Some people prefer their homes to feel very warm or very cool, while others like theirs to be somewhere in the middle. Regardless of your preference, it’s important to understand that there is actually an ideal temperature you should be sticking to - but what is it?
In this article, we take a closer look at the recommended room temperatures for your home and what might happen if your home is too cold or too hot. We also break down the optimum room temperature for babies, the elderly and even your pets.
In the UK, the ideal temperature of a home is between 18 and 20 degrees. However, it’s important to note that the different rooms in your home will have different ideal temperatures.
The optimal temperature for a specific room usually depends on its use.
For example, the ideal temperature of a living room should be around 20 to 22 degrees. This is a room for relaxing in, and where you sit for long periods of time, meaning it should be on the warmer side. Meanwhile, the best temperature for a bathroom or child’s bedroom should be warmer too at 22 to 24 degrees. The ideal room temperature of a kitchen is between 18 and 20 degrees due to the fluctuation in heat and humidity, and this is also the best temperature for a bedroom for optimum sleep.
Hallways, landings and storage rooms can have a slightly lower temperature of between 16 and 18 degrees.
The table below shows a clear breakdown of each room in your home and the recommended temperature for each space.
20 to 22°C
20 to 22°C
22 to 24°C
18 to 20°C
16 to 19°C
22 to 24°C
15 to 18°C
15 to 18°C
It’s especially important that elderly people stay warm, particularly during the colder months. The NHS recommends that your home is at a temperature of at least 18 degrees if you’re aged 65 and over or have a pre-existing health condition. You should take extra care to ensure your bedroom is the right temperature to make sure you feel comfortable during the night.
To avoid draughts, you could close your curtains as it starts to get dark and keep internal doors shut to trap the heat being emitted from your radiators.
It’s important to ensure a baby is at a comfortable temperature at all times. According to the NHS, a baby should sleep in a room that is between 16 and 21 degrees, though it would be better if it sat at the higher end of this scale. They should not be too cold or too hot.
Overheating can increase the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), so it’s vital that you make sure the temperature of the room is just right, especially at night. This is why, even in summer, it’s important that you try to keep a baby’s room cool by closing the curtains during the day to keep the sun out and ensuring the room is well-vented.
There are many different factors that will determine the perfect room temperature for your pet, such as breed, size, weight, age, coat type and their health. Generally speaking though, most domestic animals are comfortable with a room temperature of somewhere between 20 and 22 degrees. Generally, if you’re comfortable with the temperature at home, they will be too.
However, you should take extra care during spells of hot weather to make sure your rooms are kept as cool as possible. Some pets, particularly dogs, can easily overheat, so it’s a good idea to keep windows open and curtains closed. During the winter, you might want to provide your pet with additional bedding at night to keep them cosy when the outside temperature drops.
Especially during warm weather, many women say they feel hot and uncomfortable during pregnancy, so it’s important to take the necessary steps to stay cool and hydrated to protect your wellbeing and the health of your baby. While there is no set ideal room temperature you should stick to, you should ensure the room feels just right for you.
There’s no denying that sleep is important, so it’s vital that your bedroom is at the right temperature so you’re able to snooze soundly at night. Our bedrooms should actually be on the cooler side, around 17 to 19 degrees. This is because your body temperature naturally dips as you go to sleep, and a cool room could help you to settle into sleep a little faster and give you a great night’s sleep.
In fact, Healthline states that the best temperature to sleep in is 18.3 degrees.
There are a number of different factors that can affect room temperature, including your personal preference and what type of clothing you’re wearing. There are also a variety of environmental factors that can influence room temperature too, such as air humidity, the season and the outside temperature. Situational factors can affect room temperature as well, such as if you’re physically active or resting.
If you like to crank up the heating in your home, it’s worth considering the impact this could have. For instance, researchers have found that the warmer the room, the harder it is to concentrate, so you could be doing your health more harm than good by insisting the thermostat is turned up a notch.
Aside from affecting your wellbeing, turning up the heating will have a significant impact on your energy bills. What’s more, it can seriously affect the environment too. So, if you’re keen to protect your back pocket and our planet, you might want to think about setting your thermostat a little lower. In fact, adjusting your thermostat by just one degree could save approximately £80 a year on your heating bills and saves around 320kg of carbon dioxide, making it a more efficient way to use your boiler.
If your home is too cold, you’re at risk of developing problems such as dampness, condensation and even mould - all of which not only spell bad news for your property, but they’re bad news for your health too. These problems arise because cold air can’t transport water vapour as well as warm air.
The excess water vapour that is naturally present in your house (from taking a shower or cooking on the hob, for instance) is then deposited on walls and other surfaces instead of being carried away. This generally isn’t a problem if such water is temporary and is removed (either by opening your windows for a short time or using an extractor fan), however when left, it can develop into mould. It’s for this reason that respiratory problems, such as asthma, can be made worse when living in a cold house.
By maintaining a suitable, ambient temperature in your home will keep these problems at bay.
Many people choose to lower the room temperature in their homes while they are sleeping or if they’re going out. You may think this is a sensible idea because ultimately you’ll be using less gas and therefore saving on energy costs.
However, this can also cause a number of problems. For example, your boiler will have to work extra hard to reach the set ambient room temperature, increasing your fuel usage and in turn, increasing your energy bills. In addition to this, when you get home, it will take some time until the rooms are comfortably warm again.
To avoid these problems, you could invest in a digital thermostat. If you don’t have one already, they are simply to fit, even if you have an old system. Even the most basic digital thermostats can allow you to access preset time programs.
New smart devices give you even more control, making it easy to manage the ambient temperature of your home, room by room. These devices take into consideration the weather, thermal behaviour of the building and even the location of the people inside them. This provides intelligence to the smart system, which in turn could save you a lot of money.