What Temperature Should I Set My Thermostat to in Winter?

Winter weather is not far away. As you anticipate seasonal changes and the adjustments made to accommodate them, you might start thinking about putting flannel sheets on your bed, swapping your short-sleeved shirts for sweaters and perhaps treating yourself to a thick robe and a new pair of slippers before the coldest days arrive.

Those changes are all common and valid, but it’s also a good idea to think about setting your thermostat to a different temperature in the winter. Here is some helpful information to guide you through the specifics of taking that step.

What Is a Reasonable Temperature for a House in Winter?

When you make any adjustments to a thermostat, the goal is typically to strike a balance between comfort and energy savings. In general, people keep their homes warmer in the winter than the summer — especially in Pennsylvania, where the wintertime thermometer readings can plunge.

There is no one size fits all temperature since every home, system, and person is different. Many homeowners want to really turn up the heat in the winter which can create excessive dryness in your home. A whole-house humidifier will often solve this problem, especially with heat pumps, and create an overall more comfortable home at a lower set temperature. We find many thermostats set between 68°-72° Fahrenheit in the winter, although you might want your home slightly warmer or cooler depending on your personal preference.

If you’re hoping to save energy this winter, you might turn the thermostat back several degrees during the day or when you’re away from home. However, we recommend limiting this temperature setback to four degrees, since any more causes the equipment to work too hard to get back to temperature, effectively eliminating any electricity savings you might have earned. Boilers especially, and newer more modern high-efficient equipment, should be set to a comfortable yet reasonable temperature and left alone for the best results.

How Low Can You Set the Thermostat in Winter?

Always be flexible about any temperature-related guidelines in the winter or otherwise. It’s not worth it to turn the thermostat down to save energy if it makes your elderly house-guest complain that the home feels chilly. Also, some things cause body temperature fluctuations throughout the day. They include:

  • Stress
  • Your circadian rhythm
  • Illnesses

That means there’s no universal answer to how low you can set the thermostat in winter. Focus on your comfort and preferences above all.

A programmable thermostat can make it especially easy to maintain a certain temperature in the house without continual manual intervention. It allows you to specify your desired temperature for the home during different periods of the day or days of the week.

For example, you could take into account when the house is usually empty because members of the household are at work or school. Don’t forget to also factor in your bedtime, and how it might vary if it’s a weekday or a weekend. Once you get a temperature program set up, the thermostat can operate automatically according to your parameters. However, you can always override those inputs to make changes as necessary.

Is There an Average House Temperature in Winter?

Some people also wonder if there’s an average house temperature for the winter months. But, as you might already suspect, this varies depending on individual preferences, as well as the outdoor temperatures.

If a region has an unusually mild winter, the people living there may realize they don’t need to use their home heating system as much as expected. Also, in some states that characteristically have warmer winters, such as Florida, individuals may not use their heat often at home unless there’s a rare cold snap. Selecting the best indoor winter temperature depends on what people like to wear, too.

Luckily, modern thermostats are increasingly high-tech and can handle all those variations and more. Some allow users to set temperature zones for particular areas of a house, or even indicate what temperature they want on a per-room basis. Then, the average house temperature varies depending on where you are in the abode. Maybe you appreciate a warm bathroom after stepping from the shower but find that you fall asleep faster in a cool bedroom.

In cases like that, programmable thermostats that have per-room or zone-based temperature controls are ideal. If you’re trying to reduce your energy costs during the winter months by turning down the thermostat slightly, some people in the house may find the adjustment more challenging than others. Or, they may want more time to get acclimated to the new temperature. Programmable thermostats ease the transition.

Get in Touch With Zimmerman Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning Today

With winter weather coming soon, now is a great time to let our professionals service your residential heating system and ensure everything’s working as it should. Or, if you’re ready to get a new furnace or boiler, trust our expert installation knowledge. Pennsylvania winters can be long, but having a reliable heat source makes them much more bearable.

We offer a one-year parts and labor warranty on all services, plus a one-year performance guarantee on installations. Contact us today to ask questions about your wintertime heating needs or schedule a visit. We look forward to providing elite customer service and helping you explore the options.