Have you ever lied about being too cold while at a stranger's house? Even when you're over at a friend's place, you'd probably rather endure being uncomfortably hot than complain or take it upon yourself to crack open a window. You'd feel rude. And that's exactly how guests feel in your house, too. So how warm should your home be? Find out below.
Forget Winter, Summer, Spring, and Autumn
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.
So What is the Ideal Home Temperature?
How Warm Should Your House Be 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 (and research studies)
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.
How Warm Should Your House Be According to the Public
According to statistics, the public have no clue.
Apparently, 1 in 20 people have turned their thermostat up to 30 degrees. And the average household has their thermostat set at 23 degrees. Except a separate poll puts the average at 17 degrees.
"So?" you might say, "it's just a couple of degrees and people have preferences". Which is true, it's just a few degrees. Yet each degree can cost you an extra 10% on your heating bill a year. Making the difference between 17 degrees and 30 degrees a 130% increase. A one hundred and thirty percent 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 for probably being too hot and uncomfortable in the first place.
What to Do, and Why It's Important to Have a Good Radiator
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 here.
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.