Ideal thermostat temperature: Five tips to tackle this ongoing debate

Since the dawn of home heating and cooling, one question has plagued families and roommates around the world: What is the best temperature for my thermostat? Whether it’s arguing with our children to put on a sweater, or keeping windows open during these cool spring evenings, managing the temperature of our homes is an ongoing battle. And while we at Front Range HVAC would love to solve this lifelong debate once and for all, the answer is: It varies.

Depending on where you are in the country, average thermostat temperatures range from 70-74 degrees. A basic rule of thumb to managing indoor temp is to adjust your thermostat settings according to your habits, preferences, and the temperature outside. The closer your thermostat setting is to the outside temperature, the more you save.

But as we know, preferences and habits vary by family members, so follow these tips to make temperature management more manageable:

  1. Get smart about your smart thermostat – While many homes have upgraded to smart thermostats in recent years, most are not taking full advantage of the benefits. For example, the ecobee Smart Thermostat from Carrier can tailor to your schedule, personal comfort preferences and the weather outside. It also can provide cost savings details and insight into your heating and cooling equipment performance, even in different areas of your home. These modern devices are designed to constantly learn and adapt, but it is important to take the time to understand the features, especially when first installed. HVAC companies like Front Range HVAC offer installation and training to help you get the most out of this new tech.
  2. Manage humidity – We’ve all heard the phrase: “It’s a dry heat.” This statement actually has a lot of merit when managing indoor temperature. In the winter, you want to add moisture. This allows you to keep the temperature cooler indoors while making it feel warmer. In the summer, dehumidifying will help your home feel cooler. Air conditioners actually aid in this task by removing moisture from the air, and additional dehumidifying measures can boost your results.
  3. Leave the fan setting ‘ON” – As detailed in our recent blog, when your fan runs uninterrupted, air circulates through your home or office more evenly, reducing hot and cold spots. Less frequent stops and starts also reduce the stress on your HVAC system, extending its lifespan and saving you more money long-term.
  4. Location, location, location – Thermostat placement is an important factor in even cooling and heating. Place your thermostat on the main floor in a room you use often, away from windows and HVAC vents that can skew the temperature. Kitchens and basements are not ideal given larger temperature swings. Your thermostat also should be free from doors, decorations, bookshelves, or other obstructions. If using a smart thermostat, ensure accessible Wi-Fi to maintain a strong connection. Also, consider linking several thermostats throughout your home.
  5. Sleep soundly – Most of us sleep better in cooler temperatures, and cooling the core of our home at night is far more efficient than fighting against the heat of hot summer days. While taking advantage of cooler evenings by opening our windows sounds like the best alternative, it can make your home/work that much harder to cool down once the sun comes up. Outside air also can increase health issues for your allergy-prone residents.

So, while the debate rages on regarding the ideal thermostat setting, these tips will help everyone in your home feel more comfortable, while also saving money and energy in the long run.

For more information on thermostat installation and home energy audits, get in touch with our team at Front Range HVAC.