What Temperature Should I Keep My Home?
When you’re trying to find a comfortable temperature for your house, you could spend all day pushing the buttons on your thermostat. Before you spike up your energy bills and drive your family crazy, make sure you’re ready for summer by figuring out what temperature to keep your home.
Whether it’s summer or winter, your home should be at a comfortable temperature all year round. You don’t want to be sweating puddles in the summer or wrapped in blankets in the winter months. Instead, take our advice and find a way to adjust your thermostat so everyone in the house, including your wallet, is happy.
Why Home Climate Control Is Important
While you might not think about the temperature all the time, it affects your house in many ways. Here are some specific reasons for having the right setting on your thermostat in the home:
- You’ll be comfortable: Imagine a world where you’re not shivering in the winter or sweating in the summer. By knowing the right temperature, you can achieve this dream in your own house.
- You’ll save money: The energy your HVAC system spends to heat and cool the air makes up more than half of the energy you use in your house. Adjusting the temperature seven to 10 degrees Fahrenheit for eight hours each day can save you 10% on your electric plan each year.
- You’ll protect your HVAC system: Setting the right temperature will relieve the strain on your air conditioner or furnace. You’ll have a long-lasting, reliable HVAC unit when it doesn’t have to compete with the outside heat or wind.
- You’ll be healthy: The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends keeping indoor temperatures between 64 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit if you’re healthy, but at least 68 if you or someone in your house has chronic health conditions. Setting the right temperature in your home in the cold winter months prevents hypothermia and respiratory issues in children and older adults.
How to Find the Right Temperature for Your House
Finding the right temperature is tricky, especially when you live with others. Consider these factors before you start playing with the thermostat:
- Humidity: Besides adjusting the temperature, an HVAC system also removes moisture from the air. If you live in a humid climate, you should always keep the AC running in the summer, even if it’s at a higher temperature.
- Area of the house: The right temperature for your home might be different throughout the house. Rooms that are in line with direct sunlight are naturally warmer, so they need less heat in the winter. Since warm air rises, you might want to set the thermostat upstairs a little lower than the rest of your home. You could also set the thermostat higher in the basement, where it tends to be colder. Areas of your home with more square feet may also need more of a boost from your thermostat so your HVAC system could provide the proper temperature.
- Time of day: You’ll need to adjust the temperature of your thermostat based on the time. In the summer months, when the sun is beating down on your house, you could lower the temperature on your AC to find relief from the heat. On a cold winter’s night, while you’re sleeping, you can keep the temperature lower to get a better night’s sleep and save money on energy costs.
- Age: Older adults and young children have a lower tolerance to extreme temperatures. If you have people in the house who are at one of these tender ages, you should have a more stable temperature throughout the day to protect their health and comfort.
- Your comfort: Ultimately, the right temperature for your living environment is what makes you comfortable. If you’re one of those people who wear shorts in the snow or a scarf to the beach, you may prefer to have the temperature higher or lower than what we recommend.
The Right Temperature for Your House in the Summer
In the warm summer heat, you need a reliable AC unit that provides home comfort. Besides thinking about your health, you also need to consider how the weather affects your house. Set the thermostat to create a comfortable, dry atmosphere so your furniture and hardwood floors stay in good shape.
1. A Good Temperature for When You’re Home Over the Summer
To keep your thermostat from competing too much with the summer heat, the ideal temperature for your house in the summer is 78 degrees Fahrenheit. Since most people set their thermostats well below this number, you may have a hard time adjusting to this money-saving temperature.
Instead of raising the temperature to 78 degrees right away, you could ease yourself into it. Start at, say, 70 degrees, and then increase it a couple of degrees each day until you reach the magic number. Adjusting the temperature even one degree makes a difference in your energy costs.
2. A Good Temperature for When You’re Away Over the Summer
Whenever you’re out of the house, you should aim for a temperature that’s similar to outside. Setting the thermostat higher over the summer controls the heat coming into your home and relieves the burden on your central air unit. Since AC systems also remove humidity from the air, keep it running at a higher temperature instead of turning it off completely.
Remember to leave the air conditioner on at a safe temperature for your pets or sensitive furniture, even when you’re not home. When you return, you shouldn’t crank the air conditioner to try to rush cold air back into the house. Set it to the energy-saving temperature of 78 degrees and wait for the house to get comfortable.
3. Energy Saving in the Summer
If you have an energy-efficient air conditioner, you’re already saving money on your utility bills each month. To save even more money, follow these safety tips for cooling down your home in the hot summers:
- Close the blinds to keep out direct sunlight on warm days.
- Use ceiling or box fans to circulate air throughout the house.
- Drink plenty of water to produce sweat and lower your body temperature.
- At night, open the windows to give your AC a break and let in a naturally cool breeze.
- Seal any gaps around the doors and windows in your house to protect your living space from air leaks.
- To reduce the production of heat in your house, try to use cooking or heated appliances late at night or early in the morning.
The Right Temperature for Your House in the Winter
Most of us would like to keep our homes heated for as little money as possible. Fortunately, MRCOOL makes it easier to keep your home warm without breaking the bank. Our products could perform zero-degree heating, which means they maintain their money-saving efficiency, even at freezing temperatures.
