Thermostats allow us to customize the temperature of our homes for maximum comfort. Yet through bad habits and forgetfulness, we often use more energy to heat and cool our homes than is necessary, costing us more in monthly energy bills than is necessary. So use our Hearts guide to achieve optimal thermostat settings for shrinking your carbon footprint, lowering your utility bills, and saving money.
Quick Facts: Savings from Thermostat Settings
- 54% energy bill spent on heating and cooling: The heating and cooling systems in our homes make up 54% of the total energy bill that we pay each month.[i]
- $15-$40 saved yearly by lowering winter setting by 1 degree F: Households who decrease their thermostat settings by 1 degree Fahrenheit can actualize savings of up to $40 per year.[ii]
- 2-4% saved by raising summer setting by 1 degree F: For each degree that the thermostat is raised in the summer, electricity costs go down 2-4%.[iii]
Take Action! Setting Thermostats for Maximum Energy and Money Savings
- At-home ideal summer thermostat setting: 78 degrees Fahrenheit (F).
- Away from home ideal summer thermostat setting: 85 degrees F (or turned off).
- At-home ideal winter thermostat setting: 68 degrees F (lower while you sleep).
- Away from home ideal winter thermostat setting: 55 degrees F or completely off.
- Install a programmable thermostat: Programmable thermostats let you obtain even greater savings on energy costs by allowing you to create multiple settings according to the recommendations above that will automatically kick in without you having to remember. Automating the thermostat greatly improves your utility bill savings. You may even want to try a learning thermostat like Nest that gets to know your habits through your input and your schedule.
Dig Deeper: Programmable Thermostats
[i] US Department of Energy. (2012, May 30). Tips: Heating and cooling. In Energy.gov. Retrieved September 22, 2012, from http://energy.gov/energysaver/articles/tips-heating-and-cooling
[ii] US Department of Energy. (n.d.). Winter energy savings from lower thermostat settings. In Energy Information Administration. Retrieved September 22, 2012, from http://www.eia.gov/emeu/consumptionbriefs/recs/thermostat_settings/thermostat.html
[iii] Washington State University. (n.d.). Energy solutions database. In Energy Experts. Retrieved September 22, 2012, from http://energyexperts.org/EnergySolutionsDatabase/ResourceDetail.aspx?id=3998