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Your Indianapolis Licensed HVAC Contractor


Your Indianapolis Licensed HVAC Contractor


Vital Heating & Air Blog

Setting the Thermostat in Winter—The Best Tips!


“What’s so hard about setting the thermostat in winter?” you might ask. “When it’s too cold, I turn it up, and then I turn it back down if it gets too hot.”

That sounds simple enough. Common sense. But common sense isn’t always right, and in the case of adjusting the temperatures in your home to manage proper winter heating in Indianapolis, IN, it can lead to plenty of money wasted and excess strain placed on the HVAC system, leading to early repairs and possibly an early replacement.

Fortunately, it’s not difficult to learn energy-saving thermostat tips for the winter. We’ll go through them below and help you start saving power.

Lower the thermostat, don’t raise it

Sounds like silly advice, doesn’t it? But the secret to efficiently heating a home is slowing down heat loss to the outside. The more heat stays in your house, the easier it is to keep it warm and lower the use of the central heater. To slow down heat loss, keep the indoor temperature as close as possible to the outdoor temperature. This is why pushing the thermostat as high as it will go is wasteful: it causes the heat to escape faster. 

So, how low should you put the thermostat?

Set to 68°F during the day

When people are home during the day, aim to keep the thermostat steady at 68°F. This is the US Department of Energy’s recommended setting, and it can save up to 20% compared to higher settings. You may need to put on an extra layer of clothing, but you have all those nice sweaters for a reason. If it still feels too cold for your household, set the thermostat to 72°F and lower it by one degree a day until people get accustomed to 68°F.

Setback the temperature by 8–10°F at night

When people go to bed, or when the house is empty, lower the thermostat setting by 8 to 10°F. People need less heat when asleep and under the covers, but the house will still stay warm enough that you won’t have to worry about things like pipe freeze. It also keeps the house warm enough that it won’t require immense amounts of energy to heat it back up to 68°F later. (This is why we don’t recommend shutting off the heat entirely when you’re away from home.)

Are you having to constantly adjust the thermostat anyway?

If you read the above and tried it, but found that the temperatures fluctuate in your house so much that you still have to fiddle with the thermostat, then the problem may be with a broken thermostat or a broken heating system. Steady thermostat settings should work—if they don’t, it’s a sign of a malfunction, and the best solution for this is to call our technicians to examine the problem. The thermostat may be miscalibrated so it doesn’t read the correct temperatures, or the heater is short cycling so it keeps turning on and off at the wrong times. We’ll get your system back in top shape.

“Your Comfort is Vital!” so always call Vital Heating & Air when you’re looking for the best in heating service.

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