There’s no temperature on your thermostat that is perfect for any one person all of the time, let alone everyone all of the time. For a lot of us “Chief Household Officers” and bill payers, determining the optimal indoor temperature comes down to finding the right balance of the cost of heating your home and the number of complaints you hear about the temperature!
While we all have our own preferences for indoor temperatures during the winter, the consensus across most sources is that 68° is more or less ideal. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean you should set your thermostat to 68° in October and leave it there until April!
Here are 5 factors worth considering when you’re deciding where to set your thermostat when it’s cold out.
5 Factors To Consider When Setting Your Thermostat For Winter
1. Home Insulation
Warm air goes a lot further in a home that’s well insulated and built to hold heat. If you’re confident in your home’s insulation, feel free to drop the temp a little overnight, knowing you can quickly warm your home back up in the morning.
Modern thermostats have automated settings and timers that make the whole process extremely simple, or you can look into smart thermostats that learn from you and can adjust themselves.
If you live in an older home that’s more drafty, you’re better off picking a temperature and sticking with it (or you could try this hack to better insulate drafty windows).
2. Thermostat Location
Where is your thermostat located within your home? If it’s in a warm kitchen, in the path of direct sunlight, above a heating vent, or near a door where temperatures are constantly fluctuating, it’s important to factor those things into your mental equation when setting it.
3. Flooring Type
If you’ve ever gotten out of a cozy bed and put your feet down on ice cold hardwood or tile, then you already know how your flooring can impact your heating needs. Hardwood and tile take significantly longer to warm up than the air does, so you may want to avoid turning down your thermostat at night—or at least invest in a good pair of slippers!
4. Travel Plans
If you’re leaving the house for an extended period of time, it’s best to turn off your heat/cooling system unless the temperature is supposed to dip below freezing or you have pets. If freezing temperatures are a possibility, avoid the expensive catastrophe of burst water pipes by making sure your home stays warmer than 32º.
Pets should be fine as long as the temperature stays above 60º, but it’s best to consult your veterinarian to learn more about his or her specific needs (in addition to ensuring you have someone stopping by regularly to take care of your pet, of course!)
5. Indoor Plants
Most plants prefer indoor temperatures between 60° and 75°, so be sure to set your thermostat somewhere in that range if you want to keep them alive and well. To avoid unnecessary casualties, do some research on your particular plant varieties to find out what temperatures they’re most likely to thrive in.
What’s your ideal indoor temperature?