What is the optimal thermostat setting for a home?

During winter, the U.S. Department of Energy recommends setting your thermostat to 68 degrees Fahrenheit for both energy savings and comfort. By reducing the temperature by 7-10 degrees from its normal setting for eight hours daily, homeowners can save approximately 10% on their energy bills each year.

Contrary to a common misconception, the Department of Energy clarifies that setting the thermostat back does not result in the furnace working harder to reheat the space. In fact, a cooler house loses heat more slowly to its surroundings once the temperature drops below the normal setting.

In summer, National Grid advises setting your thermostat to a minimum of 78 degrees Fahrenheit for optimal energy efficiency. According to their findings, cooling a room to 75 degrees costs 18% more than maintaining it at 78 degrees.

The U.S. Department of Energy reinforces this advice, suggesting setting your thermostat to 78 degrees when the space is occupied during summer days, and raising it to 85 degrees or turning it off after business hours. In winter, the recommended setting is 68 degrees while occupied, and lowering it to 60-65 degrees or off after business hours. Each degree adjustment can yield savings of up to 3%. Using ceiling or room fans can further enhance air circulation and comfort without significant energy consumption.

For additional energy-saving tips at no cost:

  1. Reduce lighting usage by turning off lights in unoccupied areas and utilizing natural light where possible.
  2. Employ energy-efficient practices with office equipment by powering down devices when not in use or setting them to sleep mode.
  3. Use shades and blinds to block out sunlight during hot days, and close doors to maintain cooler indoor temperatures.
  4. For larger buildings like schools, utilize sensors and timers to control energy usage based on occupancy patterns, and consider updating ventilation systems to improve efficiency.

Following these recommendations can lead to significant energy savings while maintaining comfort levels throughout different seasons.