With winter on the horizon, it's important to know the ideal room temperature settings for your home for when it gets chilly outside. It can be tempting to turn your thermostat up during the winter to feel cozy, but is it really necessary? Can you be comfortable in lower temperatures and save on your heating bill?
In this article, we're going to find out what is the perfect temperature for different rooms in your house and walk you through several options for saving money — and energy — on heating costs.
So, what's the ideal temperature for your home in winter? The World Health Organization suggests 64.5 F (18 C) — anything under this temperature is too cold, and anything over 75 F (24 C) is considered to be too warm and potentially unsafe for people with heart conditions. So the ideal room temperature should be somewhere in between, right?
Well, you can't go wrong with keeping the temperature in your home at 68 F, but it can also be a good idea to tailor it to different rooms. Here are a few tips on the ideal temperature for each room in winter.
The living room is where you usually spend more time sitting still, so you may want to keep it a bit warmer during winter. The perfect temperature for the living room is between 66 and 71 F (19 and 22 C). Of course, you can go higher than that, but remember — the warmer the temperature, the more energy you’ll need to use to keep your living room toasty. So maybe you can just throw on an extra blanket?
Your bathroom is another room you may want to keep a bit warmer — no one wants to step out of the steamy shower into an icy cold room! So it’s best to keep it at around 71 F (22 C). But keep in mind that running a hot bath or shower can naturally make your bathroom warmer, so your heater may not need to work that hard after all.
Your bedroom, however, can stay a bit colder — a cooler environment can help you sleep better and can save you a bit of money on the heating bill. Most doctors agree that the best temperature for a restful sleep is somewhere between 60 and 67 F (or at 15.6 to 19.4 C). Makes sense; after all, you spend most of the night wrapped in a cozy duvet.
Since babies can’t say when they’re too hot or too cold, it’s up to their parents to know what’s the right temperature for them. Cooler environments will make your baby fussy, but a baby room that’s too warm may lead to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Ideally, your baby's room temperature should be between 68 and 72 F (20–21 C) in winter.
What about humidity? Dry winter air can cause your child to have nosebleeds, skin irritation, and itchy, dry eyes. Cold symptoms also tend to last longer in dry environments. So keeping the humidity at a comfortable level can help to make your baby comfortable during the winter months.
Doctors recommend keeping your baby’s room at 50–60 percent relative humidity.
Setting the humidity below 60 percent will lower the change of allergen growth while keeping it above 50 will stop the spread of viruses, hold the dust particles down, and prevent skin irritation and sinus issues.
Check on your baby to ensure that the humidity is in the right place: if your child is sweaty or has red skin, they’re too hot, so you may need to adjust the temperature and humidity.
If you have pets you may want to make sure your fur babies feel comfortable at home. Pets can easily live at the same temperatures as their owners, they can even tolerate slightly colder environments — most pets typically grow a thicker coat for the winter. But pets with certain conditions like arthritis may struggle in cold weather because it often triggers joint pain.
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The minimum room temperature for dogs and cats is 64 F, but setting your thermostat at 69–72 F (20.5–22 C) ensures your pets are comfortable during the winter season. Still, you should consider your pet’s situation before deciding on the temperature. Pets with thick coats like huskies and Persian cats have a better tolerance for the cold, so it’s okay to set the thermostat at the lower end of the spectrum. Young puppies and kittens (or elderly pets), may need the room temperature to be closer to 72 F.
If you plan on leaving your house for a long time and want to lower your thermostat, keep your pet's bed in a warm place and leave the blinds or curtains open to let some sunshine in for extra warmth. Also, never let the indoor temperature drop below 60 F, it can be dangerous for your pet.
Most pediatricians recommend that you keep your baby's room at 68–72 F. But just because the thermostat in the main part of your house is set at 72 F it doesn't mean your baby's room is at the same temperature.
You can measure the temperature in your baby's room with a room sensor — even some baby monitors now offer this feature. Alternatively, keeping it at a temperature that is comfortable for you can also be enough.
Just pay attention to how you feel: if you're too hot or too cold, your baby probably is too — so adjust the settings accordingly.
It’s also important to dress your baby appropriately for the weather. Here are a few suggestions that can keep your baby comfortable:
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, you can save up to 10 percent on your heating bill just by setting your thermostat 7–10 F lower for 8 hours a day. So keep your home around 68 F when you're inside and lower the temperature whenever possible, for example:
Heating your home during the winter months can cost you a small fortune. For example, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, heating makes up, on average, over half of the fuel bill in households in the U.S.
And then there’s also the impact on the climate. One research says heating our homes in winter accounts for 20 percent of carbon emissions.
So it's definitely a good idea to use your heating efficiently to keep your bills manageable — and reduce air pollution. Here’re a few tips to help you save energy during the colder months: