MythBusters: Setting Your Home Thermostat

As winter descends, you are likely bracing for your first heating bill and have glanced at your home’s thermostat and wondered how big of enemy it will be this winter. It doesn’t need to be an adversarial relationship, in fact, there are some pretty common misconceptions that can be debunked.

Myth: It costs as much or more to heat a home back up after a setback.
Fact: The longer your house remains at the lower temperature, the more heat you save. In fact you can save 1% for every 1°F temperature decrease for an eight-hour setback. (Check with manufacturer for minimum temperatures)

Myth: The house will warm up faster the higher the thermostat is raised.
Fact: The thermostat isn’t like the gas pedal on a car. It’s either calling for heat or not, so setting the thermostat too high may cause you to overshoot the desired temperature.

Myth: The kids will kick off the covers and get cold.
Fact: Children older than a month or two can regulate their body temperature just like adults, so they don’t need a different temperature than adults. If they kick off the covers, dress them a bit warmer prior to putting them to bed.

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So what should you set your thermostat to? Polling a number of energy company websites, the consensus is 68°F (or the temperature your health care professional recommends) during times when you are present and active. When you go to sleep, set the thermostat at the lowest comfortable setting.

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