How to Set Your Thermostat for Energy Savings

As a solar installer, it is our responsibility to educate our customers on a comprehensive energy approach.   Installing solar panels on your home requires a significant upfront expense.  So, why wouldn’t you make the most of your solar investment?  If you set your thermostat for energy savings, you can also reduce the number of solar panels needed to offset your electricity usage.

As we move into late fall and soon winter, a common question we receive is what temperature we recommend for setting home thermostats.  We are not experts in the subject, but we can offer you simple tips to maximize your energy savings:

  1. Buy a programmable thermostat – Typically, most homeowners can install a programmable thermostat on their own and, oftentimes, the investment can pay for itself in one or two months.  The pre-programmed settings are expected to bring you savings, without sacrificing comfort.  The key to using a programmable thermostat is establishing a program where you decrease heating and cooling when you don’t need as much – when no one is in the house, or at night when you’re sleeping.
  2. Setting your thermostat in the winter – It is a good general rule to set your thermostat at 68 to 70 when you’re home.  We keep ours at 65.  You can try decreasing the temperature by one degree until you find out the lowest temperature you can still be comfortable in.  When you are not home or after bedtime, you should set the temperature back 8 to 10 degrees.
  3. Setting your thermostat in the summer – Most people can live comfortably at a 78 degree temperature.   I would start with 78 degrees and decrease the temperature by one degree until you find the highest temperature you can still be comfortable in.  When you’re home, I would not recommend setting your thermostat below 72 to 74 degrees in the summer.  When you’re not home (and even at bedtime if you can stand it), you should set the temperature forward 6 to 8 degrees.  Additionally, you should try opening your windows and shutting your air conditioning system off completely anytime the temperature sinks below 75 degrees outside.

The path to a more sustainable future is using more renewable power sources, but it starts with energy conversation. Heating and cooling are a large portion of energy usage so why wouldn’t you set your thermostat for energy savings.  You can also do your part by investing in a solar installation for your home, but this needs to be augmented by energy efficiency and conservation.  To learn more about if solar power is right for your home, please contact Brightstar Solar for a complimentary solar evaluation and free estimate in Massachusetts.