Frugality Tip #4: Optimize your thermostat settings for BIG savings

This is one of those nice frugality tips that you can start using right now and let it immediately start having an impact on your life.

Most of us live inside a house (I hope), and most of us have to either cool it down in summer (using air conditioning) or to keep it warm in winter (generally using a thermostat). But how many of you know exactly what temperatures you should set your thermostats or air conditioners for optimal health and savings?

I will leave aside the wonders of rocket mass heaters (which let you save up 90% when heating a building), because I want to write a dedicated post about them someday.

There is an optimal temperature, certified by the Energy Star Foundation and several other Departments of Energy, that you should set your thermostat to in various moments throughout the day. The same goes for air conditioners, so without further ado, I have compiled a very handy cheat sheet for you.

The general rule is that in winter, for every degree you lower the heat between 15 and 20°C, you will save about 5% on your utility bill.

How to set your thermostat in winter:

  • The ideal temperature for comfort, for most people, is around 20°C. If it feels cold you should wear additional clothing or run a de-humidifier.
  • The ideal temperature for energy saving is between 15 and 20°C. For every degree you lower the heat, you will save about 5% on your utility bill. This means that generally, if you lower the heat from 20 to 15°C, you will slash a quarter of your costs.
  • When you’re outside, you should keep the internal temperature between 13-15°C. This optimizes heat inertia to a point when you can easily raise the temperature when you come back home, and still not spend much.
  • The ideal temperature at night is about 18.5 – 19°C. The slightly lower temperature promotes good sleep
  • Ideal temperature for babies and pets (who might have impaired thermoregulation abilities) is between 18 and 23°C
  • The ideal temperature for houseplants is between 15 and 23°C

How to set air conditioning in summer:

  • The ideal temperature for comfort, for most people, is between 21 and 25°C. Don’t try to hasten the cooling process by setting the temperature lower because it doesn’t work. All it will do is keep the air conditioner turned on for longer and waste energy and money.
  • The ideal setting for energy saving is 25°C. It’s the upper end of the comfortable range for most people and provides the most savings.
  • When you’re outside, you should keep the internal temperature between 29 and 31°C. This optimizes heat inertia to a point when you can easily lower the temperature when you come back home, and still not spend much.

There you go, now you know exactly how you should set your thermostats, and I hope it’ll help you save some money along the road!

References:

https://energy.gov/energysaver/spring-and-summer-energy-saving-tips
https://www.constellation.com/energy-101/best-thermostat-types-and-settings.html
https://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/features/cant-sleep-adjust-the-temperature#1 

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