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What is the ideal room temperature?

Working out the ideal room temperature for your home can be difficult. The need to balance the comfort of different family members, let alone animals, can make the decision over how to manage your central heating a complicated one. It is also important to factor in the cost of heating rooms to a certain temperature, as well as the impact this will have on the humidity of your home and your carbon footprint.

Fortunately, we can share our best-practice advice to guide you through finding your ideal temperature. Using scientific research and our own vast experience in central heating, you will finally find the answer to this common question.

Summary of topics:

Introduction to room temperature

How to heat different rooms

What is the ideal room temperature in winter and summer?

How to heat a home economically

What is the ideal room temperature during pregnancy?

What is the ideal room temperature for babies and infants?

What is the ideal room temperature for the elderly?

What is the ideal room temperature for pets?

Introduction to room temperature

It is common for members of the same household to prefer different room temperatures. The level of comfort a person experiences when a room is heated to 20°C will likely be different to that of their partner, sibling, parent or son or daughter.

The ambient room temperature can be affected by factors such as air humidity, clothing worn and levels of physical activity. These can all affect a person’s thermal comfort and therefore change their preferred room temperature. Air humidity is particularly impactful; the higher the humidity, the lower the room temperature needs to be, and vice versa.

Achieving the right temperature for your home is crucial for a number of reasons. Physical comfort should be a priority; being too warm impacts your ability to concentrate, while being too cold increases the risk of common colds, and even heart attacks and pneumonia. It also increases the risk of mold spores growing and creating respiratory problems.

Cost is also a factor. The cost of central heating is a significant overhead and it is important to be as economical as possible, which can also help reduce your carbon footprint.

How to heat different rooms

The average room temperature is typically around 20°C, or 68 degrees Fahrenheit. This is a good ambient temperature to aim for, but it is important to bear in mind that different rooms will need to be heated to specific temperatures.

Living rooms should be heated to around 20 to 22 °C, as this is the area in which you are most likely to be sitting for long periods of time. Likewise, office rooms should be heated to this temperature to help concentration.

However, experts say that bathrooms should be heated to between 22 and 24°C. Bathrooms should be warmer to avoid people stepping out of hot showers into comparably freezing rooms, and catching an illness as a result.

Bedrooms should be relatively cooler, between 16 and 19°C. Our body temperature decreases during sleep and a cold room helps maintain our internal temperature regulation to get a good night’s sleep. Children’s bedrooms should be slightly warmer, around 17-20°C, depending on their age.

Any spaces where people spend little time in, such as corridors, laundry rooms and lofts, should be slightly cooler than normal living spaces. Aim for between 15 to 18°C.

Recommended temperature for different rooms

RoomRecommended temperature
Living Room20°C - 22°C
Bedroom16°C - 19°C
Office Room20°C - 22°C
Children's bedroom16 - 20 °C
Entryway15°C - 18°C
Corridor15°C - 18°C
Bathroom22°C - 24°C
Kitchen18°C - 20°C

What is the ideal room temperature in winter and summer?

The best ambient temperature for your home is usually between 18-20 °C all year round, but it is the steps you need to take to achieve this temperature that differ depending on the season. Whatever the season, it is recommended that you use a thermostat to monitor how the temperature fluctuates throughout the day.

Due to the colder weather outside in winter, it is usually harder to maintain this temperature in the home, and can be costly to do so. Keep extra blankets and warm sleepwear handy to help maintain your thermal comfort.

In summer, the challenge will often be dropping the temperature down to 18-20 °C. We recommend opening windows to keep air humidity low, as well as using thinner duvets to achieve a good night’s sleep.

How to heat a home economically

Heating a home is a significant monthly outgoing for households, particularly in the colder months. It therefore stands to reason that we should seek out ways to heat our home in a more cost-efficient way.

Many people try to achieve this by reducing their central heating overnight, or turning it off completely in unused rooms or when not at home. While this can reduce costs quite significantly in the short-term, they eventually encounter several problems.

Firstly, a home that is too cold risks seeing an increase of mold because cold air transports less of the water vapour condensing on windows and walls. Not only is mold unpleasant to deal with, it can cause health issues if left untreated. It can also be damaging to the property and cost significant amounts to remove.

Secondly, reducing central heating in this way makes your boiler work harder to achieve your ambient temperature the rest of the time, consequently using more fuel. While this is still cheaper than leaving your heating on at a low level all the time, it is possible to be more efficient with fuel use.

There are better ways of heating a home more efficiently, some of which include better insulation, double-glazing and switching energy suppliers. However, one of the best ways to achieve a better ambient room temperature is to get a digital thermostat.

A digital thermostat allows you to preset temperatures for certain times, helping you manage your room temperature room by room and even take the weather into consideration. Heating a home in this way gives you more control over when you use energy, saving you money in the process.

Other Questions

What is the ideal room temperature during pregnancy?

Many women report feeling hotter during pregnancy. It is important to stay cool and hydrated when pregnant, both for your health and your baby’s health. There is no set ideal room temperature, but we would recommend testing different levels of central heating to find a temperature that is comfortable for you. If you are concerned about the heating in your home during pregnancy, speak to a medical professional.

What is the ideal room temperature for babies and children?

Given their age, babies and young children are less able to regulate their own body temperature. It is therefore important to use central heating and other types of temperature regulation to keep them healthy and comfortable.

The ideal temperature for a toddler to sleep comfortably is between 18.3-21.1 °C, which is slightly higher than the temperature most adults prefer when sleeping. Furthermore, scientists recommend that the room temperature for a sleeping baby should sit around 16–20°C. Make sure to regularly check the temperature of the room, and consult a medical professional.

What is the ideal room temperature for the elderly?

People aged 65 and above are most at risk of health complications resulting from cold weather. The NHS recommends that you heat your home to at least 18 °C if you are elderly, not very mobile or have a health condition. Bedrooms in particular should be kept at at least 18°C, and you can use either a hot water bottle or electric blanket to keep warm in bed.

The NHS also recommends that you draw curtains at dusk and keep doors closed to avoid drafts. We also recommend that you get your heating system regularly checked by a qualified professional to keep you and your family warm at home.

What is the ideal room temperature for pets?

There are many factors that influence the ambient room temperature for your pet. Size, weight, age, health, coat type, breed - all these factors play a part in deciding a pet’s thermal comfort level. Similar to humans, most pets are happy around the 20-22°C mark.

In summer, make sure to keep the room temperature below 26°C. Whether it’s a pug, a pomeranian or a parakeet, animals can quickly overheat. In winter, make sure to keep the temperature above 16-18°C and give your pet a soft, warm bed to sleep on. It’s also important to note that the larger the animal, the lower the temperature can usually be.

Summary

  • The ideal room temperature is different for every person, and changes depending on air humidity, clothing worn and levels of physical activity.
  • We recommend aiming for an average room temperature of 20°C, with the bedroom being slightly cooler and the bathroom being slightly warmer.
  • Look to supplement your central heating by self-regulating your home’s temperature using blankets, hot water bottles and ventilation.
  • Invest in a digital thermostat to better track and manage your home’s temperature wherever you are.