What is the ideal room temperature?
Well, this is one of those questions that doesn’t have a definitive answer. That’s because there isn’t one temperature that’s perfect in all situations. In fact, the best temperature varies depending on where you live, who you are, and what time of day it is.
That said, there will be an ideal room temperature that feels perfect to you, and generally, that falls between a range of 16 -22°depending on which room of the house that you’re in.
This article looks at the ideal room temperature for your home. It also considers factors such as who is living in the house and how they may all have different needs and requirements.
Then, we provide some great tips, including how to use smart thermostats to make tweaks to your heating so that you can attempt to keep everyone happy, no matter how warm or cold they like to be!
What should the average room temperature be?
Sometimes it can be really helpful to understand what average room temperatures are to let you see if your energy consumption might be higher or lower than normal.
It’s also important to consider that the room temperature you feel most comfortable in will vary depending on which room you’re in.
Different people enjoy varying room temperatures so it’s not a one size fits all scenario.
Overall, the average temperature for UK living rooms sits between 19 and 22°.
So whether you have an ideal room temperature that’s at the top of that range or at the bottom is going to depend on how much time you’re sitting still in the room.
If, for example, you’re sat still all evening while watching tv, then you’re probably going to feel that the ideal ambient temperature is at the upper range. But, if you’ve just sat still for five minutes to have a cup of tea, then the optimal room temperature is going to be closer to 19°or even a little lower.
Generally, the bedroom temperature doesn’t need to be as high as what’s preferred in other rooms in the home. That’s because most of us don’t like to be too warm at night, especially when we’re snuggled under a nice warm duvet or suitable warm sleepwear.
To get a good night’s sleep, your bedroom temperature doesn’t normally need to be any higher than 20°. However, it could well be that your ideal room temperature is as low as 15 or 16°.
The UK Sleep Council confirms that sleeping in temperatures of between 16-18° is likely to lead to a great nights sleep and opportunities to save energy.
This could be a great opportunity to make savings on your energy bills. Dropping down the temperature by a few degrees and popping on extra blankets to the bed will mean make a big difference to your energy bills.
So there you are enjoying a nice warm shower or bath but you’re dreading getting out of that warm luxury into the cold air of the bathroom!
So, that means that the optimum room temperature for the bathroom is warmer than the living and sits at around 22°. Don’t forget though, that you might need not need to set the thermostat that high to get the sense of warmer temperatures.
That’s because when you run the shower or bath, it creates humidity that keeps the warmth in the air. As a result, your heating system won’t need to work so hard in order to keep the ideal room temperature where you want it to be.
Have average room temperatures changed?
So, do we now like our homes warmer or colder than we used to? Well, since central heating has become a standard feature of our homes, the average temperature has gone up.
Though it’s not just that, it’s also that our houses tend to be much better insulated than we used to and we have great control of thermostat settings.
Then there’s the factor that many people are more stationary than they used to be. So if we’re sitting more, then the ideal room temperature will be higher than if we were active.
In 1970, the average UK home temperature was about 12°C. Now, it’s up to between 17°C and 23°C which is a pretty big leap in not only temperature but also in the potential for increased heating costs.
What is a healthy room temperature?
A healthy level of warmth does vary according to your age and whether you have any health conditions.
A healthy adult
18°C is about the right home temperature for a healthy adult dressed in warm clothes. This standard is recognised by the World Health Organisation, though the NHS states that as long as you’re comfortable, many adults prefer a room temperature that’s much lower than that.
An older person
When you’re over 65, extra care is needed to keep warm when we get periods of cold weather. So that might mean keeping a comfortable room temperature that’s higher than you might normally have.
For an elderly person, it’s recommended that the room temperature is kept above 18 °C. However, additional care is needed to maintain the right temperature if you suffer from a health condition.
For example, if you’re at cardiovascular risk, very warm temperatures of over 24°C and cold temperatures under 12°C could lead to medical problems.
Babies and children
When it comes to our babies and children, it’s incredibly important to carefully monitor the temperature of the rooms that they’re in. That’s because youngsters are not able to regulate their body temperature as effectively as adults can.
The UK Baby Centre recommend between 16 and 20° as the ideal room temperature range for a sleeping baby. Many baby monitors also have a built-in thermometer to let you keep an eye on the temperature, but this could also be an excellent location to have a thermostatic radiator valve.
Even our pets have preferences when it comes to the ideal room temperatures. Now, just the same as with people, older pets will feel more comfortable in a warmer room temperature and that’s the same for very young pups and kittens.
It also depends on the type of coat that your pet has. A long-coated dog breed such as a Bearded Collie will have an ideal temperature for their living area that’s lower than what’s prefered by a very short-coated breed that carries little weight, such as an Italian Greyhound.
What temperature is too cold for my home?
