What Should the Temperature Difference Be From Indoor to Outdoor?
The temperature difference between indoors and outdoors should be enough to make the indoors feel comfortable.
A comfortable temperature is something everyone enjoys. The problem is, what is comfortable for one person might be too hot or too cold for someone else. Also, the expense of keeping a home temperate during the extreme temperature seasons of winter and summer can tax a homeowner's pocketbook. So how can a home stay comfortable for everyone and not break the bank?
Determining the right temperature for your home depends on your geographic location and your own personal temperature requirements. Generally, the optimal room temperature range is considered to be 68 degrees to 72 degrees F.
Maintaining the optimal temperature can often mean higher energy bills, of course. Some people prefer to be very warm, so if it's 32 degrees in Minnesota, heating bills are going to be the main focus. On the other hand, if a person doesn't like excessive heat but lives in Nevada, the AC unit is going to get a serious workout during the summer. In these instances, more has to be done to keep the temperature comfortable inside without incurring huge energy bills.
Also, for every degree you set back your thermostat, you'll save two percent on your energy bill, so don't forget to lower your thermostat in the winter and increase it in the summer when you aren't at home or at night while you're sleeping.
Check Your Appliances
One way to keep costs in check is to make sure your appliances are as energy efficient as possible, Using refrigerators, heaters and AC units that are Energy-star compliant can keep your costs lower because these items are made with energy efficiency in mind. The less energy your fridge needs to keep things cold, the less electricity it uses, and that keeps your bill lower.
Get the Right Size HVAC Unit for Your Home
Trying to heat or cool your home with a unit that is either too big or too small for your home is a scenario you want to avoid. If the unit is too large, it can't regulate itself properly. If the unit is too small, it gets overworked, runs longer and wears out more quickly. It is important to know the square footage that needs heated or cooled and to pick out the HVAC unit according to these measurements. Also, the placement of the unit is vital in energy efficiency as well.
Don't Forget to Insulate
Proper insulation in your home eliminates drafts and helps keep indoor air the right temperature. This includes seals around doors and windows as well as the space between the window frame and the house. The more insulation a home has, the more energy efficient a home becomes. This is also ideal for appliances, since the more stable the environment, the more efficient they can run. And if you insulate the problem spots, the family member who is always cranking up the thermostat because "there's a draft" will no longer have that excuse.
Blankets and Throws
Even in the most energy-efficient homes, finding a perfect temperature for everyone could be impossible. Having throws and blankets strewn around living spaces is a great way to add a decorative touch as well as appease those family members who are chilled from the winter air or shivering from the AC.
K.A. Francis has been a freelance writer for over 20 years. She has been writing about home ownership, renovation and real estate investing since 2005.