What’s The Best Thermostat Setting?
Are you in a cold war (pun intended) over the best thermostat setting for your home? We get it. Constantly changing your thermostat or constantly battling your spouse over its setting can leave you feeling hot, cold, and frustrated. Don’t fear! The team at McCarthy AC is here to settle the argument by sharing the research on what the best temperature is for your home.
Best Thermostat Temperatures
In the battle of the thermostats, people typically fall into two categories: those who set the thermostat at one steady temperature and those who don’t. Each side has a number of legitimate reasons for their method to reach their ideal temperature. So, while we may not end the debate in your home, we can at least share with you what experts say the ideal temperature for your thermostat is.
In The Summer
We get it. Summers are often hot and humid, and you simply want to relax and cool off in your home. However, while being comfortable is important, you also want to use an efficient temperature that won’t skyrocket your energy costs. That’s why energy experts recommend setting your thermostat to 78 degrees Fahrenheit for the summer when you’re at home. However, we know that 78 degrees are just too toasty for many people. If you live in a wet, hot, humid climate, as we do in Southwest Florida, you know that a humid 78 degrees feel different from a dry 78 degrees. When you’re away, simply turn your air conditioning off during the summer. Wifi thermostats can really help you save energy and stay cool during the summer. You can easily set your AC to start cooling right before you get home, so it’s the perfect temperature when you walk in the door.
We know it’s tempting to blast the air conditioning in overheated frustration when you walk through the door, but don’t try to cool your home faster by setting your AC thermostat in a colder setting than normal. In fact, Energy.gov states that this strategy does not actually work. Instead of cooling your home faster, it lowers the temperature too much and creates unnecessary expenses.
In The Winter
The energy experts suggest that the ideal winter temperature for your thermostat is 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Of course, this is the optimal temperature for when you’re awake, but these same experts recommend lowering the temperature by 7-10 degrees while asleep or away.
Lowering your thermostat temperature during these times can reduce your annual heating bill by as much as 10 percent. That’s a 1% saving for every degree you drop the heat if you lower it for at least 8 hours at night. It isn’t just one source saying 68 degrees is the best. No, experts over at Popular Science agree and suggest layering on the clothing to stay warm instead of blasting the heat.
The best temperature while you sleep is usually around 60 to 67 degrees Fahrenheit. In fact, WebMD experts say you may even sleep better when your home’s set to that temperature. However, if your room is too hot or too cold, it can impact your internal temperature, making it harder for your body to achieve deep sleep.
For Your Houseplants
House Plants Experts state that the ideal temperature for your house plants is between 60 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. So your best bet for keeping your green friends alive and healthy is not to drop your temperature below 50 degrees Fahrenheit or above 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
For Your Pets
If you leave your pets at home during the day while you’re at work, you may not want to turn off your air conditioning in the summer or shut down your heat in the winter. Instead, keep your home in the recommended energy-saving temperature range of 64 to 78 degrees Fahrenheit, and your furry family members will thank you! Remember that furry pets have natural coping mechanisms for hotter or cooler weather. For example, cozy fur fights the cold, and panting tongues fight the heat. However, certain pets, like tropical fish, amphibians, or arachnids, don’t have these same coping mechanisms. So ensure your temperature doesn’t drop too low. We also recommend installing a heat lamp if you live in an area where colder temperatures are inevitable.
For Your Infant
The ideal temperature for your newest family member can take exploring to discover. Like adults, each baby is unique and has their own internal temperature preferences. You can always watch for heat rash – a sure sign your baby is too hot. Also, keep an eye on cold fingers and toes, a sign your baby is too cold. Generally, excerpts agree that you shouldn’t let the room temperature rise above 74 degrees Fahrenheit or drop below 65 degrees Fahrenheit. If you want to narrow down the range even more, most babies are happy between 68 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit.
Women Always Colder Than Men
The annual thermostat wars seem to rage between the sexes. So why do women always seem to feel the cold more acutely than men? Research published in the journal Lancet found that women’s core body temperature usually runs 0.4 degrees Fahrenheit higher than men’s body temperatures. And women’s hands run several degrees colder than men’s hands. Why does this matter? Well, when we feel cold, it’s often due to a drop in temperature in the fingers, toes, and other exposed extremities.
In addition, body size and composition impact a person’s perception of the cold. For example, women generally have less muscle mass. Muscle is an internal heat producer. In addition, women are typically smaller than men, giving them a higher skin surface-to-volume ratio. Basically, causing them to lose heat more quickly through their skin.
So if you’re a female who is constantly cold or a male living with a female who is constantly bumping up the heat while you’re sweating, now you know why!
Final Thermostat Temperature Thoughts
Remember that everyone’s body temperature is a little different, and we all prefer and require different temperatures to maintain our comfort during the day and night. While these research-based recommendations work for many people, you may need something else! Here’s to you finding the ideal thermostat temperature for your home. Call our team today if you find yourself in humid, sunny southwest Florida and need a new air conditioning unit!