Winter is a season you either love or hate. Whether you smile or roll your eyes when the forecast includes snow, we all appreciate opening the door to our warm and cozy homes. What temperature on your thermostat is warm and cozy? That answer is influenced by several elements. Outside temperature, inside humidity, your comfort level, and your desire to save money all factor into the best temperature for your heater in winter. The experts at Mode Comfort & Air Quality offers great advice to determine your ideal home temperature in winter.
Energy Star, a program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy to promote energy efficiency, recommends a setting of 68 degrees Fahrenheit as the best temperature to set your heater in winter. That may sound a bit chilly to some, but there is reasoning behind the number. Forcing your furnace to keep a high interior temperature with freezing temperatures outside makes your furnace work overtime. A furnace that keeps running means your bills keep going up, too. A more modest temperature of 68 degrees provides just thefh right combination of warmth and savings while increasing the life of your HVAC system. If money savings is a big priority, consider layering your clothing while leaving your thermostat on 68. If you prefer your surroundings a bit toastier, consider a setting of 72 degrees while you are awake and active at home. It will result in a slightly higher energy bill, but it will keep you comfortable when you forgo the hoodie inside
When it comes to the best temperature for your furnace in the winter at night, it is time to turn that thermostat down. As a general rule, the recommended heater temperature at night is between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit. A thermostat setting of around 65 degrees is actually better for your health. When you sleep, your body’s temperature setpoint is lowered, and that makes it easier to adjust to a lower temperature setting on your thermostat. If it is too hot or too cold at night, it can throw off your internal temperature and result in poor sleep quality. Everyone has a different body temperature, so you may have to experiment with your nighttime thermostat temperature to find the right balance.
If you vacation during the winter months, you will also want to lower the temperature on your thermostat. While you are away, the best setting for a furnace in winter is around 60 degrees. You may think that turning off your HVAC system entirely will save money, but it will cost more to get your house back up to the right temperature when you return. You will also increase the chance of freezing pipes if you shut down your furnace or heat pump. If you will be leaving plants and/or pets at home, keep your furnace thermostat set to a minimum of 64 to keep your green leaves and furry friends comfortable and safe.
Even if you are staying put for the winter and can’t wait for the first freeze, the lowest temperature you should set your furnace at is 50 to 55 degrees. This minimum temperature will keep your appliances and pipes in operable condition. Consider this for any vacation properties or unoccupied structures you own. Keep the heat flowing through the house to protect it from potential property damage.
You might have a heat pump instead of a traditional furnace. There are other items to consider when determining the best temperature for a heat pump in winter. Traditional natural gas-powered furnaces generate heat and push it through the ducts of your home via the blower. A heat pump uses ducts, also, but constantly moves air rather than periodically blasting air. Heat pumps take heat from the outside and direct it to your home. When outdoor temperatures fall below freezing, the heat pump utilizes its backup element. Therefore, the best temperature for heat pumps in winter is 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Your heat pump will run efficiently when your home is occupied, and you will be comfortable.
If you have a furnace humidifier, it should be adjusted according to outside temperatures. When temperatures fall between 20 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit, keep the humidity level at 40 percent or below. If temperatures drop below 20 degrees, indoor humidity can be lowered to 25 to 30 percent. Just remember this rule of thumb- the lower the outside temperature, the lower the humidity level inside should be.
Where you place the thermostat in your home is a critical element in energy efficiency. The ideal thermostat placement is on an interior wall in the center of your home. Avoid locating your thermostat in direct sunlight, above air vents, next to a heating source such as your oven or fireplace, or by doors or windows. Consider placing your thermostat in a room you use frequently. Free flow of air around the sensors of your thermostat means it can read temperatures accurately and engage your heating or cooling system as necessary.
What are some other ways to keep your money in your pocket instead of the energy company? First, maintain your furnace annually. Call Mode Comfort & Air Quality to schedule your furnace maintenance visit today. A properly maintained HVAC system catches potential issues before they affect your family’s comfort, and also helps to keep your family safe from possible dangers such as carbon monoxide or natural gas leaks. If your existing system is more than a decade old, consider upgrading to a new energy-efficient HVAC system. Advanced technology means up to 20% more efficiency. That is good for the environment and your wallet. Finally, investigate if multi-zone heating and cooling would be a good fit for your home and budget. They are more expensive than traditional HVAC systems, but they do provide more control over temperatures in various areas of your home providing the ultimate in comfort. Keep in mind this solution will not work in every home.
In the greater Richmond, Virginia area, the only HVAC company you need is Mode Comfort & Air Quality. When you need to schedule preventative maintenance to prepare for the changing seasons, our expert technicians will make it super simple to keep your HVAC system running efficiently. If you find that heating repair is in order, call Mode Comfort & Air Quality to provide quick and reasonably priced service to keep your family warm. Considering a furnace or heat pump upgrade? Mode Comfort & Air Quality has amazing energy-efficient systems ready to install. You can also call us for a humidity control system that adds to the comfort of your home.