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When You’re at Work, What Temperature Should Your Home Be?

It’s not difficult to figure out at-home temperatures that are comfortable for you and your family. Yet, it’s not as simple to determine what temperature your home should be when you’re at work or asleep. If you’re like most homeowners, your goal should be to moderate fuel wastage when you’re asleep, at work or otherwise away from home for more than several hours at a time. This applies in both winter and summer.

One Wasteful Culprit

A prime example of fuel-wasteful behavior is the overheating or cooling of an unoccupied house.

The answer to “What temperature should your home be?” is as individual as your family’s activities and patterns, so there’s no universal thermostat setting that will suit everybody. That said, the U.S. Energy Department recommends keeping the house around 68 degrees Fahrenheit when you’re at home during the heating season and around 78 when in the cooling season, while WebMD.com recommends initially setting the thermostat between 65 and 72 degrees when everybody is asleep (trial and error should fine-tune the best exact setting).

When You’re at Work

It’s important to keep the house safe for house plants, pets and food stores during the time it’s empty, so the thermostat should be set at a level that protects your assets, but which doesn’t waste fuel. Perhaps more challenging than the process of arriving at the best temperatures to suit your individual home and family habits – which should only take a few days’ experimentation – is having to alter the thermostat’s setting twice, perhaps even three times, every day winter and summer

Happily, there is an automatic answer to this problem:

Programmable Thermostats

A programmable thermostat can be set – programmed – to deliver different levels of heating and cooling according to usage patterns. Often called “set it and forget it” technology, a programmable thermostat alters temperatures according to your habits:

  • Increasing comfort levels immediately before you arrive home from work
  • Reducing them for the time you’re asleep
  • Reducing them even further when you leave for work
  • Automatically increasing them once more just before you arrive home again

To learn more about this technology, and to arrive at a specific figure that defines what temperature should your home be while you’re at work and asleep, homeowners in the San Joaquin Valley should contact Donald P. Dick Air Conditioning.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater Fresno, California area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about home temperature and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.