Space heating and cooling account for a large portion of the average home’s energy use. In fact, the heating and cooling of your home could be responsible for more than half of your monthly electric bill.

Making small adjustments to your home’s temperature can have a significant impact on your monthly electric bill, and it all begins at your thermostat.

Set your thermostat to 68 degrees in the winter while you are home and awake, and set it even lower while you are sleeping or away. Lowering your thermostat 10-15 degrees for eight hours can reduce your heating bill by 10 percent or more.

You may have heard that lowering your thermostat while you are away will make it work harder once you return, and that is a reasonable argument. However, studies have found that you will use less energy by turning your system down when you are away and returning it to the original temperature when home versus leaving it at the original temperature the entire time. Don’t waste energy heating your furniture.

If all of these changes sound stressful, consider investing in a programmable or smart thermostat. Such a device can be programmed to run specific schedules or adjust the temperature when it senses you are away from home.

The location of your thermostat can also impact its performance and your energy bill. Be sure your thermostat is away from air vents, doors and windows, and it is best for it not to be located in kitchens, hallways or in direct sunlight. All of these factors can trick the thermostat into thinking your home is hotter or colder than it actually is.

Most of us spend very little time thinking about our thermostats, but they can have a significant impact on your comfort and your energy bill. We’re always available to help you make smarter energy choices. Contact your local co-op to learn more.

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