A woman adjusts a thermostat

If your family is anything like the average American family, you’re probably spending a lot of money to keep your home comfortable. A typical household spends $2,060 on energy costs each year, according to ENERGY STAR®, with about 43% of that covering heating and cooling costs. That’s a big chunk of change! There are lot of ways you can trim your energy costs while keeping your family comfortable.

One of those ways is by keeping your thermostat at the correct setting. Even just turning your thermostat back 7-10 degrees each day while you’re at work can save you up to 10% each year, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Here’s our recommended thermostat settings, based on DOE and ENERGY STAR guidelines.

Recommended Thermostat Settings for Summer

For most households, 72-73 degrees is the most comfortable home temperature. Keeping the gap between the outdoor and indoor temperature lower will help you save more on cooling costs.

While at Home

During the day, 78 degrees (or higher) will keep you comfortable while keeping your home pleasant. Here are a few other tips you can follow to keep indoor air cool without turning down the thermostat:

  • Choose energy-efficient window treatments, like plantation shutters or honeycomb shades.
  • Keep window treatments shut during the day to keep cool air indoors.
  • Turn on ceiling fans when you’re in the room. The DOE says these fans help the room feel about 4 degrees cooler through windchill effect.

If 78 degrees still feels too hot, try experimenting with thermostat settings for a week. Set your thermostat at 78 and then gradually turn it down using the tips above. You might be surprised at how comfy you are at a hotter setting.

While Gone

There’s no need to keep the air conditioner going when you’re out and about, so 88 degrees is a good setting. Once you get back, don’t be tempted to set your thermostat below 78. This won’t cool your home faster, but it will make your electrical bill more expensive.

While Sleeping

Around 70 degrees is comfortable for most people. ENERGY STAR recommends 82 degrees, but that can get too warm, especially if it’s a hot summer night. Since most people sleep best when their bedroom is cold, the National Sleep Foundation recommends 60-67 degrees.

Like we mentioned previously, experiment with your thermostat for about a week to find the most comfortable temperature for you. If it’s a cooler night, you may be able to get away with keeping your windows open and running your ceiling fan instead of your air conditioner.

Recommended Thermostat Settings for Winter

During the colder months, setting your thermostat at 68 is an ideal home temperature that helps you save on heating costs. As we mentioned earlier, narrowing the gap between outdoor and indoor temperatures will help keep your energy bill low.

While at Home

We also recommend using 68 degrees during the day. Here are a few other tips to keep your home warm while maintaining an energy-efficient thermostat setting:

  • Use energy-efficient window treatments, like honeycomb shades, plantation shutters or window blankets.
  • Open window treatments on south-facing windows during the day, and close them at night.
  • Seal drafty windows with plastic sheeting.
  • Run your ceiling fan in reverse to disperse warm air that collects near the ceiling.

While Away

If you don’t have pets at home, you can turn your thermostat as low as 50 degrees. This will keep your furnace running but help you avoid frozen pipes. As we mentioned previously, don’t crank up your furnace when you get home. This will not make your home warmer faster. Instead, you’ll be driving up your heating costs and putting your furnace under a lot of strain.

While Sleeping

Like we recommended for the summer, cooler temperatures are best, around 60–67 degrees depending on your preferences.

7 Other Ways to Use Less Energy

There are plenty of other ways you can lower your energy bill throughout the year.

1. Install a Smart Thermostat

Most homes have programmable thermostats. But chances are, yours isn’t programmed correctly or is permanently set on “hold.” Smart thermostats, like the Lennox® iComfort®, make it effortless to stay on top of energy costs. These thermostats learn your routine and temperature preferences, and then adjust settings to help you save more. You can also change them with a tap of your phone when you’re on the go.

Since many smart thermostats are ENERGY STAR certified, local utility providers often provide a generous rebate for installing one. Ask A-1 United for more information about rebates and which Lennox smart thermostat model is right for your home.

2. Get an Energy-Efficient Furnace and Air Conditioner

How old is your home comfort system? If it’s getting close to 20 years old, it’s time to start thinking about replacing it. Breakdowns and reduced efficiency are more common as your furnace and air conditioner age. With rebates and special offers from A-1 United, replacing your home comfort system is more affordable than ever.

3. Schedule Annual Service

Routine heating and cooling maintenance keep your system running smoothly by lowering the chance of breakdowns. It may even boost efficiency and help it last longer, since it allows us to find smaller issues before they become major problems. We offer planned maintenance agreements to make it easy to keep up with this service.

4. Replace Your Air Filter Regularly

You should change the air filter in your house every 1-3 months, depending on what type of filter you use. A clogged filter makes your system work harder, may cause it to break down sooner and even fail prematurely.

5. Check Attic Insulation Levels

More than 90% of homes in the United States don’t have enough insulation, according to the Insulation Institute. In Omaha, you’ll want to have at least 16-18”. Many utility companies offer incentives for increasing insulation, so check with yours for more details.

6. Get Your Ductwork Examined

If your home is older, leaky ductwork can compromise your comfort and your energy bills. Leaks can be hard to find on your own when ductwork is tucked away, so it’s best to hire a HVAC professional to check this.

7. Seal Leaky Spots Around Your Home

This keeps air where it belongs: inside your home. Using caulk and weather stripping can help.

A-1 United Can Make Your Home More Comfortable and Energy Efficient

At A-1 United, our professionals have been dedicated to your comfort since 1975. And as your local Lennox Premier Dealer™, we’re committed to your complete satisfaction. Learn more about how we can make your home more comfortable and energy efficient by calling us at 402-593-7500 today!