Ideal house temperature for summer and winter

By Jason Gassmann, President | Aug 15, 2019

Girl Playing In Ideal Home Temperature

What’s the ideal house temperature for summer and winter?

To each their own. This is true of our taste in food and clothing. And it’s true of the temperature we choose to keep our homes. When it comes to temperature, each person’s comfort level is going to be a little different. 

Personally, I’m most comfortable when my home is 70 degrees. That being said, there’s no reason to heat my home to 70 all day long when no one is home. That’s where programmable thermostats come in.

Too much of a good thing

By now, the cat’s out of the bag about programmable thermostats. Yes, they save you money and yes, it is a good idea to use them to set your temperature lower during the winter and higher during the summer while you’re away from your home. What people might not realize, though, is you can set it too far in one direction to the point where it’s no longer beneficial.

Right-size your AC

Before we talk about an ideal temperature window for summer and winter, it’s important to first talk about the unit itself. A lot of people might be surprised to learn their air conditioner is too big for their house. When a system is too large, it costs more to run and it’s harder to control the humidity level. 

A homeowner might try to save money by turning off the unit completely, but when it’s not running it’s also not dehumidifying. A humid house will feel much hotter than it actually is. People, therefore, turn the temperature lower, which makes the air conditioner work harder without addressing the humidity level. 

A smaller unit that is right-sized for your home will use less energy, which means it can run more often and constantly control the humidity level. You’ll likely feel more comfortable in a house that’s set at 75 degrees with a lower humidity level than you would in a home that was set at 68 degrees with a higher humidity level. 

Best temperature to set your thermostat in summer 

Once you have the right size air conditioner, there’s still an ideal temperature range to consider. It’s best to not set your thermostat lower than 70 to 72 degrees. Most units are not designed to cool a house below that point, and you risk the system freezing up. 

I recommend trying to keep your house below 80 degrees at all times during the summer. At 80 degrees, there’s a good chance the humidity level in your home will be very high. This is not only uncomfortable but inefficient. When you turn your air conditioning back on, it’s going to have to work not only to reach your ideal temperature again but also to regulate the humidity level.

Best temperature to set your thermostat in winter 

My rule of thumb is to not deviate more than 5 to 8 degrees in either direction of my comfort point. Take my preferred 70 degrees, for example. During the winter, I would never set my thermostat back lower than 62 degrees — the furnace will have to work too hard to reach my ideal temperature again. On the flip side, I wouldn’t set my furnace much higher than 75 and definitely not above 78 degrees because this temperature is too hot for a house. At this temperature setting, you’d be wasting a great deal of energy and damaging the furnace because it’s running too hot. 

To further discuss how to best control your home’s temperature, please contact us online or by calling 515-244-8911

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