While we all want to increase our energy efficiency and reduce our energy bill, we do still need to maintain a room temperature to keep us healthy and able to function. Research from Penn State University has shown that when we’re in a very cold area, we start to experience memory loss, we lose coordination and find it difficult to make good choices.
Then there’s also the increased risk of mould problems caused by the higher levels of water vapour in cold environments.
So, what is too cold? Most people find that a room temperature of below 12 degrees creates an uncomfortable environment.
What’s meant by an ambient temperature?
Ambient temperature is simply the temperature of the air around us. That makes it the same as what we often consider as being the room temperature.
Ambient temperature is affected not only by whether or not we have the central heating on, but even the location of electrical devices can make a difference to the normal room temperature.
If, for example, you have a small living area and have a tv, DVD player, computer, screen as well as a mobile phone, then you’ll find that they all cause an increase in the average room temperature.
Turning down the thermostat by one degree
Did you know that the Energy Saving Trust estimate that you could save £80 every year by turning down the thermostat by just one degree!
And the best thing is that you probably won’t even notice a difference in the ambient temperature.
How to keep warm without turning up the central heating
Keeping the heat in the room
You can also help to maintain this temperature and reduce heating costs by making sure that curtains are drawn at dusk and that you keep doors closed to avoid drafts.
Insulation in the roof will help to make sure that you’re not using more energy than necessary and so releasing more carbon emissions as you try to maintain the ideal temperature in your home.
Annual boiler serving
Having the boiler serviced every year will also make sure that it’s working as efficiently as possible, which in turn will also reduce your energy usage and, so, your carbon footprint.
Replace old boilers
As a boiler gets older it will reduce inefficiency and that will increase your energy usage. There have also been huge advances in the technology used in their manufacture which can mean that a boiler replacement could mean a reduction in energy bills.
That then means that a heating system can now provide greater control of room temperature, especially when combined with a smart thermostat and thermostatic radiator valves. You can even get hydrogen ready boilers for any future developments with reducing gas usage.
Different duvets for different seasons
It can be tempting to just have one duvet that sees you through the year. When the outside temperature gets colder, then you turn up the thermostat to compensate. If however, you purchase all-weather duvets then you’ll not to touch the heating controls in order to stay warm.
You could also purchase bedding with a lower duvet tog rating and then clip thinner duvets together to give more warmth in the winter months.
Use a smart thermostat
Smart technology has made a huge difference to enable us to maintain the best temperature in our homes whilst aiming to also make sure that we feel comfortable no matter what room we’re in.
Smart thermostats are essentially an extension of the smart devices that we’ve now become used to being a feature of our homes.
There are a number of smart solutions that manufacturers offer for their range of products, so that includes the best combi boiler, as well as regular and system central heating solutions.
However, all focus on the ability to provide you with more control in achieving the ideal room temperature while reducing energy use.
Smart heating apps
Apps on your mobile phones and internet-linked devices allow you to control the room temperature no matter where you are.
So, if you were to realise that you’re going to be home later than planned, then you could adjust when the heating comes on to make sure that you’re not heating an empty home.
Some apps also have the ability to recognise when windows have been left open in a room despite the heating being on and send you a reminder about what’s happening.
Then others can sense when everyone has gone out and so will lower temperatures to prevent unnecessary energy use.
We all know that when something is easy, that we’re more likely to do it!
So, being able to drop the room temperature by one or two degrees via the smart thermostat, with a couple of swipes on our phones, means that we’re more likely to take action when there’s a slightly higher temperature than we actually need.
Install thermostatic radiator valves (TRV)
We’ve already spoken about how we need different average temperatures in different rooms of the house.
What’s a comfortable temperature in the living room could be far from being an ideal room temperature in the bedroom. To prevent using more energy than needed we need a way of setting specific temperatures in each room.
Now a smart thermostat can set this up for you but there does need to be thermostatic radiator valves in place in order to create different average room temperatures around the home.
These valves are self-regulating in that they can change the flow of hot water that enters the radiator.
When a change is needed to maintain the ideal room temperature, a capsule within the head of the valve begins to contract or expand. That then causes the movement of a pin in the valve causing it to close or open.
Increase the heating with a TRV
If it begins to get warmer than the ideal room temperature, then the pin will cause the valve to close and the hot water movement into the radiator is slowed down and the average room temperature goes down.
Decrease the heating with a TRV
If there’s a drop below a comfortable temperature, then the capsule will expand and the pin closes the valves. Now hot water can flow into the radiator and allow the area to become slightly warmer.
Ensuring you have control of your heating
Whether it’s through smart thermostats or taking steps in your home to reduce the loss of heating, there are many things that you can do to maintain the ideal temperature.
Whether that’s heating a cold room or reducing a high room temperature, there is now the technology available to make sure that you can get the very best room temperature for your needs.