Setting Your Thermostat for the Coldest Months of the Year

Did you know that January and February are the coldest months of the year in West Virginia? Our average low temperatures hover from 13 to 24 degrees Fahrenheit in January, and we’re often hit with snow, rain, and cloudy skies for most of the winter. February isn’t much better with average temperatures ranging from 15 to 47 degrees. With the cold weather setting in, have you found your family fighting over the thermostat? It can be difficult to find the best temperature to keep everyone in your family comfortable during the coldest days of the year.

What is the Best Temperature to Set My Thermostat in the Winter?

This is a common question, with a not so easy answer. After a few Google searches, you might see that the “ideal” temperature during the winter is 68 degrees on your thermostat. However, the answer truly is that you should set your thermostat to a temperature that is most ideal and comfortable for you and your family. If you have elderly or young children in your home, you may wish to keep the temperature a bit warmer to keep them cozy. You also might be warm-blooded, and able to keep your thermostat at a brisk 58 or 59 degrees, which is also totally OK as long as you’re comfortable.

How Low is Too Low to Set My Thermostat?

If you’re going to be leaving your home or traveling for the winter, it’s best to keep your thermostat set no lower than 55 degrees. If you don’t, you could risk having your pipes freeze over. It also would be helpful to ask a friend or neighbor to stop by and check in on your house if you’ll be gone for an extended period of time. They can let your water drip, run your toilets, and make sure your heater is still on and working properly. They can also help do other things around your home, such as watering your plants, shoveling your sidewalk, and ensuring everything is safe in your home.

Will I Save Energy if I Set My Thermostat to Turn Off and On Instead of Running Continuously?

There are pros and cons to both of these options. However, you will save more energy and money if you do not continuously run your HVAC. Setting your HVAC to auto, and letting it run only when needed to warm up your home will be more cost and energy effective. However, if you choose to do this, you may find some rooms much cooler than others. Since you’ll only be keeping your HVAC fan on while heat is being distributed, the HVAC will heat up until the thermostat is satisfied. On the other hand, if you were to leave your thermostat set to continuous, the fans constantly running would keep moving air through your home which will circulate the air and more evenly heat all of the spaces and rooms in your house.

There are additional benefits for each setting of your thermostat. If you are concerned about humidifying or dehumidifying your home during the winter, running your home on the Auto setting will help with dehumidification. On the other hand, running your fans on all the time will help ensure you’re getting clean air which can be better for people with allergies. Running your fans continuously will also decrease the life expectancy of your fans, as well as your entire HVAC system. At the end of the day, we recommend doing whatever feels best and most comfortable for you and your home.

If you have any questions about the best thermostats and optimal comfort in your home, we can help. If you’re in need of HVAC service in the Charleston, WV area, give Dodrill Comfort & Energy Solutions a call at (304) 212-2004. We’re available 24/7!