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How Warm Should Your House Be?

What is the ideal room temperature? This guide explains all, along with why turning up your thermostat won't make much of a difference to your room temperature, but a huge difference to your energy bills!

If you have a thermostat, (like the overwhelming majority of homes do), then set it and leave it be. If you spend all day outside in the cold and come home, you might be tempted to crank the heating up to a temperature more suited to cooking a turkey; but ultimately the temperature we find most comfortable doesn't change just because it's hot or cold outside.

The Ideal Home Temperature According to the Dictionary

'Room temperature' is defined as "a comfortable ambient temperature, generally taken as about 20°C". And the definition stays similar across all the sources I looked at, which usually quote a "20-22 degree" mark.

How Warm Should Your House Be According to the UK Government

The UK government used to recommend a temperature of 21 degrees for living rooms and 18 degrees for bedrooms, but now they just recommend 18 degrees for the whole home.

The evidence that’s available points to 18°C being the most appropriate threshold, with little to support the 21°C recommendation, particularly for the fit and healthy. What it also made clear was that the ageing process makes our bodies less able to regulate our temperature, and less able to detect the cold, so a recommendation that just relied on people adjusting the temperature to one that is ‘comfortable’ might put older people in danger.

A Couple of Degrees Difference Can Increase Your Energy Bills

Some UK studies have shown that the average room temperature is 18°C, but the ideal room temperature is 21°C. Increasing your room temperature by just a few degrees will increase your energy bills substantially, so it's best to avoid turning up your thermostat too much.

Each degree can actually cost you an extra 10% on your heating bill a year. Making the difference between 17 degrees and 30 degrees a 130% increase. Even the difference between 22 degrees and 18 degrees is a significant rise in the amount of money that is taken away from you every month , and will probably feel too hot and uncomfortable in the first place.

How Warm Should Your House Be

How Thermostats Work

The problem with overpaying on your bills and not achieving a perfect home temperature is more often due to a lack of patience and/or misunderstanding of thermostats. Find out more about why turning up your thermostat won't make much of a difference to how warm your house feels.

Your thermostat tells the boiler to keep heating until the house is a specific temperature. It maintains a set temperature, nothing more.

But this all boils down to the following: the perfect temperature for your heating is somewhere in between 18 and 22 degrees depending on preference - with the lowest number possible being better for your wallet.

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