1. A Good Temperature for When You’re Home in the Winter
While you might want to save money in the winter months, living in a house that’s too cold could make you sensitive to respiratory issues and infections. Set the temperature to at least 18 degrees Celsius, or 64.4 degrees Fahrenheit, while you’re in the house.
When you’re home, the temperature of your house should be no more than 68 degrees to save money on your utility bills. If this seems too cold for you, you could start at a comfortable temperature and then adjust the thermostat one degree each week.
2. A Good Temperature for When You’re Away in the Winter
When you’re away, you can safely set your temperature to 60 degrees. To protect your pipes from freezing and eventually bursting, keep the temperature higher than 55 degrees at all times.
Before going to bed, you should also lower the temperature to 62 degrees. A colder environment helps you sleep better, but if you prefer warmth, you could bundle up in blankets, socks and sweatshirts until your body adjusts.
3. Energy Savings in the Winter
If your home is at a comfortable temperature, it shouldn’t matter whether you’re in a blizzard or it’s a warm day in winter. However, the outside air may affect your interior living environment if your home isn’t completely energy efficient. You can follow these money-saving tips to keep your thermostat low:
- Invest in energy-efficient windows that keep out cold air and bring in natural sunlight.
- Weatherstrip around the windows and doors and check for drafts throughout the house.
- Inspect the insulation throughout your house and consider reapplying it where necessary.
- Hang up heavy, full-length curtains to guard against cold drafts.
- Never use cooking appliances as alternative heating sources in your house.
- Rotate your fans to spin clockwise to circulate the hot air from your furnace throughout the house.
How to Create Home Comfort All Year Long
An energy-efficient HVAC system could help you save money throughout the year. To have a comfortable temperature in the summer and winter, check out these other tips:
- Control the humidity: If you use a dehumidifier throughout the year, you won’t have to run the HVAC system as often. Our MRCOOL products feature a dehumidifying mode to pull the moisture from the air, even when you’re not cooling or warming the house.
- Set up a zoning system: Zoning is a method of heating and cooling sections of your house at a time. The MRCOOL® DIY® Multi-Zone heating and cooling system allows you to control the temperature of more than one room at once.
- Dress appropriately: In the cold weather, wear a few extra layers and drink some hot tea to keep yourself warm instead of adjusting your thermostat. Over the summer, wear shorts and a tank top around the house to beat the heat. Eventually, your body adjusts to the temperature you set on the thermostat.
- Keep your HVAC system maintained: To prolong the integrity of your HVAC system, you should have the unit checked once a year. Replace the filters and clean out the vents in the spring and fall to prepare for the summer and winter.
- Upgrade to a programmable thermostat: This type of thermostat allows you to set the temperature of your house in advance, so it automatically adjusts depending on the time of day and when you need it most.
How to Use a Programmable Thermostat
Programmable thermostats can adjust the heating and cooling temperature in your home several times throughout the day. You can set your programmable thermostat to an energy-saving temperature when you’re away or asleep. These systems also follow a schedule that allows you to set up comfortable temperatures without thinking about them.
To get the most out of your programmable thermostat:
- Avoid direct sunlight: The outside weather could affect the sensors in the thermostat. Set up your thermostat away from heating or cooling ducts or areas in the line of direct sunlight or drafts.
- Plan ahead: Adjust your thermostat a few degrees when you’re not home to save energy during the day. You can prepare your home for a comfortable temperature when you’re sleeping or when you’re out by programming a comfortable temperature for a few hours in advance.
- Use the temporary hold setting: Keep your thermostat on a temporary hold to keep an energy-saving temperature while you’re going away on vacation, instead of having it adjust to what you set on the schedule.
- Replace the batteries: If your thermostat runs on batteries, change them out at least once a year. Your thermostat will probably let you know when its power is low on its screen, but you should have some batteries on hand so you can have a reliable unit in the summer and winter.
Temperature Control With a Smart Thermostat
As a step above a programmable thermostat, a smart thermostat tells you how much energy you use so you can save money by adjusting your habits. Most smart thermostats are also Wi-Fi-enabled to connect to your smartphone. Did you ever have that nagging feeling that you forgot to turn down the thermostat after leaving the house? With a smart thermostat, you can answer that question by checking your phone and adjusting the temperature.
Take advantage of these benefits of a Wi-Fi-enabled thermostat to achieve the right temperature for your home:
- Control your mini-split system from anywhere in the world.
- Set up a weekly schedule to maintain the temperature during specific times in the week.
- Remember to clean or replace your filters throughout the year with filter maintenance reminders.
- Use your location to adjust the temperature when you’re out of town and when you’re on the way home.
- Create designated home comfort zones throughout the house.
- Monitor how often you use your cooling or heating system.
- Discover who is using your AC and what settings they use.
- If you have trouble connecting to the thermostat from outside of the house, you’ll know you have a power outage.
The MRCOOL Smart Controller allows you to control your ductless mini-split heat pump system with your smartphone or another mobile device. Our ductless mini-split systems are compatible with smart thermostats that learn your habits and adapt the temperature, so you don’t even have to think about setting it throughout the day.
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