Guide to Energy-Efficient Thermostat Settings in Winter in Sacramento

December 21, 2021

It's winter! And that means cold temperatures and big heating costs. If you're looking to cut your energy bills this season without sacrificing comfort, this guide is for you. We’ll discuss how to make sure your Sacramento home stays warm without costing you an arm and a leg. With these ideas, it'll be easy to keep cozy all winter long!

Let’s review what temperature to set your thermostat in winter:

  • While you’re home during the day.
  • While sleeping at night.
  • While you’re gone.

We’ll also go over how getting a smart thermostat can keep heating bills low, as well as a few of our favorite energy-saving tips for cold weather.

Our Suggestions for Winter Thermostat Settings

You might be wondering if 70 is a good temperature for the winter. It can be, but it also depends on your comfort level and your goals for energy efficiency. According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), setting your thermostat at 68 is the smartest way to keep heating costs under control.

What Temperature to Set Your Thermostat in Winter During the Day

While Home

The DOE recommends 68 degrees during daytime. If you’re feeling too chilly, there are a couple of other ways you can stay warm.

  • Set your ceiling fan in reverse when you’re in a room. This redistributes warm air that gathers near the ceiling.
  • Select energy-efficient window treatments, like honeycomb shades or plantation shutters. If your home has old or drafty windows, putting up plastic sheeting or window blankets offers an extra barrier against the cold.
  • Maximize natural warmth by opening south-facing window treatments during the day. Don’t forget to close them at night to reduce heat loss.

While Gone

If it dips under 30 degrees, setting your thermostat between 64 and 65 degrees is a sensible choice while away. Your furnace won’t be heating a vacant home, but it’ll be easy for the temperature to bounce back when you return.

You may want to set the thermostat somewhat higher if you have a dog, especially a puppy, senior dog, small dog or a dog with short hair. Between 66-67 degrees will keep them cozy and happy.

What Temperature to Set Your Thermostat in Winter at Night

Keeping your bedroom cool can help you get a better night’s sleep. The National Sleep Foundation recommends a thermostat setting of 64-65 degrees.

That might seem too cold if you’re accustomed to a warmer temperature. If you’re used to sleeping at 68 degrees, try slowly lowering it over the next few days and sleep with more blankets or warmer pajamas.

Other Ways to Reduce Energy Costs in the Winter

Keeping your thermostat at the ideal temperature in the winter is a good first step to keeping energy costs down. But there are a few other steps you can take to trim your bill.

  • Get a new thermostat. Programmable thermostats are cheap, but most households don’t have them set up correctly. If yours is constantly on “hold,” you’re at a disadvantage for energy savings. While you can get your schedule set up, it can be a time-consuming process, especially if your schedule varies from day to day. A smart thermostat can get rid of all those steps because it can develop an energy-efficient heating schedule based on your routine and temperature preferences. Learn how you can get a free smart thermostat (or one at a greatly reduced price)!
  • Replace your furnace air filter often. A dirty air filter can create a lot of problems for your furnace, including making it consume more energy or even causing it to malfunction. That’s why it’s important to replace yours every month if you use a flat filter. Or every 90 days if you use a pleated filter. If you have pets or someone in your home suffers from allergies or asthma, you may want to replace your filter more often.
  • Add extra insulation. Your home is probably among the 90% in the U.S. that don’t have adequate attic insulation. Homes in northern climates need 16-18", while those in southern climates need 13-14".
  • Get a new furnace. If your HVAC system is nearly 15 years old, it’s time to start thinking about furnace installation. Upgrading to an ENERGY STAR® furnace can keep you more comfortable while keeping heating costs low. A new heating system is a major investment, but American HVAC Inc helps make it more budget friendly through rebates, special offers and financing for qualified customers.

Whenever you have questions about what is the best temperature to set your thermostat at, energy efficiency during winter or any other home comfort issues, American HVAC Inc is here to help you. We’re the heating and cooling company your friends and neighbors have depended on since 2010. Call us at 916-243-6714 to schedule your appointment today.