What are the optimal temperature settings for my heater in Fall & Winter?

Learn the secrets to staying warm while lowering your energy bills.

According to ENERGY STAR, setting your thermostat to 68 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) when you’re home is the ideal balance of comfort and energy efficiency. Why is 68 degrees the optimal temperature? Lowering the temperature (about 10-12 degrees Fahrenheit or 6-8 degrees Celsius) while you’re sleeping or when you’re away is the magic of energy savings.

Popular Science suggests layering clothing as a way to stay warm in the cooler house temperature.

Want to save as much as 10% a year in heating costs? Turn down your back thermostats 10 degrees Fahrenheit for eight hours a day. Avoid continually raising or lowering the temperature though. That plus forgetting to set it to the optimal temperature can actually cost you more over time.

Program Your Thermostat to these Optimal Temperature Settings

There is no one perfect temperature for both comfort and energy savings. Rather, there are three distinct temperatures and times of day that will maximize your comfort levels and energy bills.

Use a programmable thermostat to match your cooling needs to your schedule. A programmable thermostat is ideal for people who are away from home during set periods of time throughout the week. Through proper use of pre-programmed settings, a programmable thermostat can save you about $180 every year in energy costs. You can make the adjustments manually if you don’t have one for your heating system. If you upgrade to a smart thermostat, you can use a mobile app on your phone. Use the  following settings as a guide:

• 68° F when you’re home*.
• 65° F when you’re at work or away.
• 62° F when you’re sleeping.

*A study by Energy Star, a joint federal program run by the DOE and the Environmental Protection Agency, discovered that 68° F is the optimal temperature for both heating and energy efficiency. Keep your thermostat set is 68° F when you’re at home and awake.


Thermostats were rather ugly rectangular boxes until smart thermostats burst on the scene in 2011. Smart thermostats use your mobile phone to make programming a programmable thermostat much simpler. It has become super easy to change settings and schedule via an app. Enjoy smart-home features, automation of heating and cooling, and wireless setup:

  •  manage temperature settings and schedules from both the thermostat itself and a smartphone app
  • make temperature adjustments with your voice using a digital assistant on your phone or a smart speaker. (For example, you could say, “Alexa, set the temperature to 68 degrees.”)
  • geofencing (the ability to track when you come and go via the presence of your smartphone) to make temperature adjustments

Thinking about swapping out your old thermostat?

FREE wireless Wi-Fi thermostat upgrade with the purchase of a new installation or replacement.
Call 302-738-4144 (DE & PA) or 410-398-2146 (MD) or fill out the form on this page to schedule a FREE estimate with Jerry.


Even when you’re optimizing your thermostat settings while your home, at night and while you’re away, your electric bill may still be high if your heating system is inefficient. Call your HVAC expert and have them inspect your heating unit to make sure it’s operating at its best.

If you are looking to get a new furnace installed this season, you have found the trusted comfort experts – Hillside! Whether you need to replace your old furnace or need a new furnace for a construction project, we offer free estimates on the replacement and installation of all furnaces.

Making the switch from your old furnace to a brand new high-efficiency furnace system can save you big bucks in fuel costs annually. Not only will you enjoy the extra energy savings, but they’re many more positive benefits to a new furnace.

  • Efficiency Upgrade: A new furnace and heating system provides you complete control over your home’s temperature and humidity. Be comfortable from winter to winter while using up to less energy than your older unit.
  • Energy Savings: A new high-efficiency furnace that has been properly measured and installed can you save up to 20% on your energy bills.
  • Air Quality Upgrade: A new furnace heating system will reduce pollen, dust, mold, bacteria, and other pollutants.
  • Reduced Noise: A new furnace heating system will operate significantly quieter than your older unit.
  • Increased Home Value: Recent studies concluded that Energy Star homes sell almost three months faster than conventional homes at a higher sales price and a higher price per square foot.
  • Smart Controls (upgrade to smart thermostats available for winter deals)

If you need expert furnace sales and installed services in New Castle County, Delaware, Cecil County, MD, or Southern Chester County, PA, please contact our team. If you want to know how a furnace can benefit your home, then keep reading below.

If you’d like a FREE QUOTE, call Hillside Heating and Cooling today at 302-738-4144 (DE & PA) or 410-398-5879 (MD) or contact us . Hillside offers FREE estimates for new furnace sales and installation in DE, PA, and MD.

3 BONUS Heating Tips

1. Change Your Air Filters:

A clogged air filter could add 5% to 15% to your summer’s energy costs, shorten the lifespan of your whole system, and may even be undercutting your health. Change the filter on your heating system regularly—check your filter every month, especially during heavy use months (winter and summer). If the filter looks dirty after a month, change it. At a minimum, change the filter every 3 months.

“Don’t neglect this chore. A dirty filter can lead to poor airflow or freezing up of your unit’s evaporator coil”, says James Braun, a professor of engineering and director of the Center for High-Performance Buildings at Purdue University.

2. Tune-Up Your Heating unit

Let Hillside HVAC tune-up your home heating system.  A tune-up of your furnace or boiler can pay for itself over time. Regular furnace cleaning and maintenance helps prevent frequent failures, inefficient performance, and poor indoor air quality.

If replacement of heating equipment becomes necessary, or the customer decides to upgrade heating equipment, Hillside Oil Heating & Cooling will credit the amount of this maintenance plan toward a replacement installation performed by Hillside.

3. Taking Full Advantage of Fans

  • Use ceiling fans to help keep air circulating throughout your home. “This lifts the burden from your heating system,” says James Braun.
  • In the winter, ceiling fans should rotate clockwise at a low speed to pull cool air up. The gentle updraft pushes warm air, which naturally rises to the ceiling, down along the walls and back the floor.


Take advantage of our Winter Heating Specials.

  • 0% Financing
  • $250 Instant Rebate
  • FREE wireless Wi-Fi thermostat upgrade with the purchase of a new installation or replacement.

Call 302-738-4144 (DE & PA) or 410-398-2146 (MD) to schedule a FREE estimate with Jerry.

For winter, the ideal thermostat temperature