How to Save Energy By Lowering Your Thermostat 2 Degrees

How to Save Energy By Lowering Your Thermostat 2 Degrees

How to Save Energy By Lowering Your Thermostat 2 Degrees


Lowering your thermostat by just 2 degrees can make a significant impact on your energy usage and monthly bills. This simple change requires minimal effort but offers great rewards. In this article, I will provide a comprehensive guide on how you can save energy by lowering your thermostat 2 degrees.

Understand How Thermostats Work

Before lowering your thermostat, it helps to understand precisely how thermostats work.

  • A thermostat is a device that regulates the temperature inside your home. It does this by controlling your heating and cooling systems.

  • Thermostats have a temperature sensor that monitors the air temperature. When the temperature fluctuates from your set point, it will trigger your HVAC system to turn on and off to maintain the desired temperature.

  • Most thermostats allow you to program set temperatures for different times of the day. For instance, you can set a higher temperature when you are away at work and a lower one for nights and weekends.

  • Smart thermostats connect to the internet and allow more control through smartphone apps and smart home assistants. They learn your schedule and habits to optimize heating and cooling.

How Lowering the Temperature Saves Energy

Lowering your thermostat set point even slightly makes your HVAC system work less to maintain the temperature. This directly translates into energy savings.

  • During winter, your heating system has to work harder to keep your home warm. Lowering the thermostat 2 degrees means your heater runs less often to maintain the lower temperature.

  • In summer, your air conditioner doesn’t have to remain on as much to keep your home cool at a higher temperature. Even a small increase in the set point reduces runtime.

  • According to the US Department of Energy, lowering your thermostat just 2 degrees can reduce your heating and cooling bills by up to 4%.

Determine Current and New Thermostat Settings

The first step is identifying your current thermostat program and settings. Take note of the exact temperatures and time periods.

Then decide your new set points that are around 2 degrees lower in winter or higher in summer. I recommend small increments between 1-3 degrees to find the sweet spot between comfort and savings.

For example, I keep my house at 70°F during the day in winter. My new set point could be 68°F. In summer, I use 75°F during the daytime, so I can try using 77°F.

Make Gradual Changes

Don’t immediately change your thermostat settings. Making drastic changes can be quite uncomfortable. Instead, make incremental changes over time.

  • Lower temperature by 1 degree for 1-2 weeks, then lower it by another degree. This allows your body to slowly adapt.

  • Only use new settings when necessary. If you feel cold, nudge the temperature up a bit temporarily.

  • Program different temperatures for day versus night. Keep nighttime temperatures cooler in winter and warmer in summer.

  • If the new temperatures are too uncomfortable, raise them up slightly until you find your optimal balance.

Use a Programmable or Smart Thermostat

Using a programmable or smart thermostat makes lowering your temperature easier. Here are the advantages:

  • Programmable models allow you to set customized temperature schedules. This allows you to fine tune heating and cooling for maximum efficiency.

  • Smart thermostats use built-in intelligence to optimize your settings automatically. They track habits and adjust themselves to reduce energy use.

  • You can program lower temperatures when away and overnight. Smart thermostats do this automatically without any input.

  • Remote control via smartphone apps makes temperature adjustments easy from anywhere.

Additional Tips for Maximizing Savings

Here are some other quick tips to boost energy savings when lowering your thermostat:

  • Use a ceiling fan to circulate air and feel more comfortable at lower temperatures.

  • Let sunlight in during winter to passively warm your home. Close window coverings at night.

  • Seal any air leaks around windows and doors to prevent heat loss.

  • Set your thermostat to a lower temperature if going away for extended periods.

  • Ensure your HVAC system is regularly serviced and maintained.


Lowering my thermostat set point by just 2 degrees has noticeably reduced my energy bills. It required minimal effort while delivering big savings. I encourage you to try lowering your own thermostat by a couple of degrees. Follow the tips outlined in this article to maximize comfort and energy savings. With some small adjustments, you’ll be surprised at the difference such a simple change can make.