How to Adjust your Thermostat in the Winter for Maximum Efficiency

It is one of the simplest and wisest investments for any household, yet only 30% of households in America own a programmable thermostat. Of those that do, only a fraction of those that do use it properly! This is baffling considering this simple $25 device can save a household 15% on their annual heating bill when used efficiently, according to the US Department of Energy. Learning how to adjust your thermostat is an easy way to save energy and money.

The benefits are too high to say “I don’t have time” or “It’s too complicated.” Now is the time to do yourself a favor and adjust your thermostat to maximize the heating efficiency in your home.

First, take a few minutes to get acquainted with your current programmable thermostat (or purchase a new one: for the latest wireless thermostat Owens recommends the Ecobee – Next, gain a basic understanding of the ‘Heat/Cool’ toggle and how to set a weekly schedule. Most thermostats run on a cycle of ‘Wake’, ‘Leave’, ‘Return’, and ‘Sleep’, or something similar. Consult the user manual if necessary. Can’t locate the manual? Try to find it online by searching for the make and model number.

Lastly, think about your typical week and schedule accordingly:

  • First, set ‘Wake’ and ‘Return’ hours no higher than 68°F.
  • Secondly, set ‘Leave’ or ‘Sleep’ hours 10°F to 15°F cooler.
  • After that, set transition times 15-30 minutes ahead of your actual schedule to allow your system ample time to warm up and cool down.
  • Lastly, are you going on vacation? If so, use the ‘Hold’ function at 52°F- that temperature is a safe setting that’ll keep pipes from freezing.

Take note of your comfort and go a degree or two cooler if tolerable. It all adds up. You’ll quickly adjust your thermostat to a schedule that fits your household. This will put less wear-and-tear on your system, and it will save you money!

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