If you've been trying to drop a few pounds, as well as a few dollars on your energy bill this coming winter, you may be in luck. According to a study recently published by the American Diabetes Association, just by turning down your thermostat, you can get your metabolism moving faster.
The research shows that sleeping in a cool environment actually jump starts your metabolism and helps you burn calories while you sleep. Although turning down your heat by a few degrees probably won't miraculously make your extra weight disappear, it could very well help you in your weight loss program, along with a healthy diet and regular exercise. According to these findings, lowering your heat a few degrees at night (the suggested temperature is 66 degrees Fahrenheit) will cause your metabolic rate to speed up, which will result in a great number of calories burned.
Helping you burn calories isn't the only thing that your HVAC system can do for you, either. By keeping heating and air conditioning parts cleaned and well-lubricated, you can ensure better air quality in your house. Studies have shown that clean HVAC systems and clean filters can ameliorate respiratory problems and seasonal allergies (or, at the very least, cleaner air will lessen the problems associated with these conditions). If you don't feel comfortable with cleaning your HVAC filters and air ducts yourself each month, there are many HVAC repair services that have cleaning options as well.
And to make this even better, research also shows that turning down your heating and air conditioning system will save you money in the long run; for every degree that you lower your heat during the winter months (between 60 and 70 degrees), you'll save about 5% on heating costs. For two degrees lower, you save about 10%. For three degrees... well, you get the picture.
For those who forget to turn down their heating and air units at night (or at any time of the day, really), there is an easy solution: programmable thermostats are widely available, and many homeowners have already discovered that these devices can help them save hundreds of dollars per year on heating and air conditioning costs. In fact, research shows that homeowners, on average, save about $180 per year on their energy bill simply by using a programmable thermostat.
So now it's up to you to decide -- if you could improve your health and save money all at the same time, would you do it? By simply replacing your thermostat and turning it down occasionally, you may be able to do just that.