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How to Set Your Thermostat in the Winter


When winter hits, many homeowners hesitate to crank up the heat, fearing increased energy bills. However, you shouldn’t have to choose between comfort and costs when temperatures drop. With the proper HVAC insight, you can strategically set your thermostat to be comfortable and cost-efficient this winter. 

At ACS, we offer premium HVAC services and exclusive industry expertise to make your home a comfort zone. When you trust our NATE-certified technicians, you’ll discover how to optimize your energy savings during harsh seasonal conditions. With winter in full swing, let our experts share how to set your thermostat for comfort and cost savings. 

In this blog, our industry experts share their tips on how to set your thermostat in the winter by addressing the following topics:  

    • How you should set your thermostat when you’re away in the winter
    • How you should set your thermostat when you’re at home in the winter
    • Ways you can save energy in the winter 

How Should I Set My Thermostat When I’m Away in the Winter?

When winter weather begins to ensue, many households decide to travel to warmer climates. Whether it be for a quick vacation or an extended stay, it’s common for homeowners to vacate their homes if they live somewhere with harsh winter weather. However, just because they’re not home doesn’t mean their HVAC system is also out of office. 

If you’re traveling this winter, we suggest keeping your house colder than usual while you’re away. Say your default temperature is 70 degrees. In this case, you might consider lowering the temperature by 7-10 degrees while you’re away, as there’s no need to maintain higher temperatures in an empty home. If you have pets staying there while you’re gone, keep the temperature changes minimal and open blinds and curtains for solar heat access. 

How Should I Set My Thermostat At Home in the Winter?

If you live somewhere with harsh winter weather, chances are you’ll be spending most of the season indoors. However, before you start cranking up the heat, you don’t want to go too crazy unless you’re willing to bite the costs. 

The U.S. Department of Energy recommends setting your thermostat to around 68-70 degrees during the winter. Many households lean closer to 70 degrees during the day and drop a few degrees at night for ideal sleeping conditions. Generally, homeowners can tolerate colder temperatures at night because the body’s temperature drops during sleep. So, no need to waste extra energy when you’re sleeping!

What other ways can I Save Energy in the Winter?

Adjusting your thermostat isn’t the only way to save energy in the winter. In fact, we have four effective methods below for maximizing savings and comfort during the cooler months. 

Install a Programmable Thermostat

A programmable or smart thermostat is a simple solution for winter energy savings. By collecting data on your household’s habits, smart thermostats automatically adjust to your temperature patterns. So, if you prefer cooler temperatures at night, your thermostat will adjust its setting without you having to lift a finger. 

Seal Air Leaks

If your home feels a little drafty, you might have an air leak. Air leaks occur when heat escapes through your windows and doors, causing your HVAC system to use extra energy to heat your home. If you detect an air leak as winter approaches, use caulk, weatherstripping or spray foam to seal it. Or, you can call a local air specialist to patch leaks and ensure your home is ready for winter weather. 

Use Solar Heat

The most straightforward way to save energy in the winter is to take advantage of solar heat. By simply keeping your curtains and blinds open during the day, you can heat inside your home without spending a penny. However, remember to close your curtains and blinds when the sun goes down for additional insulation. You don’t want cold air from outside invading your home! 

Bundle Up

Another simple way to conserve energy during the winter is to bundle up. By layering up with warm sweaters, socks, and jackets, you’ll likely be able to tolerate a slightly lower temperature setting. Then, when it’s time for bed, you can utilize thick blankets, comforters, or duvets to keep yourself warm and comfortable. 

HVAC Heating and Cooling with ACS

If you need air conditioning services this winter, you can count on ACS to get the job done. With decades of industry experience, our certified HVAC technicians will optimize your indoor comfort all winter long. Connect with our team today for top-quality HVAC maintenance, installation, and repair in Covington, Milledgeville, and surrounding areas.