Metro-Atlanta heating & cooling technicians at Gagne A/C explain how to find the best temperature for your home

If you’re a homeowner, you’ve probably spent too much time trying to find the perfect balance with your thermostat. You might want to know if there is a clinical “best” temperature for your house that can ease your thermostat woes forever.

You may not be surprised to learn that there is no real “best” temperature for a house. House temperatures and how occupants perceive the temperature depend on a lot of different factors, including:

  • Different People’s Comfort Levels
  • The Draftiness of Your House
  • Your Desire to Save Money and Energy

While there’s no “best” temperature for your house, there are a series of best practices when it comes to setting your thermostat for heating and cooling. These best practices can help you find the best temperature balance for your home, making everyone as comfortable as possible while saving on energy at the same time.

The 3 Best Practices for Setting Your Thermostat

1) Find the Temperature That’s Most Comfortable for You : As mentioned above, people have different comfort levels. Some people run hot while others seem to always be cold. Some people may be willing to wrap up a little more in the winter to save on heating costs, while others may want to walk around in their t-shirt regardless of the time of year.

The point is that it doesn’t matter where the thermostat is set, just find a heating and cooling temperature that keeps most people in your house happy most of the time while they’re awake. If you’re having trouble agreeing on the best temperature with other members of your household, see our blog post on Thermostat Wars for tips on how to compromise on thermostat settings.

Homes that have system zoning have more flexibility about the temperature of their house, since different zones can be heated to different temperatures. You might find that you can keep the kitchen five degrees lower than the bedrooms, or vice versa.

The US Department of Energy recommends that people use the lowest heat setting they are comfortable with and the highest air setting in order maximize energy savings.

2) Use a Programmable Thermostat: If you don’t have a programmable thermostat, you should make the small investment towards one. And if you do have a thermostat, you should use it properly.

Programmable thermostats are a necessary step in finding the balance between comfort and energy savings because they allow you to set the temperature of your house for different times of day, based on the activity occurring in your house. A programmable thermostat works on the principle that while you’re away from home or sleeping, your heating or cooling system can stop working so much to save on energy.

Some people have a misperception that altering the thermostat throughout the day actually makes their furnace or air work harder and uses more energy because the system must work harder to get the house back to the desired temperature. This is simply not true. By cutting back the thermostat at certain times of day, you can still be comfortable when needed and achieve energy savings.

3) Let Off On the Temperature When You’re Inactive in the House: Here’s how to use your programmable thermostat: during times that you’re active in your house, set your programmable thermostat at the agreed upon comfort level setting. When you’re usually sleeping or out of the house for more than four hours, program the thermostat to cut back on the temperature by 5 to 10 degrees.

Make sure to program the thermostat to start running your comfort level setting an hour before you get out of bed or an hour before you get home so the house will be at the desired temperature upon your rising or return.

Here’s a sample of how a thermostat might be set for heating and cooling:


Heating Temp.

One Hour Before Waking: 5am


Upon Leaving the House: 8am


1 hour Prior to Returning Home for the Evening: 4am


Upon Sleeping: 11pm



Cooling Temp.

One Hour Before Waking: 5am


Upon Leaving the House: 8am


1 Hour Prior to Returning Home for the Evening: 4pm


Upon Sleeping: 11pm


These temperatures and times are just an example of how you could set your thermostat. Make sure that the times and temperatures you set work for you. It might take a little tweaking to find the best settings, but once you do, you could save 10 or more percent a year on your energy bill, according to the Department of Energy.

Most programmable thermostats also allow you to set the thermostat differently for the weekends when the house is in use more. Make sure you take advantage of these settings to avoid people messing with the thermostat while they are home.

In general, remind your housemates that setting your thermostat very high will not get your house up to temperature faster in the winter. Nor will setting the air very low help your house speed the cooling process. Set your thermostat where you want the temperature to ultimately be. It’s when people excessively toy with the thermostat that you start to loose energy savings and put excessive wear on your furnace or cooling system.

While it takes a little upfront work, properly using a programmable thermostat can help your household use best practices for heating and cooling your home.

If you have questions about programmable thermostats or heating or cooling systems, or would like to schedule an inspection and consultation, contact a metro-Atlanta heating and cooling technician at Gagne A/C today.

We service homes and businesses in Alpharetta, Duluth, Cumming, Buford, Silver Springs and other communities in the Atlanta/north Georgia region.

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