What Temperature Should Your Thermostat Be Set To?

Thermostat blog

Certain factors influence at what temperature you set your thermostat, but it’s primarily a matter of personal preference. Setting it too high or low could not only impact your comfort but also your energy bills and HVAC system. The following is information helpful for deciding what to set your thermostat to at your California home.

Best Thermostat Temperature for Summer and Winter

It’s typically best to set your thermostat to 68 degrees in the winter and approximately 78 degrees during the warmer months. This will prevent your heating system or AC from coming on too frequently and running for shorter periods. It will also help keep your heating and cooling costs low while reducing the wear and tear your HVAC system experiences.

Setting your thermostat to a much higher temperature in the winter or significantly lower in the summer will strain your HVAC system. This added strain can possibly shorten the life span of your furnace and AC or cause the unit to require more frequent repairs. It will also undoubtedly raise your energy bills.

Programming Your Thermostat for Day and Night

It is important to note that these recommended temperature settings are for the times when you’re awake and at home. You really shouldn’t ever turn your HVAC system off completely except for when the weather is milder and your home stays sufficiently comfortable without needing to run your heating or AC. However, you should definitely consider adjusting the temperature both for the times when no one is home and when you’re sleeping. Doing so can save you quite a bit of money on your energy bills, and this is where having a programmable or smart thermostat can really come in handy.

In the winter, it’s a good idea to program your thermostat so that the temperature automatically lowers to around 60 degrees when you go to bed and then again when you leave for work. You can then program the thermostat so that the temperature turns back up in the morning and afternoon so your home is sufficiently warm when you wake up and when you get back from work. If you prefer sleeping in a warmer environment, you may only want to lower the thermostat by a few degrees before going to bed instead of turning it all the way down to 60.

It’s also a good idea to turn your thermostat up by at least a few degrees in the summer whenever no one will be home during the day. However, you don’t want to set the temperature too high as this can make your home more humid and hot enough that your AC will struggle once it comes back on and starts cooling your home to the normal temperature. For this reason, you’re usually fine to program your thermostat to somewhere around 75 to 78 degrees at the most during the days when you’re away.

Depending on how hot the weather is, you may not want to turn the temperature up at night or only turn it up by a few degrees to ensure your home stays cool enough for you to sleep comfortably. On evenings when the weather is less humid and the temperature outside is the same or lower than what you’d normally have your thermostat set to, you can also shut your AC off and open the windows in your bedroom so you stay cool and save even more on energy costs.

How Adjusting the Temperature Can Save Money on Your Energy Bills

Adjusting the temperature by just a few degrees may not seem like it will make much of a difference in how much energy your HVAC system uses, but it really can. Most HVAC systems will use somewhere around 1% more or less energy for every degree you turn the thermostat up and down. According to the US Department of Energy, you can reduce your monthly energy bill by around 10% if you turn the thermostat up by 7-10 degrees for eight hours each day in the summer or down by 7-10 degrees for eight hours a day in the winter. This can add up to some pretty significant savings if you adjust the temperature for the times you’re asleep or not at home. In fact, it could potentially end up saving you several hundred dollars a year.

How Humidity Affects How Your Home Feels

The humidity level can directly impact how your home feels and make a difference in what temperature you may want your thermostat set to. High humidity levels will always make you feel warmer, and the reason for this has to do with how your body sweats and releases heat. Sweating is extremely important for regulating body temperature and allowing your body to release heat and cool off. When you sweat, the air helps the moisture on your skin to evaporate so that you cool down. Whenever the humidity level is higher and there is more moisture in the air, the sweat won’t evaporate as quickly, resulting in you always feeling hotter.

Since humid air will make your home feel warmer, you never want to turn your thermostat up too high in the summer whenever the air is more humid as this would make your house less comfortable. Turning your thermostat up too high will also result in the humidity level inside your home increasing. This is because your AC also works to remove moisture from the air as it runs. If you were to set your thermostat above 74 degrees on an overly humid day, your house will quickly start to feel much warmer than the temperature your thermostat reads since the high humidity will cause the heat index (how hot it actually feels) to increase.

High indoor humidity will also increase the amount of energy your air conditioning system uses. This is simply because AC systems work less effectively and remove heat from the home more slowly whenever the air flowing into the system contains more moisture. This issue is also why you should never open your windows at night when the air is more humid. Open windows will allow lots more moisture inside the house where it will then soak into your carpets, floors and walls, leading to the home quickly becoming far more humid and forcing your AC to work overtime.

If you’re concerned about high energy costs, Air Max HVAC can help by performing a home energy audit so you find ways to boost your home’s energy efficiency and lower your utility bills. As a full-service HVAC contractor, we’re also ready to take care of all of your heating and air conditioning needs. We specialize in heating and AC installation, repairs and HVAC maintenance, and our technicians work on all makes and models of central air conditioners, furnaces, heat pumps and ductless mini-splits. We also install smart thermostats, which can make controlling your HVAC system easier and more convenient and also help you save even more on your cooling and heating bills. For more information on our range of HVAC services or to schedule an appointment for any heating or cooling service in the Burbank area, contact us today.