(I can’t help but say that GOT style.)
Fall is officially here, and winter is on its way. It’s time to dial up the thermostats to keep your home warm and cozy. As a result, you may find yourself anxious at the thought of a higher electric bill.
What is the Best Setting for Your Thermostat in the Winter
The US Department of Energy recommends keeping your thermostat at 68 degrees in the winter.
I don’t know about you, but that’s a little chilly for me. My favorite temp is 74. During the winter, I’ll make an effort to wear socks around the house and bundle up with a sweater, but the temperature won’t dip below 70. Heat is an area I choose not to sacrifice comfort over money.
The Benefits of a Programmable Thermostat
One of the best (and easiest) things you can do that will drive a massive impact to lower your utility bills is to install a programmable thermostat. We chose a Nest for our house. I’m a big fan of smart devices and appliances in the home. After one year, our monthly electric bill dropped $54 on average. That’s $684 per year, which means the break-even point of our investment was less than four months.
Specifically, the Department of Energy says:
“You can save as much as 10% a year on heating and cooling by simply turning your thermostat back 7°-10°F for 8 hours a day from its normal setting.”
A programmable thermostat like the Nest allows you to set a schedule for the heat to be lower while you’re at work, or while you sleep under big warm covers. The beauty of the Nest and likely with other smart thermostats is the report you receive each month detailing how much your usage changed over the prior period.
Other Changes You Can Make To Save Energy
Any effort you’re willing to make to set to the lowest temperature as low you can during the winter will save on energy.
Place your thermostat on an interior wall away from direct sunlight and drafty windows or doorways. If placed in these areas, the thermostat may take a false reading and not work optimally.
Also, remember to seal up any drafty windows or doors to prevent heat from escaping. Keeping your air filter clean is another tip to save on utility bills and to avoid costly repairs to your furnace. Set a reminder on your calendar to change them at least every three months.
Lastly, consider having an energy audit performed on your house. These are typically provided for free through your local electric company. There is usually a long waitlist, but it’s worth it to get one set up. They’ll come out and perform a few tests to identify where you’re losing valuable heat. My audit included a kit with some LED light bulbs and other supplies to use to conserve energy and water.
What do you set your temperature in the winter? Do you have a programmable thermostat? Let us know in the comments below.