Posted: October 16, 2023
One heated debate occurring in some households during the months ahead will involve thermostat settings. As in, how low can you set your thermostat during the winter without causing problems—and how much can you really save on heat?
While finding a balance between comfort and savings is not easy because every family and home are different, the U.S. Department of Energy says you can easily save energy in the winter by setting the thermostat to 68°F while you’re awake and then moving it about 8°F lower while you’re asleep or away from home.
The lower the interior temperature, the slower the heat loss, according to Energy.gov. So, the longer your house remains at the lower temperature, the more energy you save, because your house has lost less energy than it would have at the higher temperature.
The same concept applies to raising your thermostat setting in the summer — a higher temperature inside your home will slow heat gain into your house, saving you energy and money on air conditioning costs.
The Energy Department concludes that you can save as much as 10% a year on heating and cooling by simply turning your thermostat back 7°-10°F for eight hours a day from its normal setting.
Sounds good so far, right? But here’s a caveat. When the temperature inside your house drops too low (below 60°F,) the risk for frozen pipes goes up a lot.
Most bathroom and kitchen pipes are not insulated, so they rely on your home heating system to keep them warm. Without adequate exposure to heat, these pipes can freeze and because of this expansion, eventually burst. This can cause severe water and structural damage that could cost thousands of dollars to repair. There are countless stories of people returning from a winter vacation only to find a water pipe had burst and flooded their home.
An easy way to avoid problems and make your life easier is to install a smart programmable thermostat, which will help you keep temperatures low while you’re away and higher while you’re home during the winter. Why waste time adjusting your thermostat every day? Plus, you can monitor your home’s temperature anytime, from anywhere.
Read more about smart thermostats.
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