The Best Thermostat Setting for the Winter

Updated February 21, 2017

Keeping a home at a comfortable temperature in winter and summer is one of the great benefits of a modern heating and cooling system. In order to use the system wisely, learn to set the thermostat at the correct temperature.

Programmable Thermostats

The most convenient thermostat is the one that allows the homeowner not only to choose temperatures but to control the timing of heating. This thermostat can raise the temperature in the morning when the family arises, keep it warm during breakfast, and cool it down when everyone leaves for the day.

Manual Thermostats

A manual thermostat will do the same thing, but the homeowner must remember to change the settings at the right times. Furthermore, the manual thermostat does not anticipate changes in the family's activity and so must be readjusted as people come and go.

Optimal Settings

According to utility companies, the best setting for a winter daytime when the family is at home is 20 degrees Celsius. Some recommend lowering the temperature to 12.8 degrees C at night, but others suggest 18.3 degrees C. Keeping a chart of temperature settings and gas, electricity, or oil use will help to decide on how to set a thermostat in winter.


Family members and other occupants may need to make adjustments in their clothing in order to remain comfortable at the recommended settings. Habitually adding a sweater to indoor garments will alleviate the chill for most. Small children may require heavier sleeping garments or bags to be warm enough at night.

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About the Author

Karen W. Waggoner is a retired teacher and lifetime scribbler. She has published short stories, essays in anthologies and periodicals. Waggoner is the author of the memoir, "On My Honor, A Navy Wife’s Vietnam War." She is a graduate of Stetson University, the University of Connecticut and Christian College for Women.