Space heating is critical for winter comfort, but it's also the biggest energy user in homes nationwide. Despite this, a lot of households have some bad habits when it comes to heating and energy use, according to a recent U.S. Department of Energy survey. The survey found that:
- 40% of U.S. households set the thermostat at one temperature and leave it there
- Only 26% of households adjust temperatures at night or when no one is at home
- 38% of households use a secondary heat source, such as an electric space heater
- More than 41 million U.S. households still use non-programmable thermostats
- Only 4% of households use a smart or Internet-connected thermostat
According to the survey, 70°F is the average daytime temperature setting for households when someone is at home. Also, it was found that 40% of households set the thermostat at 70°F or higher at night when everyone's sleeping.
Saving energy while staying comfortable
If you're one of those households with a few bad heating habits, here are some simple things you can do to reduce energy costs and stay cozy all winter long.
- Adjust the thermostat before you go to bed and when your house is empty. Lowering the temperature just a few degrees on a daily basis can add up to big savings on your monthly energy bills.
- Lower the temperature when you are at home and dress for comfort. If you set the thermostat at 68°F instead of 70°F and wear a sweatshirt, you'll see savings you can really warm up to.
- Install a programmable thermostat and use it to optimize savings and comfort. Connected smart models provide advanced features, such as remote control and self programming.
- Look for and seal gaps around windows and exterior doors with caulk or weatherstripping.
- Change your furnace filter regularly according to manufacturer's instructions throughout the heating season to ensure efficient performance.
Make sure your heating system is cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional. If your system is older or in need of repair, upgrade to a new ENERGY STAR®-certified model. ENERGY STAR heating systems use less energy than standard units while still providing the performance and comfort you expect.