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January 29, 2019
Some like it hot, some like it cold. The temperatures of a home thermostat has become a topic for marital quarrels and roomate squabbles since neanderthals started putting fires in caves…(OK, we can’t verify that 100%, but just for entertainment’s sake, imagine two cave dwellers fighting over how many more branches to put on the fire.)
And though it may seem like one or two degrees is negligible when it comes to home comfort, for some it can mean the difference between needing a blanket on the couch and wearing socks around the clock. Plus, one or two degrees on your thermostat can end up costing you much more than you’d think to run your furnace. So what are some ways you can keep the thermostat where you want it, without spending an arm and a leg on your heating bills?
The Search for the Perfect Indoor Winter Temperature
If you had sole control over the thermostat, what would you set it at during the mild California winter? Do you prefer to bundle up under the blankets at night, or would you rather it be warm enough for flip flops even in January? Everyone has their own preferences—which makes it difficult for the home comfort specialists at Greiner to make recommendations about the perfect winter home temperature. But one thing is for sure — maintaining an accurate and sustainable thermostat setting begins with making sure your home performance as efficient as possible!
Winter Comfort: The Factors
No two homes are exactly alike, and this can be particularly true for the reading on your thermostat! 70º in one home may actually end up feeling like 67º in another. How can that be? Before we get to “Greiner’s Perfect California Winter Temperature”, here are many factors to consider.
Insulation & Air Sealing
What is the shape of your insulation? Proper insulation in your walls, attic, and basement/crawl space will prevent any heat from escaping your living space and keep room to room temperatures consistent. The same goes for air sealing — the small holes and cracks in your home from things like recessed lighting or faulty craftsmanship allow for heat to travel freely and create indoor drafts. Insulation and air sealing combine for a tighter building envelope, which separates your home from outdoor temperatures.
Where is your thermostat located? Is it in a room that is hard for your heating system to reach? Most thermostats can only measure the temperature in the room they are installed in. In a home with poor insulation and air leaks, the master bedroom is a completely different temperature than the living room!
Greiner’s Perfect California Winter Temperature
We recommend starting at 71ºF while you are in your home, during the day time. As you are ready to head to bed, turn it to 68º. And if you can stand it any colder, it will save you on your heating bills!
*ENERGY SAVING TIP: Upgrade to a programmable thermostat to set these ideal temperatures based on day of the week and time of day.
What a Difference One Degree Makes
You may be wondering how much more you are going to to be spending to turn the thermostat up this winter, even by just one degree. Just like finding the perfect temperature, this depends on the current state of your home performance. The short answer is between 3% and 5%, but for a home with an energy efficient furnace and a proper building envelope, it can be less. The less efficient your heating equipment, ductwork, and insulation are, the more it will cost your furnace to keep up with that one degree difference.