Heating is critical for winter comfort, but it's also the biggest energy user in many homes. A recent U.S. Department of Energy survey discovered some habits that can lead to increased energy costs:
- 40% of U.S. households set the thermostat at one temperature and leave it there.
- Only 26% of households adjust temperatures at night or when no one is home.
- 38% of households use a secondary heat source such as an electric space heater.
- More than 41 million U.S. households still use non-programmable thermostats.
- Only 4% of households use a smart or Internet-connected thermostat.
According to the survey, 70°F is the average daytime temperature setting for households when someone is home. Also, it was found that 40% of households set the thermostat at 70°F or higher at night when everyone's sleeping.
Save Energy, Stay Comfortable
If you’re engaging in one or more of the habits listed above, here are some simple things you can do to reduce energy costs while staying warm:
- Lower the temperature when you are at home and dress for comfort. If you set the thermostat at 68°F instead of 70°F and wear a sweatshirt, you'll see savings you can really warm up to.
- Install a programmable thermostat and use it to optimize savings and comfort. Connected smart models provide advanced features such as Wi-Fi and self-programming.
- Adjust your thermostat before you go to bed and when your house is empty. Lowering the temperature just a few degrees on a daily basis can add up to big savings on your monthly energy bills.
- Look for and seal gaps around windows and exterior doors with caulk or weatherstripping.
- Throughout the winter, change your furnace filter regularly according to the manufacturer's instructions to ensure efficient performance.
You should also make sure your heating system is cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional. If your system is older or in need of repair, upgrade to a new ENERGY STAR®-certified model. ENERGY STAR heating systems use less energy than standard units, while still providing the performance and comfort you expect.