Reprogram Your Thermostat for Winter

November 30, 2016

Resetting the programmable thermostat for winter is an annual task that should be on your fall to-do list. If your daily household schedule is unchanged from last winter and your indoor comfort zone doesn't need to be tweaked, then you may opt to simply stick with last year’s settings. However, it’s a good idea to reconsider the time of day and temperature choices, particularly if anything about your household routine or the temperature preferences of occupants has changed. Or, perhaps you want to economize and lower costs more during this heating season. Effective use of a programmable thermostat makes both furnace energy efficiency and household comfort more consistent.

Most programmable thermostats allow adjustments to these parameters, per your preference:

  • Waking hours temperature. Studies show the optimum comfortable temperature range while people are at home and awake is 68 to 70 degrees.
  • Sleeping hours temperature. Overnight, program the thermostat to reduce temperature to 62 to 66 degrees, starting one hour before the time you normally go to bed.
  • Usual time occupants leave home. Program the system to turn the heat down about 10 degrees approximately 30 minutes before you usually leave home for the day.
  • Usual time occupants return home. Program the system to turn the heat up to normal occupied temperature approximately 30 minutes before you usually get home.

Also keep in mind these issues:

  • If the thermostat offers separate time and temperature settings for weekends, set those times/temperatures to your preference.
  • If you go out of town during the winter, utilize the thermostat's “Vacation” option to continuously maintain indoor temperatures at a safe minimum and prevent damage such as frozen pipes.
  • If your thermostat is battery-powered like most, change the battery once a year. If you didn’t change it when you reset the settings for summer, change the battery now.
  • When it's time to begin furnace operation for the heating season, be sure to set the thermostat to the "Heat" mode.

For help in resetting the programmable thermostat to maximize indoor comfort and lower heating costs this winter, contact the experts at Lozier Heating & Cooling.