Adjust Thermostat

Turn your thermostat down in the winter or up in the summer to a reasonable setting and save both energy and money!

Easy
Households: 0 completed, 1 committed
360
Points ?
$40
Annual Savings
$0 - $0
Upfront Cost
These are estimates
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Energy and water savings

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30
kWh Electricity
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20
Therms Natural Gas
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0
Gallons Gas
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0
Gallons Water
  • Save 5­-15% a year on energy costs for heating and cooling
  • Be comfortable and save energy
  • Reduce carbon emissions and air pollution

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Overview

The Action
Lower our thermostat a few degrees in the winter and raise it in the summer.
Is this action for me?
If you have a thermostat that is dedicated to your home (not shared with other units) this action is for you.
When and Who?
This action can be done any time by anyone!
How long will it take?
Quick - just a few minutes.
What is the cost?
There is no cost for this action.

Benefits

  • Save 5­-15% a year on energy costs for heating and cooling

  • Be comfortable and save energy

  • Reduce carbon emissions and air pollution

Resources

Programs

Tips for setting your thermostat from the CA Consumer Energy Center. 

The Basics

Most folks can be comfortable with reasonable thermostat settings in both winter and summer. Here are a few tips to set your home thermostat to a reasonable setting and save energy and money.

Checklist

Figure out the best thermostat settings for you
Take it slow - one degree at a time
Rock a sweater or some cool shorts
Rearrange the furniture
Use a fan in the summer

Figure out the best setting for you

Although it might feel really cozy to set your thermostat at 80°F when you're home in the winter, it might not be so fun when you get the bill!  Most people find that they can be very comfortable at reasonable thermostat settings of 68°F in the winter and 75-78°F in the summer.  This might seem a bit difficult if you are used to setting your thermostat higher in winter and lower in summer, however, you might want to give it a try!  It can save quite a bit on your monthly bill.

Some folks, for health reasons, need higher settings in the winter or lower in the summer, however, if you don’t have health requirements you might find you actually feel better at these settings.  At night while you're sleeping, consider adjusting the temperature even more (than when you're awake) to 55-60° in the winter and 80-85° in the summer.  However, make sure these new settings are comfortable for you.  If you find that you have trouble sleeping, back off the adjustment a bit until you sleep soundly.  The bottom line - find the most energy efficient setting that is comfortable for you.

Take it slow

Adjust your thermostat one degree at a time.  If you are ready to jump in and go for it and try a lower setting, great!  However, if you are not ready for a big change all at once, try changing your thermostat one degree at a time.  Try it for a week and see how it goes.  Then if that works, try another degree until you reach the level that is most comfortable and energy efficient for you.  

Rock a sweater or some cool shorts

If you are used to higher settings, you might find that you will be more comfortable with a bit warmer clothes at home in the winter, or cooler clothes in the summer.  Make this transition fun!  Check through your wardrobe and find a few things that you think will be comfortable to wear with your new thermostat settings.  Or, treat yourself and go get a new sweater for the occasion!  Cozy slippers or thick socks and throw blankets are also great when you're at home during the winter.  Likewise, on hot summer days, loose, lightweight clothing can help you to stay cool.  Also drinking plenty of cool water or drinks helps as well.  Pull out your great aunt’s famous homemade lemonade recipe and give it a try!

Rearrange the furniture

Check to see if you have places in the house where you often sit that are close to drafts.  If your couch or favorite chair is right in front of a single paned window, consider moving it slightly to get out from the draft.  Instead of pumping up the thermostat to adjust for a drafty corner, adjust your favorite spot to be where the heating works well.  Also consider replacing that single paned window or sealing up that drafty door jamb!

Use a fan to help cool the room

In the summer heat, air motion of any kind creates a wind chill effect and makes the body feel cooler. When you use a fan with your AC, you can set your thermostat 4°F higher and still stay comfortable.  Set ceiling fans to move in a counterclockwise direction to draw warm air up.  Remember that fans cool people, not rooms, so turn the fans off when you leave the room to avoid wasting energy.  Learn more about keeping your house cool in the summer with Stay-cool action.