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Recommended Thermostat Temperatures for Summer & Winter

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Modern digital programmable Thermostat in home set to 24°C during day time

Your comfort level at home depends greatly on the indoor temperature. But think twice before you crank the furnace in the winter and blast the air conditioning in the summer. 

Setting your thermostat to the recommended ideal temperatures is energy-efficient, allowing you to save money on your utility bills.

Things to Consider When Setting Your Thermostat

You have to think about a few things when setting your home’s interior temperature because humans are humans, and we all have particular preferences when it comes to being warm or cooling off.

First, consider the number of people in your household and which rooms are the most occupied. Also, think about the time of day and how you can lower the thermostat overnight since you’ll be wrapped up in blankets anyway. And, does anyone work from home? Or does everyone leave the house for the day?

Next, if you have multiple people under one roof, you have to decide on an ideal temperature that works for everyone. For instance, what’s your comfort level versus your daughter’s? Or maybe you and your partner disagree on how cool you want the bedroom to be. 

When these discussions come up, remember that the lower the temperature, the more savings you see on your heating bill.

Ideal Temperature Settings for Summer

It may seem counterintuitive to set your thermostat in the summer if you feel comfortable in your house without turning on your cooling system (lucky you: big savings!). But for those who have south-facing windows or live on a skyscraping floor of a building, you’ll want your air conditioner to kick in to keep your home cool. 

In the summer, set your thermostat as follows:

  • Between 22°C and 25°C when you’re at home during the day
  • Between 15°C and 19°C while you’re sleeping or away from home

Whatever temperature you, your family, or your roommates choose as the ideal temperature in your home during the summer, try to keep it at that level. If there’s a sudden heatwave and you need a cooler temperature, you likely won’t cool your home any faster by knocking the temperature way down. 

Person setting thermostat temperature using phone to 18°C while sleeping or away from home during winter time

Ideal Temperature Settings for Winter

Now, this one is tough because Albertan winters show no mercy; you’re cold, and you want to crank the heat!

Well, you can—but try to keep the cranking for the beginning of the freezing season. Then, as you adjust to the cooler temperatures, you can gradually lower your thermostat by 0.5°C each week until you’ve reached the ideal temperature. It’s an almost imperceptible amount that will decrease your energy costs over the winter months. And, before you know it, it will be spring again.

In the winter, set your thermostat as follows:

  • 20°C when you’re at home during the day
    • Note: 22°C at the beginning of winter is fine—just remember to decrease the temperature gradually to keep costs down
  • 18°C while you’re sleeping or away from home

Winter Warmth Tips

  • Keep doors and vents closed to unused rooms. This allows the heat to disperse in spaces that you occupy more often.
  • Seal cracks under doors and around the windows.
  • Layer up! Put on some woolly socks and a big sweater to block the chill and turn your thermostat down another degree. 
  • Do not place furniture over vents that block the heat from entering the room.

If you have multi-zone heating, you can set the temperatures according to the room: 

  • Keep it cooler in your bedroom.
  • Add a few degrees more in the living areas.
  • Lower the temperature in unused rooms and rooms with lots of sunlight. 
  • If anyone lives in the basement, add a few more degrees down there. 

Save Money and Sleep Better

Maybe you’re wondering why ideal temperatures exist in the first place. Well, the answer is straightforward: energy savings = money savings. And, you might sleep a little easier, too. 

According to the Department of Energy (US), you can save 10% annually on your energy bill by setting the thermostat lower by 4°C to 6°C for 8 hours per day. That conveniently aligns with the generally recommended amount of sleep we should all get each night, and a cooler room correlates to better sleep quality.

Maintain Your Heating and Cooling Systems

All this talk about thermostats, and we barely mentioned the workhorses providing all the heat and cold air: your furnace and air conditioner. To ensure you have the freedom to adjust your home heating and cooling, both of these systems need to be in top shape. 

Having regular furnace tune-ups prolongs your furnace’s life and saves you from shivering when the cold snap hits and your furnace suddenly doesn’t work. Of course, if you’re in the market for a new furnace, we’ve got you covered there too.

The same is true for your air conditioner. We can help you keep it well maintained with air conditioner tune-ups and make sure you’re set up before the next heatwave. Or, we can install a new A/C system for you. 

So, remember, keeping your temperatures adjusted to the ideal settings for summer and winter can save you money and contribute to a good night’s sleep. Win-win!

Written by Ryan Tutak

Ryan is considered one of Calgary's most knowledgeable residential HVAC specialists. Working in the industry for over 12 years, he's helped thousands of homeowners with their heating and cooling systems. Outside of running Calgary's most reputable HVAC business, you can find him on the Golf course practicing his short game or traveling with his family. His main goal is to create a positive collaborative culture, one in which his employees are excited to come in and are motivated to work hard. He spends the majority of his day working directly with Home Comfort Advisors, Service and Maintenance Technicians, and Customer Service Representatives ensuring they are fully prepared to lead the Home Service Industry in Customer Service.
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