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How to Find the Best Temperature for Your Home
The temperature of your home is a personal choice, and what's comfortable for your neighbor may not be right for you. While there's no one-size-fits-all magic number that will keep you cool, cozy and comfortable year-round, there are ways to find your ideal temperature.
Experimenting with different settings is important, but there are some starting points that can be helpful. Use this guide from Pottery Barn to learn more about finding the best temperature for your home.
Try 78 in the Summer
Staying comfortable during the summer months, especially when you live in a place where the mercury commonly climbs up to or above 100, can be a serious challenge. It's easy to crank the thermostat to 68, but you'll end up paying for it dearly in the long run.
Instead, consider setting your starting point at 78-degrees for the day. If somebody remains at home all day, like a person working from a home office for example, a cooler temperature between 78 and 72 may be preferable.
If the house is unoccupied during the daytime, consider bumping your temperature up to 82 or even up to 88 if there are no pets in the house. You'll save money and you won't even notice that it's warm if your house is empty.
Opt for 68 in the Winter
Staying warm in the winter can be nearly impossible without central heating. If you live somewhere where snow is part of the winter scenery, you likely can't go long without running yours once the fall starts.
The ideal temperature varies, but 68 degrees is a nice starting point that should keep you relatively comfortable without breaking the bank when you get your energy bills. If this is too cool for you at first, there is another way to get acclimated to winter.
Set your thermostat to a temperature that feels comfortable between 70 and 75-degrees. From there, lower your temperature one-degree per week until you hit that magic mark of 68. You likely won't even notice such a small, gradual change.
Get a Programmable Thermostat
Many modern homes are built with programmable thermostats, and in many areas, they're pretty much the norm. However, not all houses are utilizing them, and this can cost you money and reduce your comfort level.
With a programmable thermostat, you can set the temperature to change at different points throughout the day based on your needs. For example, you can keep the temperature high in the summer months if you're away from the house, setting the thermostat to bring the house down to a comfortable temperature an hour before you arrive. You'll walk in the door and be immediately cool as if the AC was running all day.
Programmable thermostats are also ideal for setting your evening temperature in both the summer and winter months. Most people sleep best when the temperature is between 62 and 68, so those are ideal starting points for your regular sleep hours.
Consider Your Activity
Many homes have zones that can be controlled by their heating and air conditioning system. If you're lucky, you'll have one for every room or at least smaller zones within the house. When it comes to finding the right temperature, the activity in your room may be the most important factor.
For example, most people find sleeping in a cool room a lot more comfortable, allowing them to get a restful night of sleep. That means that your ideal temperature for a bedroom could easily be five-degrees cooler than the rest of your home.
The reverse is true for spaces like a family room, den or study, where sedentary activities may require a higher number to keep you comfortable. Your home gym or that room you've converted to house a treadmill and a yoga mat will also need to be cooler.
Choose Other Heating and Cooling Options
Running your central heat and air conditioning can warm or cool your whole house in half an hour, keeping you comfortable all day long. If you're only in one room though, you may want to focus your attention on that particular space.
To do this, look for other ways to heat and cool your rooms. Ceiling fans, portable stand-up and tabletop fans and small room heaters can keep you comfortable year-round. They'll save you money and be close at hand so you can make quick adjustments to your room temperature as well, making them a lot more convenient than your thermostat.
Staying comfortable at home should be easy with the help of your central heat and air conditioning. While every family member may have a preference, finding a temperature you all can agree on is possible.
Use these tips to help you get a handle on winter heating and summer cooling so that everybody is comfortable and happy.