Thermostat Settings: What should You Set your Heat At?
With the arrival of heating season in Chicago, heating bills are on the rise. Many people choose comfort over energy savings when it comes to home temperature. While this feels good at the time, the end of the month brings a hefty gas or electric bill. A higher utility bill is not the only reason to keep thermostat settings reasonable. The higher the temperature, the more your furnace has to work to maintain it. For older units, this is especially difficult. To keep your home heating system working all winter long, the following considerations need to be followed.
Keeping Thermostat Settings Lower is Better
While setting the thermostat higher in winter is tempting, it is better to keep it on the lower end of the spectrum. I know, it is FREEZING outside, but it doesn’t need to be July inside. Remember that it is always possible to add another layer of clothes, or a blanket to warm yourself up. You would be surprised how low you can tolerate when you put your mind to it. Obviously, the goal is not to freeze your family or be too uncomfortable. As a rule, If I am wearing warm pajamas and using a blanket I am comfortable. If I get cold still, then I notch the thermostat up one degree. That is all it takes. My smart thermostat puts a 2 hour hold on that temperature and then returns to the previous setting. If you are wondering, I keep my thermostat at 66˚. I know that seems low. However, I have a smaller home with a variable speed furnace. I also constantly run the fan on the unit which continuously circulates air throughout my home. At the end of the month, I am rewarded with lower utility bills.
Pick a Thermostat Setting and Stick To It
Once you settle on a comfortable setting, lock it in. Do not let others in your home fiddle with the settings. For example, if you have your thermostat set at 70˚ and someone changes it to 74˚, it is going to take a lot of wasted energy to get there. Keep in mind, every time someone changes the temperature, your furnace has to work harder. The harder your furnace works, the more likely it can break down. This is especially true when sub-zero temperatures hit. Furnaces are not designed to get a home to 72˚ when it is below zero. It can run constantly and may never reach your desired setting. When the temperatures are extremely cold, lower your setting to ease the stress on your furnace. Keep your thermostat set at lowest comfortable point that your furnace can reach and turn off.
Simply put, it is not a good idea to maintain July temperatures in your home during the coldest months of Chicago’s winters. Anywhere between 66˚ and 72˚ is a pretty good rule. Remember to dial it in and stick to it. At the end of the season, you will see the energy savings. If you are interested in having a smart thermostat installed, contact the Chicago heating experts at Polar today!