How to Set the Thermostat in a Two-story House During the Winter

When the temperatures dip down near or below the freezing points and the possibility of snow increases, you’re likely trying to keep the home nice and toasty without wasting excess energy and money. Learning how to navigate the unique demands of a two-story house can help you to stay comfortable through the season while keeping your bills low.

Get a Two-zone System Installed

One important step in warming a two-story house involves getting a two-zone system installed. Hiring professionals to install this system at your home means that you’ll have better control over the temperature on each story of your house. In short, you can set the two stories to different temperatures. As a result, you can save money. For example, if the bedrooms are all on the second floor, you can lower the temperature on the first floor at night instead of spending the money to pump a lot of heat to the entire house. You would reverse this process during the day. Keep in mind that you can also program the thermostat to automatically adjust the temperature, thereby allowing you to walk down the stairs into a comfortable living room or kitchen. You can also look into a two-zone system that allows you to remotely adjust the temperature from your cell phone. If temperatures start dipping while you’re out at work, you can ensure that the house is warm when you return home. In fact, some wi-fi connected thermostats monitor weather forecasts, know when a cold front is coming and adjust the thermostat accordingly.

Evaluate the Layout of Your House

Not all two-story houses have the same layout, so you have to take the particular needs of your home into account. For example, your house might contain one bedroom on the first floor and the rest on the second floor. In this situation, you will likely need to keep the thermostat set higher on both stories during the night. While rare, some two-story houses have a reverse setup, with the bedrooms on the first floor and the living spaces on the second. When one of our technicians comes to install the two-zone heating system or to upgrade your current system, you can talk with them about the right approach for your home.

Keep the Second Story Cooler

Remember that heat rises. Regardless of the time of day, you can typically keep the temperature lower on the second floor than on the first story. Some of the heat from the first floor will rise to the second story. The temperature that you set the first floor to depends upon your personal preferences. However, you can likely set the second story to at least a couple of degrees cooler. If you set both stories to the same temperature, you will be wasting energy and money. Also, the second floor of the house may end up being uncomfortably hot and stuffy. Sixty-eight degrees is often considered an optimal temperature for the first floor, and 66 degrees is recommended for the second story.

Review Personal Preferences and Patterns

You also have to take the personal preferences of your family members into account when setting the thermostat for a two-story house in the winter. Some people like to sleep with very little heat. In this situation, you might keep the temperature upstairs fairly cool at night, especially with the heat rising from the first floor. Your loved ones also might have certain medical conditions that require the temperature to be warmer or cooler than normal. Furthermore, some people have jobs that require them to sleep during the day. You may also have a regular cook in the family. If this individual is constantly baking in the kitchen or roasting meat in the oven, you might not need to set the thermostat so high on the first floor.

Don’t Turn the Thermostat Off

If you or a relative likes to sleep in a colder environment, you might be tempted to simply turn the thermostat off at night. This action can put extra stress on the system. When you go to turn the heat back up again, your system will have to work harder to get caught up. If a particularly warm day is followed by a blast of cold air, you may find yourself chilly at home until the system can get back to your desired temperature.

Account for Two-family Homes

Some two-story homes are multi-family dwellings. You might share the house with extended family members who live on their own floor, or you may rent out one of the stories. In such situations, you’ll need to decide if you want the renters to have control over their own thermostat settings or if you will be in charge. Remember to account for how each floor will affect the other. If you are living on the first floor of the house, the second story could get too warm for the inhabitants. The opposite situation can occur if are the one living on the second story. If you want to keep your tenants happy and avoid confrontations, you’ll want a zoned HVAC system. If one floor is too warm, the occupants can always lower the thermostat.

Factor in the Size of the Space

The size of the space is another factor that you have to account for when setting the thermostat in a two-story home. A smaller space is likely to retain more heat and take less time to warm up. In some houses, the first and second stories are about the same size. In other situations, the second floor is significantly smaller than the first. You might own a house where the first floor includes numerous rooms while the upstairs living space has two bedrooms and a bathroom. You may be able to set the thermostat even lower on the second story in these cases. Speak with your technician about the best temperature for your home.

Look at the Roof

Your roof can also play a role in how high you should set the thermostat, particularly for the second story. You might have chosen energy-efficient options when you had the roof installed or repaired. Also, some houses with second stories have pitched roofs. A pitched roof is likely to keep the space warmer than a flat roof because there is more room for insulation, and snow will slide off the roof. If this is the case, you may be able to lower the thermostat on the second story.

Fortunately, our team at Bardi Heating, Cooling & Plumbing can provide professional guidance on how to set the thermostat in your two-story home so that you aren’t left guessing. After all, all homes and families have different needs. We serve Norcross, Georgia, and the surrounding area. We also provide air conditioning and plumbing services in addition to repairs, installation and maintenance for heating. Whether you need a new HVAC system or a sewer repair, our team can help. Contact Bardi Heating, Cooling & Plumbing to schedule an appointment today.

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