When the winter in the Midwest is in full swing, it brings freezing conditions. Blasts of cold, dry air test your heating system as you turn up the thermostat to warm your home. What should your house temperature be during a winter freeze to stay warm but also keep your heating costs down?
What Temperature Should Your House Be During a Freeze?
Winter Weather and House Temperatures During Freeze
A National Renewable Energy Laboratory study shows that homeowners prefer thermostat settings between 67 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit during cold weather.
The Department of Energy states the optimal temperature setting for homes during freezing weather should be 68 °F for comfortable living.
However, it’s a speculative answer, and one homeowner might prefer a different setting to another.
Heating your home to temperatures over 72 °F wastes heat sources and energy and sends your heating bill through the roof. When the heat reaches this range, it affects your home’s relative humidity (RH) and dries out your skin and wooden flooring systems.
The optimal RH for homes should be between 55% and 60% to avoid overly dry or moist conditions.
- If it’s over this range: you create ideal conditions for mold growth.
- If it’s under the range: the dry air, it causes health problems like respiratory issues.
What Is the Low-End Temperature Range for Your House During Winter Freeze?
Everyone has a different temperature preference; some like it warm, while others prefer milder conditions. The bottom-end range for your thermostat setting should be 63 °F. Colder temperatures, under 62 °F, can cause thickening of your blood and elevate your blood pressure.
Cold homes are more inclined to become damp, resulting in mold growth, which gets into the HVAC vents. When spores spread through the air ducts into rooms, it causes respiratory infections. Residents may develop mold sickness in severe mold infestations, requiring medical attention.
Freezing Pipes And House Temperatures During Freeze
Frozen pipes are possible when freezing temperatures arrive. To keep your water pipes from freezing, ensure to keep your house temperature during freeze above 55 degrees. Also, drip cold water in the farthest faucet from your main valve to move water throughout the pipes and prevent them from freezing.
Assess Room Temperatures
When you have an idea of the right thermostat setting to match your heating requirements, assess your home’s HVAC or heating system. Swings in outdoor temperatures can make it challenging to manage the thermostat setting. This requires you to adjust it to the exterior climate to balance out the interior temperature.
Some rooms might be warmer than others, leaving you confused about the different temperature gradients across your home. Typically, air leaks in ducting and seals around windows are the most common culprits of these temperature variations.
To even out the temperature, prepare your home by leaving the doors to rooms open to ensure adequate airflow throughout the home. Closing the doors may create hot or cold pockets. Installing zone units to an HVAC system is a home improvement that allows for effective and efficient monitoring of rooms.
Keep Garage Doors Closed
A lot of heat can be lost through the garage. Only keep garage doors to move cars in or out. Lack of insulation in the garage along with freezing winter weather and blowing winds can make it more expensive to heat your home.
Ensure The HVAC Is Efficient
When was the last time you changed the HVAC filter? Regular filter replacement is essential to maintain the system’s optimal performance during the winter. Ineffective filtration results in dust accumulation in the home. Therefore, presents a severe fire hazard with gas systems.
The National Fire Protection Association states there are 6,000 fires started by HVAC systems each year. Malfunctioning and poorly maintained chimney systems can spark the dust, causing a fire. Dust accumulation also creates a health hazard, increasing mites in the home, which spark allergies.
Heat pumps lose their efficiency in temperatures of 32 °F or lower. This temperature activates the additional heating elements, resulting in sky-high electrical bills. Follow these helpful tips that can save money and maintain house temperatures during a freeze.
Staying Warm in Your Home During the Cold Winter Months
Follow these tips to keep your home warm and safe in the winter. While temperature settings are mostly personal preference, play it safe and ensure you keep your family happy and healthy during the year’s cold months.
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