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The Most Efficient Way to Set Your Thermostat Depends on Your Heating System

January 18, 2020

Hand adjusting a thermostat set at 68 degrees

Is it better to "set and forget," or will you save energy and money by adjusting the temperature at different times of day?

The answer depends on the type of heating system in your home.

If you have an electric forced air furnace, or resistance heat such as ceiling, wall heaters or baseboards, it is more efficient to heat only when you're home and awake.

Turn down the thermostat 7-10 degrees before you go to bed at night and when you are away from home for 8 hours or more. A programmable thermostat can do this for you automatically, and they are relatively inexpensive and easy to install.

But if you have a heat pump (ducted or ductless), maintaining a moderate setting is the most cost-effective practice.  

When a heat pump is in heating mode, setting back the thermostat can cause the unit to operate inefficiently, canceling out any savings achieved by lowering the temperature setting. 

Regardless of your heating system, we recommend a setting of 68 degrees for typical Eugene winter conditions.

But remember, the heating system is only one piece of an energy-efficient home. Sealing air leaks and adding insulation helps optimize your heating system's efficiency, keep your home comfortable throughout the year and reduce energy waste. Use our rebates or zero-percent interest loans to help with the cost.