What Is the Best Thermostat Temperature in the Winter?
Florida is not exactly Winterland even in the coldest months. And yet, that’s exactly why we’re not very well prepared to deal with sub-average temperatures. It’s not that we panic: it’s that we’re so used to the hot and humid warmth of the Sunshine State that, from December on, we crank the heat up whether it is good for us or not. Have you ever wondered what the best thermostat temperature might actually be for the winter? Because you don’t have to sacrifice comfort to be money-smart, health-smart and environment-friendly at the same time.
Is There a Best Thermostat Temperature?
Did you know that the British think the best thermostat temperature is 68°F in the winter and 65°F in the summer? There are some Floridians we know who would wear a scarf indoors at that temperature.
Warmth is relative. The wider the temperature range where you live, the better equipped you are to deal with the highs and lows. Florida is blessed with amazingly beautiful weather, where even the average low in its coldest month, January, is 52°F. At that temperature, in London, people start wearing long sleeves. In Tampa Bay, we turn up the heat.
No one is wrong to do what they do, of course. We are just different. Even so, there is a best thermostat temperature for each season, and science tells us it is usually slightly lower than we expect.
Your Ideal Home Temperature in the Winter
With approximately 90% of our day spent indoors, it’s important to find the best thermostat temperature that hits your sweet spot. The World Health Organization recommends a minimum of 64.4°F for a regular adult household, or 70°F if there are elderly persons or very young children. It turns out the Brits are onto something!
For us, though, that is significantly less than what we are used to, so you can safely crank it up a notch. If you want to combine comfort and energy savings, you should aim for 72°F. Just make sure to lower it by a few degrees at night, though. An environment that is too hot is unhealthy and could not just help propagate viruses and bacteria, but also cause the body to misunderstand natural circadian rhythms.
Consider another thing: not only are nations different, but so are men and women, or children and the elderly versus adults. Women, for instance, have a different metabolism and prefer significantly warmer temperatures – by as much as five to ten degrees!
While all this research is important and even interesting in determining the theoretical best thermostat temperature, don’t forget that everyone’s different and, well, we’re not British. Make sure to listen to your body and, while you don’t bundle up too much, you stay comfortably warm.
Best Thermostat Temperature When You’re Gone
In Florida, it’s not like you have to worry about your pipes freezing while you’re spending the weekend with the in-laws. (Just in case you were wondering, or if an Arctic winter somehow hits the Gulf area, 55°F is the recommended minimum temperature to make sure everything is still in working order when you come back.) What you do have to take into account, though, is that everything compounds over time when you’re not there to tend to the little things.
Before you go away for any significant amount of time, make sure you do the following:
- Clean all filters – furnace and air conditioning especially – to ensure your HVAC system is working efficiently in your absence.
- Set your thermostat to the right temperature not so pipes don’t freeze, since that’s really, really implausible, but to actually provide the lowest temperature that won’t cause massive discomfort when you come back. Your indoor plants won’t suffer from a 15°F drop, but you might feel it when you get back.
- Have your outside unit checked for mechanical obstructions or other issues. Leaves, debris, pretty much anything that doesn’t belong there can cause the condenser coils to malfunction or the evaporator to clog up. Other problems are harder to spot with your naked eye. Make sure you disconnect the unit before your inspection, though! If you’re not sure what to do, contact us and we’ll be happy to do a system check-up.
Optimize Your Heating
There is every incentive for you to determine the best thermostat temperature for your household and learn not to crank up the heat too much. It’s economical, it’s healthy, and it’s good for the planet.
If you want to make sure you give your house (and your family) the very best, you should probably have a professional give your HVAC system a tune-up. At Air Hawk, we have over 15 years of professional experience and we serve our communities in the Tampa Bay region not with abstract notions, but with local specifics. We can optimize your heating needs for your individual situation, based on experience and unfailing work ethics. If you are anywhere in or around our air conditioning service areas, take a step toward a more efficient and comfortable home. Contact us to schedule your appointment!