There are several moments in your life that make you stop and realize that you are getting old - you could also use mature as a substitute for old. One such moment is when you finally learn/accept/realize how important the thermostat is. Once you start paying that utility bill every month, you suddenly pay a lot more attention to how hot and cold you keep your house.

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We have been fortunate here in Southern Indiana to have a decent stretch when the weather has been so nice, you may not have needed your heat or air at all - but we know that won't last forever. Colder temperatures will soon be here and you will have to decide where you are going to set your thermostat. The question then becomes, what is the perfect temperature?

A Smiling Man Adjusting Thermostat On Home Heating System
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In regard to saving money on your heating and cooling bill, Energy.gov recommends you set your thermostat at 68 degrees during the winter.

You can easily save energy in the winter by setting the thermostat to around 68°F to 70°F while you're awake and setting it lower while you're asleep or away from home. In the summer, you can follow the same strategy with central air conditioning by keeping your house warmer than normal when you are away and setting the thermostat to a setting as high as is comfortable for you when you are at home and need cooling and to ensure humidity control if needed.

How does that number compare to your thermostat? I guess I'm a little bit more of a penny pincher because we keep ours at 65 during the colder months. My problem is that I have an old thermostat, so if I want to change it, I have to do it myself, and there's no way I'm going to remember to do that each day.

A Winterization Checklist to Ready Your Home for the Cold

You can do the majority of these essential tasks on a weekend by yourself and most don’t require a lot of money to complete. Not up to the task? Hire someone handy to do it all. Whatever you decide, they're important winterization steps for all homeowners and by following them your home will be ready for winter and your family more comfortable. And, you’ll save a few bucks to boot. 

Gallery Credit: Paul Drake

LOOK: What is the coldest city in every state?

Stacker analyzed data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to determine the coldest cities in every state.

Gallery Credit: Daniel Dennerline

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