Comfort, cost and ecology: These three areas dictate how we manage the room temperature in our homes. Some people love the comfort of living in desert-like heat and others prefer the icy tundra, with most of us sitting somewhere in the middle. This makes the question of, ‘what is the ideal room temperature?’ a difficult one to answer.
Fortunately there has been a lot of research into the area and we’re going to share with you some of the key points to consider if you’re wondering ‘how hot should my house be?’
Topics at a glance:
Older properties were not designed to the current modern standards, which means that setting your room temperature correctly is very important. For every degree Centigrade you reduce your heating, you’ll save up to six% on your energy bills. That’s a huge saving.
If the room temperature in your house is too cold, there’s a risk of wet walls and mold that can damage your property, and even your health. That’s not to say it’s a good idea to keep a low ambient room temperature in a modern home. New build design is so efficient that moisture can easily be trapped inside, settling as damp that leads to mold.
Thermal comfort plays an important role in setting the optimum room temperature. It relates to the state of a persons mind, whether you feel too hot or too cold. There are many factors that affect normal room temperature, such as:
Over the past 20 years, researchers have been very active in understanding what we perceive as the ideal ambient temperature. Humidity plays a big factor. Optimum room temperature changes with the level of moisture in the air; people in a room with higher humidity feel comfort even at lower temperatures. So the lower the humidity, the higher the room temperature should be.
Maybe you’re the kind of person who likes to have the heating high in your home. If so, it is worth considering the impact. Researchers have found that the warmer the room, the harder it is to concentrate. Additionally there is the environmental and financial impact when heating above the normal room temperature.
If your home is too cold, the risk of mold increases and there’s science to it. Cold air can transport less water vapour condensing on furniture, walls and on windows.
This forms the ideal habitat for mold spores to flourish. Removing mold from a home can be very difficult as well as being damaging to your property and your health. So achieving a sensible ambient temperature is very important.
The optimal room temperature usually depends on its use. While living or working rooms should be around 20 to 22 degrees Celsius, other rooms should be warmer. Take for example bathrooms and children’s rooms, experts recommend a value of 22 to 24 degrees Celsius.
Bedrooms at 16 to 19°C promote a good night's sleep. The ideal room temperature of a kitchen is between 18 to 20°C because of the fluctuation in heat. For non-living spaces such as corridors and storerooms, the normal room temperature is around 15 to 18°C.
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
Many people lower the normal room temperature when they are sleeping or are not at home. This might seem like a good idea because using less gas saves on energy costs.
There are a number of problems with this approach. Firstly your boiler will have to work harder to reach your set ambient room temperature, increasing fuel usage. Secondly, when you get home it will takes some time until the rooms are pleasantly warm.
The solution is to use the digital thermostat. If you don’t have one then it’s not difficult to retrofit to 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. They 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, saving a lot of money.