It is a question much wondered about – and squabbled over – in households around the nation and here in the state of Georgia:

What temperature should I keep my thermostat?

The reason for this is about getting the most out of your HVAC – while not sending energy bills soaring through the roof.

For decades, it was a debated topic. And, depending upon where you live and the type of person you are, the answers could swing wildly. Some people don’t mind spending a little more in utilities in order to stay cooler in the summer, while others would happily bundle up in the winter to save a little extra in utilities.

We’ve been in homes where the thermostat is almost literally glued in place at 78 degrees, while others like it a good 10 degrees colder. And the question from those looking to be a bit more flexible has always been, what’s the temperature that combines the best guarantee of comfort while not sending me to the poor house?

The good news is that developments in technology have made it so that you can literally, “set it and forget it,” while letting your thermostat do the heavy lifting of determining the optimum temperature for your comfort level – while also providing a level of energy efficiency designed to keep your bills in check.

But before we look at those new developments, let’s look at some tried and true rules we here at Zone have learned from decades in the home comfort industry.

What is the best temperature during winter?

Even though it may not get as frigid here as in other locales, a Georgia winter can certainly chill to the bone. With that in mind, we find that a good rule of thumb for energy-saving heating is to set your thermostat at 68 degrees during the colder months. If this simply will not keep you warm enough, increase the temperature by 1 degree at a time over a period of days. Conversely, if you want to save more money in utility bills, try turning the temperature down 1 or 2 degrees a day at a time and see what you can tolerate.

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The colder months of winter are typically dryer, so you should not need your HVAC running constantly in order to keep your home from producing dampness and humidity. But that is not the case in the other extremes… especially in north Georgia.

What is the best temperature during summer?

We all know how stiflingly hot and humid it can get during our summers, right? We also know there is absolutely nothing better than coming in from that heat to a cool, dry home and chilling out. Well, we have discovered that 78 degrees is probably the best middle ground during summer – a temperature that allows you to stay cool, while not also busting your energy budget.

As always, your personal needs may vary, and you can bump your thermostat up or down by 1 degree at a time to see what that brings.

Speaking of which, there are plenty of times you can adjust your thermostat by several degrees to see a difference in your energy bills. In fact, the Department of Energy says that you can save up to 10 percent a year on your HVAC expenses when you set back the thermostat 7-10 degrees from your normal setting, for 8 hours a day. Try this either at night, when you’re able to cover up in bed (especially during the winter), or during the day when you’re out of the house and at work.

Other things you can do to stay warm and maintain a lower temperature in the winter:

Cover your windows and seal any cracks or cervices around doorways – warm air escaping is also a big drain on your energy efficiency.

Meanwhile, during the summer, you can turn on ceiling fans and utilize window coverings (blinds work better than drapes) to keep the sun from shining into your house and raising the temperature.

Yet the best thing you can do for your home that will ensure both the best temperature year-round – all while keeping your bills as low as possible – is to purchase a programmable, “smart” thermostat.

These devices – such as Carrier’s Ecobee SmartThermostat Pro and the Infinity System Control – not only deliver immediate comfort but also learn you and your family’s living patterns and needs and will adjust air flow and furnace/air conditioner usage accordingly. These devices can also be controlled by WiFi, so that you can keep an eye on them while you are not even in your house, via phone, tablet or computer.

A smart thermostat gives you extensive control over the manner in which you heat and cool your home and also allows you to be as energy efficient as possible.

For instance, Carrier’s smart thermostats are Energy Star-certified, which means that they are designed to help you save on heating and cooling costs. They do this by only turning on your system when you need it. With older thermostats, you set a temperature, and your HVAC system worked to maintain that temperature, no matter what. However, newer thermostats, such as the Ecobee SmartThermostat Pro and the Infinity System Control, adjust themselves so that your heating and cooling systems are not always on, allowing you to save money. But don’t mistake that for a lack of comfort – these thermostats will ensure that, when you are home, you will feel just as comfortable as you desire.

Let’s take a quick look at how they manage this.

Ecobee Smart ThermostatThe Ecobee SmartThermostat Pro with voice control, for example, balances your schedule (when you are home, versus when you are out or even when you sleep), your personal comfort preferences and the weather outside to provide the optimum level of comfort at the lowest energy output needed. It can also provide details on savings each month and insight into your heating and cooling equipment performance.

It also possesses added features, such as voice control using Amazon Alexa voice commands, hands-free calling and the ability to stream music to a Bluetooth speaker. And it does this at an affordable rate.

Carrier’s Infinity System Control, meanwhile, offers the most advanced thermostat technology available in HVAC, while also providing precision comfort and an easy to use, intuitive interface. Wireless capable, this device even senses occupancy numbers within your home and various rooms and adjusts comfort accordingly.

The Infinity System Control also includes Greenspeed technology and Hybrid Heat system management, which takes your comfort beyond temperature control – also managing humidity levels, airflow, ventilation and indoor air quality. And it can do this in up to 8 different zones within your home.

As with the Ecobee, it tracks and can report all energy usage to help you understand when and how it is working.

So, if you are ready to take full control of your home comfort and energy usage, perhaps you should look into having a Carrier smart thermostat installed today. At Zone, we have been entrusted by industry leader Carrier to install these life-changing devices, and we will be happy to talk with you about your needs, your HVAC system and what will work best for you.

Throughout the metro Atlanta area and north Georgia, Zone is here to help you obtain total comfort at an affordable price. Simply call us today and let us show you just how good it feels: 770-904-5432