Battling over the thermostat? Here’s how to call a central heating truce…
When we win the fight over the thermostat, we’re unsure what temperature we should aim for. But instead, we press the button up/down until we feel like we’ve “done something about it”, even if it means that we set the room temperature above 25°C, which is hotter than Tenerife on a hot summer’s day!
Here, you’ll get to know the average room temperature in the UK and the ideal temperature you should aim for in the morning, night, summertime, and winter. We’ll talk about why setting your home temperature is so essential and how to program your boiler/thermostat to reach the ideal temperature.
Average room temperature ≠ ideal room temperature
The UK’s average room temperature isn’t necessarily the ideal room temperature because;
- Climate change experts recommend setting your thermostat to the lowest comfortable temperature, which is around 18-21°C.
- Reducing the temperature of your thermostat by 1°C could cut your energy bills by 10%. Here’s the Energy Saving Trust recommendation “If you turn down your main thermostat by 1 degree, you can save around 10% on your energy bill. If everyone in Great Britain turned their thermostat down by 1 degree, we would reduce energy bills by £670 million, while saving 3.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year. However, do make sure your home is warm enough during cold weather to ensure you don’t damage your health. The ideal temperature range to set your thermostat is 18-21 degrees.”
This leads us to the next question…
What’s the ideal room temperature?
The ideal room temperature in the daytime is between 18-20°C.
Considering today’s energy crisis, you might be tempted to drop the temperature below this range, but you must keep in mind that the World Health Organisation stresses the basic level of warmth needed for a healthy and well-dressed person is 18°C.
A study conducted by the housing expert Richard Moore shows the damages that could occur by inadequate home temperature;
- 24°C+ – Cardiovascular risk of strokes and heart attacks
- 21-24°C – Increasing discomfort
- 18-21°C – Comfortable temperatures
- 16-18°C – Discomfort, small health risks
- 12-16°C – Risk of respiratory diseases
- 9-12°C – Risk of strokes, heart attacks
- <9°C – Risk of hypothermia
The ideal nighttime temperature in the UK
The ideal temperature for sleeping can differ slightly from one person to another, hence some people pull the duvet off their partners and some don’t!
The Sleep Charity recommends setting the room temperature between 16-18°C and here’s why;
“If you’ve ever been too hot or too cold when trying to sleep, you’ll understand how difficult it is to catch some zzzs.
Your body heat peaks late afternoon and then starts to drop in the evening to prepare your body for sleep, kickstarting melatonin production. An ideal bedroom temperature is around 16-18°C (60-65°F).
Hot, cold or draughty rooms can seriously impact your sleep, in particular REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. Temperatures over 24°C (71°F) are likely to cause restlessness, while a cold room of about 12°C (53°F) will make it difficult to drop off.”
Young kids, vulnerable adults and the elderly may need a slightly warmer bedroom. So investing in a smart thermostat might be a good idea.
The perfect room temperature in the summer
In the summer, the ideal room temperature is between 17-19°C.
Here are some tips to stay cool as a cucumber this summer;
- Stay hydrated!
- Open your windows to maximise air circulation.
- Invest in blackout curtains/blinds
- Keep your blinds/curtains shut to block out the warmth of the sunlight.
- If you’ve got an attic, try opening the hatch. Hot air rises, and this will give it somewhere to go.
- Got a lower tog duvet or a cotton sheet
- Invest in an electric fan – you might need to put an ice tray and a little water in front of the fan to cool the air even more on the hottest days.
The perfect room temperature in the winter
The perfect temperature in the winter will differ, depending on your home’s insulation. Well-insulated homes should aim for a temperature of 18-20°C during the winter. If you find this temperature difficult to reach, you might need to look at your home insulation. We also put together a guide on how to protect your home in the winter.
The ideal temperature for each room
Vaillant, one of the world’s leading boiler manufacturers recommends different temperature settings for different rooms. Here are some of the recommendations;
|Office Room||20°C – 22°C|
|Entryway||15°C – 18°C|
|Corridor||15°C – 18°C|
|Bathroom||22°C – 24°C|
|Kitchen||18°C – 20°C|
Control the room temperature
You can control your room temperature by using the timer on your boiler or thermostat.
One of the best (and cheapest) things you can do to save money on your heating bills is to only turn your heating on when you need it. To make this easier, most modern boilers come with a timer which can be programmed to turn your heating on and off at particular times of the day.
Boiler timer types
Boiler timers vary based on the boiler brand and model. The main two types are;
- Mechanical timers – usually seen in older heating systems. Mechanical timers look like a small clock/dial on the front of the boiler.
- Digital timers, on the other hand, look like a small digital screen displayed on newer boiler models.
Boiler timer settings
Combi boilers will mostly have at least 3 settings; On, Off and Auto (Timed). The setting names could differ from one boiler model/brand to another.
With the help of the settings, you can turn your heating on or off or make it follow instructions you’ve already set.
