What is a good temperature for a house? It’s probably a temperature you don’t even notice — not so hot that you’re sweating all the time. Not so cold that you’re always shivering. The air just feels the way it should.
Does the inside of your house feel good to you year-round? This can be more easily said than done. Drafty windows can cause a cool breeze when you don’t want it. But when you do want a cool breeze inside, suddenly the AC is on the fritz.
In this article, we’ll share some strategies for maintaining a normal house climate all year round.
What Is a Good Temperature for a House?
Everyone has her or his individual idea of what comfortable or average house temperatures are, so unless you live alone, there will need to be some compromises. And these probably should be the more energy-efficient ones.
There is no average house temperature, but the U.S. Department of Energy recommends using a programmable thermostat that can have different settings through a 24-hour day, both during the week and on weekends.
This will maintain what feels like a normal house temperature. People probably won’t even notice a difference — unless, of course, they notice their comfort level going up.
Start with the temperature range everyone feels most comfortable with year-round and then setting highs and lows within that range. Be aware that you might need some persuasive tactics to fit everyone into a reasonable range.
A Good Indoor Temperature Range
A good rule of thumb is not to go below 60 degrees Fahrenheit in winter or above 80 in summer — with a preference toward the middle of the range for times when members of the household are at home and active.
Something like this:
- When no one is home — It should be kept at 60 in colder months, 78 in warmer months. Choose Energy warns us to seriously consider not turning off the heat or AC altogether when we’re away.
- When everyone is sleeping — Sleep.org recommends 60-67 degrees year-round. This is because the body’s internal temperature decreases while we sleep, then goes back up when we’re waking up.
- When everyone is at work or school — If the house is truly empty during the day, it’s all right to set the temperature at 60 degrees or a bit lower (though not lower than 50) in cold months. It should not be left higher than 78 in the summer.
- When everyone is at home and active — Reasonable temperatures for an active home are 64-70 in colder months and 72-78 in warmer months (for homes with air conditioning).
Keep in mind that these temperature recommendations are for typical households in typical circumstances. You may need to make some adjustments for your specific situation.
Every household different heating and cooling needs.
Here are some examples of special needs to be accounted for when planning your home climate.
The Alliance to Save Energy recommends pet owners set the thermostat to 78 degrees in the summer and 68 degrees in the winter —which are the appropriate inside house temperatures for humans as well.
However, you should check with your pets’ vet as well to find out if temperature adjustments need to be made for factors including the breed and its origins, size, age, and overall health.
The Elderly (and People in Poor Health)
At Home Senior Care recommends that the home temperature be kept consistent year-round for the elderly. That way they are less likely to become dehydrated in summer or hypothermic in winter.
They also remind us of the importance of checking on seniors — especially those living alone in their homes — during extreme temperatures.
Maintaining a Normal House Climate
There are many ways to maintain your home’s ideal temperatures without having to adjust the thermostat very often. These involve developing some new habits as well as acquiring some new products.
Purchase a Programmable Thermostat
One recommendation we have is buying a programmable thermostat. Most cost between $100-200 — not a lot given the money they will save you over the long term.
Add Insulation Where It’s Needed
The attic and basement are prime areas for adding insulation to your home. In older homes, the basement many times is left uninsulated. This allows air from the outside to get into the rim joist, basement ceiling, and exposed walls.
Also, read this helpful article from This Old House for advice on insulating your attic. Remember, your attic is directly under your roof. You need to place material there to stop the cold air from sinking into your house, as it is prone to do!
Seal Windows and Doorways
Did you know that an average home loses up to 30% of its heating and cooling energy through air leaks? Add caulk or weather stripping as appropriate. This is a fairly easy DIY project.
Use a Humidifier
Humidifiers can save money on heating since moist air is better than cold at retaining heat. Humidifiers also help prevent dehydration, sore throats, itchy skin, and other health concerns caused by dry air.
Your home’s overall indoor climate can be helped during the drier winter months with the use of a humidifier. Check out this cool mist humidifiers review.
How to Maintain a House that Is Not too Damp
At the other end of the spectrum from a home with dry air is the problem of dampness. A damp home needs to be dealt with before it starts to threaten the health of its inhabitants.
A house that is too damp can cause mold, bacteria, and various pests (including dust mites and cockroaches).
Running a dehumidifier is the first step to getting excess moisture under control, especially in warmer weather. Making sure your house is adequately ventilated is another important step.
And be sure to have problems like pests and mold taken care of as soon as possible, calling in professionals if necessary.
The End of a Poorly Regulated Home Climate
What is a good temperature for a house? As we said, it’s one that accommodates everyone’s needs in the most comfortable and energy-efficient way possible. The last thing people want it to be uncomfortable in their own home!
We would guess, however, that the majority of homeowners have only done a fraction of what could be done to make their homes comfortable for everyone while still conserving energy. Are you one of the majority?
If you are, then take some action. Make climate-related repairs yourself. Or call a professional for more complicated tasks. Don’t use money as an excuse, though. The longer you delay, the more money you waste.
And check out some of the cool new digital products out there while you’re at it. These are not limited to just smart thermostats!