setting thermostat best temperature for cold weather

Best Thermostat Setting for Cold Weather

  • Written By: Rebecca Bridges
  • Edited By: Kelly Bedrich

  • Heating bills too high? Here’s the best thermostat setting for cold weather if you want to save on your heating bill. Your natural gas furnace is the biggest consumer of gas in your home, more than your other appliances combined. Managing your home temperature can cut costs from your bill.

    How Much Money Can I Save With a Lower Thermostat Setting in Winter?

    According to, turning your thermostat back by 10° for the eight hours you are at work, and the eight hours you are asleep can save around 10% a year on your heating bills.

    The best way to manage this? A programmable thermostat, preferably a wifi version that you can control remotely. A Nest learning thermostat is a good option, as is the ecobee SmartThermostat with voice control.

    What is the Best Temperature for My Heater in the Winter?

    The best way to save on your gas bill it to control your thermostat. It’s the easiest way to stay comfortable in the winter without costing yourself a fortune.

    Here are the best thermostat settings in the winter, to save on your gas bill:

    • Best Winter Thermostat Setting When at Home: 72° is a good start but aim for 68° as your winter set point. Your family won’t protest as much if you drop the temperature by one degree each week. That allows everyone to acclimate to the lower temperature.
    • Best Winter Thermostat Setting When Away from Home: There’s no point heating an empty house. You can drop it down to 55° to 60° when you leave the house.
    • Best Winter Thermostat Setting When Asleep: When everyone is cuddled under the covers, set the temperature to 65°. Studies show it’s the best temperature for sleep.

    This handy chart makes it easy to see the best heating thermostat settings to save on your winter gas bill.

    chart shows the best thermostat settings for winter are 68* at home, 60* when away and 65* when asleep

    We also recommend wearing a sweater when you are inside, instead of upping the heat! Check our list of tips to save on your winter gas bill for more ideas.

    Why is 65° the Best Thermostat Setting for Sleep?

    Our sleep pattern is controlled by something called the circadian rhythm. This is based on the light and dark cycle of the sun and controlled by the brain. Your brain sets your “body clock” based on light exposure, temperature, exercise and social cues.

    While light exposure is the biggest factor for sleep, temperature is the next most important. Your body temperature typically starts to drop as it gets closer to bed time. This triggers the release of the sleep hormone melatonin. By setting the temperature lower, you can help your body cool down, to expedite the process.

    Don’t assume that the lower you go the better. Studies also show that a temperature below 54° can interrupt your sleep patterns and cause you to waken.

    This article contains Amazon links to mentioned products. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

    About Rebecca Bridges

    Rebecca Bridges has worked in deregulated energy markets since 2001. As chief marketing officer for NaturalGasPlans, she focuses on energy efficiency tips and helping consumers pick the best natural gas plan for their home. Outside of work, Rebecca uses her marketing experience to support dog rescue and can often be found hiking or biking local trails.

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