Getting the ideal room temperature can make all the difference in being comfortable. We all want to feel warm and cosy in our homes. However, don't want to pay a premium in energy for the privilege.
There's a large selection of thermostats, but they all work in the same way. Finding the ideal room temperature is key. Turning down the thermostat by just one degree can save money on your energy bills.
Often a discussion of the thermostat can cause tension in family homes and house shares. It's important to discuss the ideal room temperature to avoid disputes.
We all know that heating our homes comes with a cost. So how do we find the ideal room temperature without breaking the bank?
Average room temperature - how much does it cost?
The Energy Saving Trust provides information on the best room temperature for UK households.
They advise that your home’s thermostat should be set to the lowest comfortable temperature. This is typically between 18°C and 21°C. The average for UK homes is around 20°C. This is in line with guidance from other bodies, including the World Health Organisation.
There's evidence that temperatures outside this range cause health risks. Typical health concerns are around respiratory issues.
The lowest comfortable temperature you set, the lower your bills will be. The exact cost that you will pay for your heating depends on the tariff agreed with your energy supplier. If you're finding that your energy bills are still too high, you should compare energy prices. Ensuring you are on a cheap energy deal will save you more money than you think.
What is the ideal temperature for efficiency?
The ideal room temperature is between 18°C and 21°C. It is important to have an ambient temperature. How you use your thermostat is equally important. When you come into your home and it's cold, we all want to turn the heat up. This is a flawed strategy and is very inefficient.
Using a timer is the most efficient way to manage your heating. Modern systems will allow you to schedule the heating to come on before you come home from work. If you have a smart heating thermostat, it will learn your routines naturally and adjust.
How long should the heating be on?
This depends on the circumstances. How warm your home will stay is dependent on so many factors. It largely depends on how well your home is insulated. Inevitably, during the winter months, you are going to want to keep the heating on for long periods.
Ovo Energy estimates that UK homes keep their heating on for eight hours on average during the winter. Very few households will keep the heating on all day and through the night. The longer the heating is on, the more expensive your bills will be. This is why the ability of your home to retain heat is very important.
By using a timer or smart thermostat, you can programme your heating system to work when you need it. For example, if you wake up at 7 am, you may want to set your time to kick in an hour or so before you wake up. You will only want to keep it on until you're ready to leave the house. You may want to turn the heating on during the evening hours. It's good practice to have the heating on an hour before you are due home. Investing in warm bedding means shouldn’t need to leave the heating on overnight.
Is it best to have the heating on lower for longer or higher for shorter?
Modern condenser boilers are most efficient being on lower for longer. However, this isn't always the case. Depending on your boiler efficiency it could be much cheaper to turn your heating on when you need it. This is why timing is crucial for keeping your home warm during the winter.
We have already covered the basics of household energy efficiency. There are many other ways you can ensure you keep your house.
Here are a few additional tips for keeping warm through the winter
- Keep radiators turned off in rooms you aren’t using
If you’re in the living room, make sure the rest of your home’s radiators are turned down. This will help you stop wasting energy.
- Make sure you’re on the cheapest energy contract
Compare energy tariffs with Love Energy Savings. If you mainly use electricity, an Economy 7 contract may be the most cost-effective.
- Put on a sweater, and slippers and keep blankets handy
It’s really one of the best ways to make sure you stay cosy and warm and resist the urge to crank up the heating!
- Check your insulation
That doesn’t have to mean expensive wall cavity installation. Reducing the draught from windows and doors with heavy curtains, or merely sealing cracks can also be useful.
- Get a boiler service
It’s recommended to get a boiler service every year. This gives you peace of mind and makes sure your heating system is working at its most effective.