Here are the standard settings on your combi boiler timer;
- ON (or 24 hours) – the heating will stay on until you turn it off.
- OFF – is a setting to shut down your boiler completely – useful for going on holiday!
- Auto (or Twice) – your boiler will turn on and off at the times of day you’ve set it to do so.
- All day (or Once) – your boiler will turn on at a set time and stay on until the end of the day or until the last off-setting of that day.
- Boost (or 1 hour) – will boost your heating by one hour.
- Advance – will adapt the timer to the next on/off setting in its cycle
How to set your mechanical boiler timer
First, make sure the time shown on the timer is right. Bear in mind that the boiler timer usually uses a 24-hour clock.
Now you’ll need to set the time for the heating to come on. You can do this using the small plastic pins/switches that line the outside of the clock/dial.
Each one of these switches represents 15 minutes. Just push the pins;
- In – for the time you want the boiler on.
- Out – for the time you want the boiler off.
This may differ from one boiler to another. Some boilers work in the opposite way. So you’ll need to read the manual to be sure.
Just ensure the timer is on a ‘timed’ setting, not on the setting ‘on’ nor ‘off’.
Have a look at this video to see how to program your boiler timer.
How to set your digital boiler timer
Just like the mechanical boiler timer, you’ll need to check the time is correct and current on your boiler timer.
Then select the option ‘set timer’ or ‘set clock’. The name of this option might be different on your boiler.
Use the arrow keys to select the day and times you’d like your heating to be on.
And lastly, don’t forget to hit ‘run’ or ‘set’ to save your settings.
Another way to control your room temperature effortlessly and save on your heating bills is to get a smart thermostat.
Smart thermostats are the gear that connects your heating system to the internet so you can change your home temperature on the go (on your smartphone) or on your computer.
Keep in mind that they are not the same as smart meters, which most energy companies offer for free nowadays.
Google Nest Thermostat
If we’re talking about smart thermostats, we need to mention Nest.
Nest was purchased by Google back in 2014 for $3.2 billion, and has become a leader in the space. Their thermostats allow you to run your system more efficiently, save money and increase the lifespan of your heating system. Nest has a few different smart heating and cooling options.
Their traditional Nest thermostat provides many boosts to your heating and cooling system. It can be programmed with ease, looks attractive on the wall, and can even turn itself down when you are away. It is quite easy to set up and features heating/cooling system monitoring and alerts. The thermostat can even help you identify and find ways to save energy.
This thermostat is compatible with around 85% of systems, features voice control, and makes it easy to control the temperature in your home remotely, no matter where you are, in the Google Home app.
Nest also has the Learning Thermostat. This is similar to their normal thermostat, with a few important distinctions. Nest Learning Thermostat learns your preferences and adapts to them over time.
Another popular smart heating and cooling system for your home is Honeywell. Honeywell offers excellent thermostats at affordable prices.
Honeywell thermostats are compatible with smart home devices like Google Home and Amazon Alexa.
The Honeywell app allows you to control your thermostat when you’re on the go. When you download the Honeywell Home App, you unlock cool features such as;
- Taking control of your Honeywell smart thermostat
- Setting your home’s temperature for the next 7 days
- Changing the current temperature on your Honeywell thermostat
- The smart thermostat, i.e. Honeywell T6 when you’re at home and when you’re not in and will turn the heating on/off at the right time to save energy.
The Hive Active Heating smart thermostat is arguably the best smart thermostat on the market. Hive is the complete modern-day tool for controlling your central heating system and hot water. With its sleek design and easy-to-use interface, you might be wondering why you haven’t already got one!
This intuitive smart thermostat is the perfect tool to control your heating and help reduce your gas bills. Part of British Gas, Hive offers a range of smart equipment such as cameras for your home, energy-saving lights, and more. Hive Active Heating is the flagship product and is proving this in homes around the UK with its popularity. Hive believes that with the use of its product, you can reduce your heating bill by £120!
Hive Active Heating can be used for all types of boilers. Whether you have a combi boiler, system boiler or a heat-only boiler, Hive Active Heating can start helping you reduce your heating bill right away. It is also compatible with most Gas, LPG, Oil, and Electric boilers. While you can use it with most boilers, it is best to check if it is compatible with your current system. For optimum results, this smart thermostat is best suited to newer models.
It works by wiring a receiver into your boiler and connecting it with the wireless thermostat which can be mounted to the wall or left on a stand. You can then download the Hive app if you wish to be able to remotely control your heating. The Hive Heating hub is connected to your internet router and can then be connected to the app, where you can start to unleash some of its amazing features.
The average UK household sets its thermostat to 20°C.
The ideal room temperature in the daytime is between 18-20°C.
The ideal temperature for sleeping can differ slightly from one person to another. The Sleep Charity recommends setting the room temperature between 16-18°C.
The perfect temperature in the winter will differ, depending on your home’s insulation. Well-insulated homes should aim for a temperature of 18-20°C during the winter.