Home Heating: Costs,Thermostat Settings and Ways to Save

thermostat 2When I first moved into my home last year I didn’t know how to best set the heating thermostat.  I moved in late October so it was something I needed to deal with right away.  Both my husband and I had been apartment dwellers all our lives and apartments are different from single family homes. Home heating was really something new for us to learn. I was also concerned about the costs of heating my home and finding ways to save.

Initial Thermostat Settings

The first month in the home I set the thermostat to 72 degrees. It was running at that setting all day but when I was sleeping it was just too warm and I would normally start sweating in the middle of the night.  I guess I felt 72 degrees is the common room temperature so I just went with that.  After speaking with some family members they advised that I should keep my thermostat much lower at night especially as it gets closer to bedtime. Basically, when you are in bed under the covers you really don’t need the same amount of heating as you would during the day time.

Testing Temperature Settings

I decided I would spend some time testing different temperature settings for night and day time hours.  I wanted to find the right balance for the home.  I noticed that during the day the home would stay warm at about 70 degrees because of the sunlight coming into the house.  After the sun goes down the home started to get cooler and we needed more heat.  Also, very early in the morning we needed that heat while getting ready for work.

What I concluded was that we really didn’t need to keep the thermostat set at 72 degrees all day. Actually that setting made the home too warm.  During the day if we are at home and moving around we don’t need that much heat because we would start to feel uncomfortable.   At night under the covers we needed even less heat to keep us warm.   My home faces south so it gets a lot of natural home heating from the sun during daylight hours.

My Home Heating Settings

I finally settled on having the thermostat set like this:

Monday thru Friday: 

68 degrees from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m.

65 degrees from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

68 degrees from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.

65 degrees from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m.

Saturday and Sunday:

68 degrees from 10:00 a.m. to 12 p.m.

65 degrees from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

68 degrees from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.

65 degrees from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m.

As you can see, the only difference between settings in weekdays and weekends is in the mornings.  On weekends we sleep in a little more so we don’t need the furnace to turn on so early.

Home Heating Costs Last Season

On average my home gas bill last winter season was $130/month from November to April.  This includes gas usage for home heating, cooking, clothes dryer and the water heater.  I think the costs were quite reasonable last season.  Though my home is small.  I have a ranch with 900 sq. ft. on the main floor and 900 sq. ft. in the finished basement.  Also the home is divided into 2 heating zones which means that I can control the heat settings separately for each floor.  I keep the temperature at 62 to 65 degrees in the basement when I’m not using it.

Other Saving Tips

Other things I do to save in my heating costs are, I open the curtains during daylight hours to let the warmth of the sun come in.  I also invested in energy-efficient thermal curtains to help maintain the heat inside the home in the evenings.  I spent about $120 to purchase four sets of panels and I think it was well worth the price.  Another tip I read about recently that I now practice is setting my washing machine to wash everything in cold water. 


What home heating advice or tips do you have?

This post featured at Livingwellspendingless.com Thrifty Thursday.



Home Heating: Costs,Thermostat Settings and Ways to Save — 12 Comments

    • It’s always nice when you’re able to control your heating or cooling. The last rental I lived in allowed me to control both and it was great. But I hardly ever turned on the heat because the building was very warm. Heating costs were also included in my rent so that was a great bonus.

    • I don’t know if it has to do with small homes but my house is the same. As soon as I put the heat on 70 the house gets too hot!

  1. UGH! Running the thermostat is insane 🙁 Luckily where we live it warms up pretty well during the day. I found the biggest tip for our family is heated blankets! I’ve got one on each of our beds so I can turn the heat down overnight – and unless it’s super cold? I often forget to turn it back up!
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    • Hi, thanks for stopping by. It was definitely an adjusting period for us trying to figure it out last year. Today is an unsually cold day here in the northeast for November so I had to keep the thermostat at 68 degrees all day.

    • That is very sweet that you guys take such good care of your cat. After 22 years she definitely deserves it.

    • It’s nice to live in a warm climate. I enjoy the warmer months more but I don’t like extreme heat or extreme cold.

    • I’m clueless about many things in my home. It has been a year of lessons learned for me. I’m glad I could pass on some of what I’ve learned to you.