Finding the best heat setting for winter isn’t just about staying comfortable during the colder months, it also plays a critical role in managing your energy bills.
Below, we examine how thermostats work, what factors determine your preferred indoor temperature, and top tips for setting your thermostat while you’re at home or away.
How Thermostats Work
Thermostats work to regulate the temperature in your home or within a space and your heating system won’t operate without one. These devices contain special components that sense the ambient temperature and send the signal to turn your system on or off based on your desired comfort settings.
Programmable thermostats allow homeowners to set different temperatures for various times of the day or week to help optimize energy usage when people are away or asleep. Smart thermostats take this to the next level by learning from users and making automated adjustments based on established behaviors. Either may allow a homeowner to control their thermostat from anywhere using their mobile device.
Finding your ideal home temperature during the winter is a balance between your comfort, how efficient you want your energy to be, and any health considerations you may have. To pinpoint the perfect setting, start at around 68 degrees Fahrenheit and go up or down from there. The best setting is the lowest temperature you can get while still maintaining your preferred comfort level.
It’s also important to think about lifestyle factors that can impact where you’d like your temperature to be. If you exercise a lot and are frequently active, you may prefer a cooler temperature than people who have sitting jobs or who are mostly sedentary. Older individuals need warmer temperatures, especially during cold snaps, since they can no longer retain as much body heat.
Additionally, cold temps can have a negative effect on respiratory health and can exacerbate existing problems like asthma or make it easier for people to contract new illnesses. Make sure your indoor air is warm and moist enough to prevent this.
Cold, dry air can cause irritation of the sinuses and throat. At best, this is only uncomfortable. It can also compromise the body’s natural immunity and pathogen defense mechanisms against respiratory infections. Consider using a humidifier during the winter to prevent your home air from becoming excessively dry.
The Sleep Foundation reveals that according to the Environmental Protection Agency, ideal indoor humidity levels fall between 30% and 50%. Other reports indicate that 40% to 60% may be even better for health and comfort during the winter. Per the EPA, home humidity should never exceed 60%, or you risk developing mold and damaging your home.
If you find yourself constantly adjusting your thermostat in the winter, try these helpful tips to optimize your home comfort during the cold season:
- Make sure your thermostat is in a centralized location of your home. You want to have it on an interior wall, away from direct sunlight, draft, or heat sources, so you can get the most accurate temperature readings.
- Regularly calibrate your thermostat. Because thermostats have delicate sensors to detect ambient temperatures, they need to be frequently calibrated to make sure they are taking accurate readings.
- Switch to a programmable thermostat. This lets you automatically set the temperature lower when you’re away and higher when you’re at home, so you can stay comfortable and still save energy.
- Clean your thermostat. Dust and dirt that accumulates on your thermostat can affect its performance, so it’s important to wipe it down and dust it often with a soft brush and a can of compressed air.
- Don’t forget the batteries. Like smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, many thermostats require batteries to operate. Be proactive about checking and replacing batteries so your thermostat never stops working due to lack of power.
For many homeowners, winter heating is an afterthought – until it isn’t. The last thing you want when the weather is cold is for your heating system to go out or have a hard time keeping up with the dropping temps. At N.E.T.R., our team of Mitsubishi Electric Elite Diamond contractors can help you explore different heating options for your home and which is the best choice for your family and lifestyle.
Contact us today by calling (781) 933-6387 to get answers to your important questions about winter heat settings or to book your home comfort consultation.