating and cooling services for homes in Rockport, TX, and surrounding areas. We offer both AC and furnace installation or repair. Our technicians can install the best thermostats and provide complete HVAC maintenance throughout the home. Contact Sigwald Service Co. today for all heating and cooling needs.

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