This is a bit of a subjective one. There’s always that one friend or family member that has such a hot house that you dress for summer even in the middle of Winter when you go to visit. Or the opposite, where you grab an extra jumper on the way out the door.
However, especially currently being in lockdown, it’s the temperature of our own homes that matters the most. What are the biggest deciding factors when it comes to heating your home – Comfort or cost? Perhaps it’s less about how warm you want to be and more about how efficient your heating system and boiler is, or maybe how conscious you are about your carbon footprint.
We thought this week we would write a bit about room temperature and what research says the ideal temperature should be.
What is the average room temperature in a UK home?
Obviously this differs slightly season to season (we have a little less control over how warm our house gets in our short British summer heatwaves!). As we’re currently in Winter we’re going to think about now. Most UK home thermostats are set to 20°C during the winter months, giving an average room temperature of 18°C here in the UK.
Over the last 50 years this has seen a significant increase owing to improved home insulation and more effective central heating systems. Back in 1970, the average home was heated to just 12°C – That’s 8°C lower than the top end of the current scale!
Perhaps you’re sitting reading this, shivering at the thought of your home being just 12°C – Some survey respondents reported heating their homes to between 25 and 30°C. That’s almost tropical! Or perhaps you prefer a cooler home, in line with those who set their thermostats to 15°C at the lower end of the scale. Either way, it tends to depend on personal preference.
Do women like it hotter?
How many times have you argued with your partner about the heating? We certainly know a few couples who sneakily turn the thermostat up and down when they think the other one isn’t looking.
You’ll be pleased to know that some studies seem to have backed up the fact that men and women have different preferences when it comes to room temperature. Women tend to like their home about 2.5°C warmer than men.
What about different rooms?
We also need to take into account different rooms. For example, we may not want our bedroom to be as warm as the living room. So what are the ideal temperatures for the different rooms in our homes?
|Bedroom (children, not babies)||22-24°C|
|Hallways / Storage rooms||15-18°C|
So with the possibility of having a maximum 8°C difference in temperature between rooms, how can you control the temperature to be the ideal in each one? For this you could choose to invest in thermostatic radiator valves (TRV’s).
Using smart TRVs enables you to control the individual temperatures of different rooms in your home. Meaning you can heat the radiator in your bedroom to a different level to the one in your living room. The nifty thing about smart TRVs is that you can also control them via an app – Meaning you can turn the heating up and down, or on and off depending on your plans even whilst out of the house. With this bit of smart technology you could even reduce your bills and carbon footprint!
Is room temperature really that important?
We’ve talked about comfort and cost, but there are actually many other factors related to the temperature of your rooms that do make it important. Keeping your home at the right temperature can:
- Improve your state of mind
- Prevent damage to your homes (e.g. damp and mold)
- Look after your physical health
- Reduce your carbon footprint and impact on the environment
To make sure that your boiler and heating system continues to work effectively, you should service your boiler once a year. This can also help keep your heating bill as low as possible. Get in touch with our boiler experts to book your service or learn more about our boiler care plans.
What is a healthy room temperature for our homes?
The World Health Organization recommends a minimum indoor temperature of 18°C, and ideally 21°C if babies or elderly people live in the house.
The NHS says that people are at an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, flu, pneumonia, falls and injuries and hypothermia if temperatures fall below 8°C in their home. It can also have a negative impact on conditions like depression, mental health and dementia.
More information on keeping warm, particularly during the Winter months, can be found on the NHS website https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/keep-warm-keep-well/ .
Is your boiler and heating system working efficiently?
If any of the following are true for you, consider calling one of our boiler experts to come and see if your boiler and heating system are working to its full potential.
- You don’t think your home feels like it is being effectively heated
- Your heating bills are increasing but your tariff hasn’t changed
- Your radiators don’t feel hot
- You turn your boiler up, but don’t feel the benefit
So after all of that, what temperature should my home be?
In reality, as long as you have no babies, elderly or vulnerable people in your home, then your thermostat could be set to the lowest you’re comfortable with. If it’s currently set to 20°C purely out of habit, consider lowering by a degree or two. You may not even notice a difference but could see lower bills whilst reducing your carbon emissions!
If your boiler is due a service or you think it might need to be replaced, get in touch with one of our boiler experts today. Our heating engineers are still working, covering Hampshire, Dorset, Sussex, Wiltshire, Berkshire and South London.