Minnesota Winter Comfort: Setting Your Thermostat To Save Money
If you want to stay warm and save money on your heating bill this winter, check out the temperature at which experts say you should have your thermostat set here in Minnesota.
Few things create more arguments and disagreements in a relationship here in Bold North-- whether that's your significant other or your coworkers-- than the temperature in your house or office, right?
In the summer, when it's hot and humid here in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, energy experts (like this Minnesota utility company) suggest that you set your thermostat to a balmy 78 degrees. That's the temperature they say will give you comfort while running your air conditioner at peak efficiency. (Though we keep ours a few degrees cooler than that!)
But what about during the winter here in the Bold North? Is there an ideal temperature at which our thermostats should be set? Turns out, there IS. And, your thermostat is likely set to the wrong temperature (at least according to these experts.)
According to Minnesota Energy Resources, one of the big natural gas providers in southeast Minnesota, the temperature at which you should set your furnace thermostat in the winter is... 68 degrees. That's also the temperature the U.S. Energy Department's EnergySaver recommends setting your thermostat, as well.
Both places say to save money and stay cozy this winter, you'll not only want to keep that thermostat at 68 degrees, but you'll also want to set it to decrease the temperature by 8 degrees when you're not home. (Which, of course, you'll need a programmable thermostat to accomplish.)
You might also want to set your thermostat to lower the temperature by several degrees overnight when everyone in your house is in bed, as well, as EnergySaver notes:
You can save as much as 10% a year in heating and cooling costs by turning back thermostats 7 – 10 degrees Fahrenheit for eight hours a day. Constantly raising or lowering the temperature throughout the day or forgetting to set it to the proper temperature can actually cost you more over time.
I have to say, at our house in southeast Minnesota, we're a little off of those recommendations. In the summer, we have the a/c set to 75 degrees-- yes, three whole degrees cooler than it SHOULD be. But we make it up in the winter, when our thermostat is usually set at 65 or 66 degrees (and, yes, we wear a lot of sweatshirts and sweaters!)
Keeping our home warm and toasty IS a big deal here in Minnesota, especially seeing as several familiar cities made the list of the Coldest Cities in America again this year. Keep scrolling to see which ones they are!
BRRRR: The 15 Coldest Cities in America
Gallery Credit: Dunken