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Your Average House Temperature

Recommended Thermostat Settings in the Winter

Everyone in Alberta understands that when winter comes, the need for heat in our homes rises. This may lead to an increase in energy costs, but it doesn't mean that we cannot conserve energy. Your ideal average house temperature can be achieved while minimizing your energy consumption if you follow a few basic tips.

The Ideal Settings

Homeowners across the country ponder this question each year when temperatures start dropping. Answering the question is not as simple as citing one specific temperature, especially as energy usage differ from one family and household to the next.

According to Greendeal.ca, the following situations show the recommended temperatures your house should be set to:

  • 21° C is advisable for basic lounging
  • 20° C is comfortable for household chores
  • 16° C is recommended for sleeping or for when no one is home

However, having the ideal temperature set at all times may not be the best way to achieve the average household temperature you want. Instead, use the steps below to maintain an ideal temperature that works best for your household.

A Moving Target – Every Home is Different

Every family has a temperature preference. Your “normal household temperature” may not be the same as someone else’s, but you can acclimate yourself to adjust to the recommended settings if your goal is to manage your energy usage. Eventually, you can move the thermostat down as you get used to different settings. Think about the following approach:

  • Set your thermostat at your desired high temperature
  • Once you and your family acclimate to the colder weather, lower the temperature in the home by one degree each week.
  • This one-degree reduction - maintained for even eight hours - may reduce the home's energy bill by 1 percent, according to Energy.gov.
  • Lowering the temperature further and preserving these lower temperatures for longer periods of time may increase energy savings. The gradual change in temperature may not even be noticeable.

Programmable Thermostats

One of the problems that people face as they search for that perfect average household temperature is that the perfect temperature changes with circumstances. As a result, people historically have needed to manually adjust their thermostats based on the situation:

  • Whether you’re home
  • Whether you’re awake
  • Whether you have a fireplace and use it
  • Whether or not you have small children

In the past, when people forgot to set their thermostats, they consumed energy unnecessarily. Your average house temperature can now be achieved at any given time if you purchase a programmable thermostat. This technology can take these circumstances into account, and many now include the ability to set the thermostat remotely if you’re not home. During the installation process, you can program your thermostats to deliver specific temperatures at set times of the day. These preferences can be programmed for weeks or months at a time. The specified temperatures can then be changed and adjusted by using the accompanying smartphone app. This allows homeowners to reset their home's temperature from anywhere.

It's Not All About the Thermostat

Achieving your average home temperature does not always directly involve your thermostat. There are other ways to reduce your energy consumption while keeping your house properly heated and comfortable. Ideas include:

  • Closing doors and vents to unused rooms make it easier for the home's furnace to deliver the desired temperature to occupied living spaces.
  • Have the furnace inspected.
  • Seal cracks around the windows or door frames.
  • Bundle up. Dressing warmly, even inside the home, will make your family less reliant on the furnace, allowing you to turn down the thermostat another degree.

Get Started Today

Living with a house temperature that’s comfortable is a matter of supply and demand. You must measure your family's desired comfort against the price you're willing to pay for your winter heating bills. Every home and family have different needs, so you should start by defining those needs and making sure that you’re warm and comfortable when relaxing at home.

Employing the strategies above may help you find a comfortable thermostat setting in the winter that doesn't depend completely on your furnace and its associated expenses. You should still consult multiple resources to come up with the best plan for consuming energy—you can start by working with Direct Energy. Sign up for an energy plan with Direct Energy and you'll get the tools you need to track your usage and stay energy-efficient. We help people all over Alberta achieve the home temperature they desire while pursuing ideas that keep their energy consumption levels to a minimum.

Note: These tips are suggested as general practices. However, actual results may vary.

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