How to set a thermostat

Setting a thermostat can seem like an easy task at first, but there are some important things to know before you go changing that dial, or switch, or pressing that button, or swiping that touch screen…

Our point is, with all of the updates of modern technology comes a lot of different options, which can make something as simple as setting your thermostat a little more confusing than it used to be. Thermostats can now be programmable, and even voice activated. Luckily, most thermostats today have similar settings, so even though we don’t know what kind of thermostat you have in your home, the steps we provide below will apply to most thermostat types.

1. Read the manual for your particular thermostat model

If you do not have it, it can usually be found online. Reading the manual will give the most specific instructions for setting and controlling your particular thermostat. The manual will be especially helpful if your thermostat is programmable, because programming a thermostat is not always as straightforward manually changing the temperature each time, but it can be quite convenient and save you money if used properly.

2. Familiarize yourself with the controls

Thermostats usually have similar options. Most will have fan options, cooling options, and heating options, as well as controls for setting each of these options to your desired comfort, or efficiency level. Each thermostat is slightly different, so it is important to learn where these options are on your thermostat as well as the controls for how to set them.

3. Setting the air conditioning in spring and summer

Energy experts recommend setting your home at 78° F in spring and summer for optimal energy efficiency. This temperature will save you the most money while still keeping the worst of the heat out. If 78° F is still too warm for you, you should start by lowering the temperature just one degree at a time until you find the level that is most comfortable for you and within what you’re willing to pay for cooling. When you’re away from home for an extended period of time it is advisable to raise your the temperature a few degrees. You will save approximately 3 percent on cooling costs for each degree you raise your temperature. Try setting your temperature to 85° F if no one is going to be in your home for more than four hours. You can also save money by setting your thermostat to a slightly higher temperature while you sleep. 82° F is the recommended energy efficient setting for when you are asleep in your home during summer. Once again, if this is too warm for you, you can adjust the setting one degree at a time until you find what works best for you.

4. Turning on the fan

Most thermostats will have an “on” as well as an “auto” setting for your fan system. It is usually advisable to leave it on the “auto” setting because this setting will only turn the fan on when heat or air conditioning is running and is in need of circulation. The “on” setting will just waste energy, as it will keep the fan on constantly. However, one reason to use the “on” setting for your fan on the thermostat controls, is if you need to quickly flush air out of your house because of a smell, or smoke from something that was burnt while cooking.

5. Setting the heat in fall and winter

During colder months of the year, 68° F is the recommended energy efficient temperature to set your thermostat at while you are in your home. To save even more on your heating bill and use less energy, it is recommended that you lower your thermostat temperature by 10-15 degrees for 8 hours a day. According to Energy.gov you could save up to 15 percent on your yearly energy spending.

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