Does Turning Down The Thermostat Save Money?

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Do you want to save money quickly? Looking for easy money saving tips for this year? Save money this month by turning down your thermostat!

As the cold days come with a higher utility bill, you start to ask yourself: does turning down the thermostat save money? 

This year the gas prices in the Netherlands have risen significantly. 

How can you save money on our utility bill at the moment? One way to do this is to turn down your thermostat. 

Does Turning Down The Thermostat Actually Work?

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, you can save 10% a year on both heating and cooling your home by turning it down 3 degrees Celsius (or 7 degrees Fahrenheit) for an eight-hour period daily.

That may seem like a lot but if you’re working and the kids are going to school from 9 am to 5 pm, you’re good to go. 

Put Your Thermostat One Degree Lower

If you decide to put your thermostat permanently down, every 0.5 degrees Celcius (1 degree Fahrenheit) will save you 3% on your energy bill on an annual basis. 

Does Turning Down The Thermostat Save Money?
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How Much Money Do You Save By Lowering The Thermostat?

If you have a monthly bill of $150, you can save:

  • $15 per month or $180 per year – by turning down the thermostat by 3 degrees Celsius (or 5 degrees Fahrenheit) for eight hours per day.
  • $18 per month or $216 per year – by turning down the thermostat by 2 degrees Celcius (4 degrees Fahrenheit) permanently.

This is a great way to save money in the long term. 

Related reads:

How We’re Keeping The House Cold

Personally, I like keeping the house cold.

How cold?

Around 17 degrees Celsius (62 degrees Fahrenheit) cold.

It is very simple: if you’re cold, you put on a sweater.

That is how we have arranged it.

When we think it is really to cold or we have people coming over, we turn up the temperature in our house.

Normally, however, we like to keep things cold.

If you’re putting your house on 20+ degrees Celsius (68+ Fahrenheit), the gas bill will simply be triple the costs.

How would I know?

For the mini-retirement I went on with my partner, we sub rented the house to a friend. I have no idea what temperature he had the house on, but his gas bill was over $130.

Normally in winter, our gas bill is around $45 dollars.

That right there shows the enormous difference in your monthly gas bill when you keep the house cold.

Does Turning Down The Thermostat Save Money?
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3 Myths Around Setting Your Thermostat That Will Cost You

You want to save money by turning down the thermostat right?!

We got the basics covered now. 

There are just some myths around setting your thermostat. When you know them, you can avoid these mistakes and start cutting your energy use. 

There are 3 things that waste energy. 

1. Trying To Get To Your Temperature Faster

Imagine, you have some friends over and you forgot to put the heater up. You set the thermostat a little warmer than you would like it to be, so it will warm up quicker. 


Many people are doing this. 

However, it doesn’t make your heater work faster. 

For the majority of the heater or airconditioning systems out there, it is just an on/off setting. When you put the heater higher it will not heat faster. 

What is happening: when you put the temperature to 20 degrees, it will go for full blast until that temperature is reached. When you put it to 25, it will also go on full blast until that temperature is reached.

This means that it will take the same time to get to 20 degrees and then it will continue to 25 degrees. 

Related: 15 Frugal Living Tips – How To Be Frugal

2. Not Lowering The Temperature Overnight

There are many people who leave the thermostat at the same temperature during the night compared to during the day. Otherwise, the thermostat will need to work very hard in the morning to heat and that will be inefficient. 

That is not true!

Like we have discussed above, you could be wasting $180 per year when you don’t change the temperature of your thermostat overnight. 

Programmable thermostats are great, they will go on or off depending on the settings that you have put into the program. When you’re sleeping or working, you can lower the thermostat and save money!

Select your programmable thermostat here:

3. Constantly Adjusting The Temperature

When you constantly adjust the temperature in your house, your thermostat does not run as efficiently as when you simply let it be. 

Constantly adjusting the temperature means that your heating needs to constantly stop and start. This can be inefficient. 

Simply put in your minimum temperature and adjust it accordingly.

When you have one favorable temperature during the day and one temperature during the night or when you’re at the office, that should be enough.

Related: 25+ Easy Money Saving Tips You Can Implement Now

Bonus: The One Hack That You Need To Know

Many people already know that they should turn down their thermostat a couple of degrees. But they don’t. They find it uncomfortable.

You want to come home in a warm house right?

Sure you want to come home to a warm house but you also want to save money. 

The best tip here is to set yourself up for success. 

Turn down your thermostat when you’re leaving in the morning for work. 

When you come home from work, don’t turn up the thermostat immediately. Put down a nice fuzzy blanket or a warm sweater next to the door and you will not be uncomfortable or cold. 

You will take it when it is within reaching distance for you.

For me, I am lazy, I will take the blanket over getting up. Is that just me?

Does Turning Down The Thermostat Save Money
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All In All

When you’re putting your thermostat lower during the day for 8 hours, you can save a minimum of $15 per month. That’s $180 per year.

When you’re putting your thermostat lower permanently, you can save a minimum of $18 per month. That’s $216 per year.

Don’t believe the following myths:

  1. Putting your thermostat higher than your desired temperature will get your house warmer faster.
  2. Not lowering the temperature overnight will prevent the thermostat to work hard when we wake up.
  3. Constantly adjusting the temperature will save energy.

To save money permanently and survive your colder house, wear slippers and a sweater. Even put down a blanket so that you’re comfortable!

You may think I am crazy, for me it is simply my default behavior.

Do you turn the thermostat down to save money?

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Does Turning Down The Thermostat Actually Save Money?

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6 thoughts on “Does Turning Down The Thermostat Save Money?”

  1. We do turn down our thermostat during the day only in the evening and weekends we turn it up to 19 degrees (17 is a bit too cold for us) we also have the blankets available on the couch. One more way to save money/energy can be achieved by adjusting the settings of the central heating, especially when you have underfloor heating. You then turn down the water temperature to for example 40/50 (instead of the pre installed 60-80) enough to heat the house! It only takes a little bit longer to heat a room.

  2. I have kept my house cooler during the day for years. Like you said, if I feel a bit on the cold side, I can put a sweater on instead of turning up my thermostat. I do have it set to run warmer in at night during the winter as because I like to be warm when I sleep but during the day I don’t need it that warm. We have seen a difference in our bills if we run at a warmer temperature day and night, so I like to turn it down for those 8-12 hours and enjoy that bit of savings.

    • Thanks for stopping by Sarah! It’s great that you have found something that works for your situation and still saves money! It takes some getting used to when you’re putting the temperature lower, but over time you get used to it and it saves quite a bit of money throughout the year.

  3. I thought I was pretty savvy about my thermostat use—I do just about everything ‘right’, according to your article!

    However, I can’t believe I didn’t realize that setting the temperature to a higher temp DOES NOT help the house heat up and faster!

    It’s so simple when I think about it now! Thanks for pointing this out. It should help us save a few bucks next year. 🙂

    • Hi Chrissy, thanks for stopping by! Great job that you’re already implementing all the tips! With regards to setting the temperature higher, it’s something that I didn’t know either until shortly. Hope it helps you save a few bucks!


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