Find out how to keep a comfortable home temperature in any weather without creating a terrifying utility bill
Scientifically speaking, there is an optimal temperature for an office environment. Your home, however, is not an office, and trying to maintain a comfortable home temperature is more challenging. People working in an office are doing just that: working. At home, you’re cooking, cleaning, relaxing, sleeping, playing with the dog, helping kids with homework, and any number of other life activities.
That perfect temperature can change with the seasons, too. And despite trying to forget about it, most of us have to admit that we think about our utility bill every time we turn the heat up a degree or set the air conditioning a little lower.
Despite the variables, most people are comfortable between 68ºF and 78ºF, with “room temperature” being a comfortable 72ºF all year long. Ultimately, the most comfortable room temperature is an individual choice. Maintaining that temperature can be tricky, but you don’t have to be at the mercy of your thermostat in keeping your home environment ideal.
9 Ways to Ensure a Comfortable
Using the best of old-fashioned methods and modern technology, it’s easier than ever to keep your home temperature where you like it, without relying entirely on your heating and cooling system to do all the work.
1. Update your thermostat (or not?)
One simple, classic way to save on home heating and cooling expenses is to change your thermostat settings based on when you’re most active in your home. Turn the heat down (or AC up) while you’re away at work or out to dinner and set it to a comfortable level when you’re home.
A programmable or smart thermostat makes this easier to keep up with. If you’re diligent, a programmable thermostat can work fine, but a smart thermostat can learn your patterns, and some have multiple built-in integrations for a total “smart home” package.
If you rent your home, you may not have the option to update your thermostat, but you can set reminders for yourself to alter the temperature on your way out to work and before you go to bed at night.
2. Invest in a dehumidifier
There’s more to a comfortable home temperature than the reading on the thermometer. Humidity plays a big part in that swampy summer feeling. A dehumidifier takes some of that moisture out of the air, giving your body the opportunity to cool itself.
3. Keep your heating and cooling system clean
Changing filters is one of the easiest ways to keep your HVAC system running efficiently. Not only does this save you money, but it also helps your home hold a steady temperature. In addition to changing filters, following the recommended service appointments is another way to keep your system in good shape.
4. Take advantage of free heating and cooling
Your HVAC system isn’t the only way to heat and cool your home. Be sure to open your curtains during the day to let the sunlight warm your home in the winter. Use your windows strategically in the summer to get cooler air flowing through your home.
5. Get a home energy audit
Many utility companies offer free home energy audits to help you find out where you’re wasting energy. Simple projects like adding weather stripping to windows or doors can do a lot to keep cold air out during the winter and in during the summer.
6. Do your chores strategically
Your dishwasher and oven produce a lot of heat. Take advantage of that, and try to do your cooking and cleaning during the day in the winter so that heat can help warm your home. Likewise, when it’s hot out, save those chores for the evening if you can so you aren’t increasing the temperature when it’s already warm enough.
7. Spin your ceiling fan the right way
In summer, a ceiling fan can make you feel cooler, and they don’t use a lot of energy. While a ceiling fan won’t necessarily lower the air temperature, it certainly feels better than stagnant air. An article on This Old House recommends ceiling fans in winter, too, for homes with high ceilings. Just be sure to switch the fan so it’s rotating clockwise to bring the warm air down.
8. Take on the big projects
Homes with old windows may be ready for an update. New vinyl windows are energy efficient and, depending on the quality of the window, could last approximately 40 years, according to the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors.
9. Dress appropriately
Another very simple way to maintain a comfortable home temperature is to dress for the weather. Add a layer in the winter, wear a sweater, and put on those wool socks. When it warms up, stick with loose-fitting, breathable fabrics like cotton.
Your home is a big investment, and keeping it comfortable is a priority anyone can relate to. One more way to take care of your home is to have the right home insurance. Talk to your Pekin Insurance agent today and get the insurance you need.