House temperature can be tricky. Set the furnace a degree or two too hot and you may feel like you’re melting; set the air conditioner too cool and you get the urge to hibernate. In either case, you find yourself uncomfortable and spending more money than you should on energy bills.
Below, we compile our top recommendations for programming your thermostat to help you breathe easy and save money in four-season regions:
Ideal Home Temperature by Season & Time of Day
Summer Thermostat Settings: 72–78 degrees
On long, hot summer days it’s tempting to push your air conditioning to the max—but be careful. Heating and cooling typically accounts for the largest energy expenditures in a household.
Homeowners wishing to keep cool without busting their budget should set the summer temperature to 72 degrees when home. At night and when not home, increase the maximum temperature by 6 to 8 degrees (to 78–80 degrees) to reduce energy consumption.
Be careful to keep your home from becoming too warm. Not only are warm temperatures potentially dangerous to people and pets, but to soft surfaces like drywall. As temperatures increase, humidity often does too, causing things like drywall, door and window frames to retain moisture.
Winter Thermostat Settings: 62–68 degrees
On winter days, program your home’s thermostat to 68 degrees when you’re home and awake. Sixty-eight degrees is generally agreed upon as a comfortable indoor air temperature for winter. When sleeping, program your thermostat to 62 degrees. Consider rolling this temperature back further to 55 degrees when no one is home.
It’s important to note that setting a programmable thermostat back may have unintended consequences. If a thermostat is programmed to a set temperature and later overridden manually and set to a higher temperature, your thermostat may turn on an electric backup system, leading to larger energy bills.
Be sure to program your thermostat to take into consideration the fluctuations in temperature you desire and understand how to program your thermostat for weekends when you are away.
Best House Temperature While Away: 55–80 degrees
When you’re away from your home, it’s possible to decrease your energy consumption by dialing down the heat or air conditioning. While away from the home, homeowners will reduce their energy use by increasing home temperature in summer and decreasing it in winter. In general, it’s safe to increase indoor temperature up to 80 degrees in summer and decrease indoor air temperature to 55 degrees in winter, but there are exceptions - for example, if you live with a baby or an elderly or immune-compromised individual.
These temperature swings are large enough to make an impact on your energy bill, and small enough for your HVAC system to return to ideal temperatures relatively quickly when you return home. Be careful not to decrease your home’s temperature to less than 55 degrees in winter or allow your home to warm to more than 80 degrees in summer, as it may leave your home susceptible to damage. An indoor temperature of less than 55 degrees may lead to freezing pipes, while anything more than 80 may damage drywall.
Additionally, be sure to program your thermostat to these temperatures. Do not override the thermostat manually or you may see an increase in your energy bills.
Other House Temperature Considerations
- Do you own pets?
If you live with furry, feathered, or scaly friends, keep their needs in mind when setting your thermostat. Reptiles, amphibians, fish, and birds require warmer and more consistent temperatures than cats and dogs. Speak with your vet to determine a safe temperature for these pets.
Cats and dogs thrive when temperatures between 69–78 degrees year-round. However, when you’re away, consider setting your thermostat as low as 60 degrees and as high as 80 degrees. The temperatures your pet will find ideal will depend on age, breed, and other factors. Learn more about the ideal temperature for your dog or cat.
- Does a baby live in the home?
Nursery temperature is vital to the health of your baby because they have difficulty regulating their body temperature. A baby who is too warm or too cool may face health problems. In fact, an elevated room temperature may even play a role in sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Keep your baby comfortable by heating or cooling their nursery to 68–72 degrees. Learn more about heating and cooling your nursery.
- Do you live with elderly or chronically ill individuals?
Like babies, elderly and chronically ill individuals may have difficulty regulating their body temperature. The best way to help them is to keep the temperature of their homes comfortable and consistent. It’s recommended that elderly or chronically ill individuals maintain the temperature of their home between 68 and 74 degrees year-round. Learn more about keeping elderly individuals comfortable.
The Best House Temperature
As you can see, ideal house temperature will vary from household to household. Further—it will depend on your personal preferences and the capacity of your home’s HVAC system.
Upgrading your AC or furnace unit, installing a programmable or “smart” thermostat, and cleaning or servicing your HVAC system increases efficiency and allows you more control over the temperature in your home.
Maintain Your Home’s Ideal Temperature With Help From Aire Serv
Keep your home at its ideal temperature with help from Aire Serv®. Our certified technicians can install, replace, and maintain every part of your HVAC system. Breathe easy with services you can trust. Call (855) 259-2280 or request an appointment online to get started.