Ideal Temperatures for a Comfortable House

Intro


Your home is your sanctuary. It’s your place to relax, recharge, and replenish. Call it your pad,  crib,  lodging, dwelling, diggings, or a roof over your head. It may be a hacienda, a nest, or a bungalow. Maybe it is a grand mansion, palace, villa, or full-on castle. The very fact that there are so many names for your home underscores its importance.


It's a place of growth, family, and memories.  Taking the best care of your household will give you back tenfold. A comfortable, loving home will produce more pleasant memories and healthier family members. A great home benefits you, your kids, and your pets.


General recommendation


Not everyone living under the same roof will have the same temperature preference. Some people run hotter while others have icier blood in their veins. Still, almost everyone finds their comfortable temperature between 68 °F to 78 °F.


The best temperature also depends on the season. In the winter, keep your house heated around 68 °F. In the hot days of summer, cool it around 78 °F.


The ten-degree difference sounds like a lot. But when you dress for the season, you will stay comfortable all year long. The different heating and cooling in different seasons will also help the environment. It will lower your utility bills, too.


Room by room recommendations


It's unfair to assume that a house is one uniform space. Let's break it into different parts. We'll describe the unique characteristics and concerns that apply to every individual section.


Even if you have a studio, these recommendations will still apply. In that case, your cozy living space adjusts to different actions you go through in the day. 


Home Office for productivity

Home office that's too neat. No real work gets done there


To play hard, you have to work hard. To work hard, you need dedicated space. In 2020 a lot of people got a chance to try remote work. Home offices proved productive to a lot of skeptics out there.


With the dedicated working space, the fight over the thermostat becomes a thing of the past. You are now in complete control over your environment.


In a traditional office, the building maintenance always set and locked the thermostat between 70 °F and 73 °F / 22 °C and 23 °C


You might feel this small range is too limiting for your preference. Don't feel locked into that number. OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) recommends a broader range of 68 °F - 76 °F.


A more insightful study probed into preferences between genders. It found women prefer working at 77 °F and men prefer working at 72 °F.


The study cited body-size and fat-to-muscle ratios contributing to the discrepancy. It also called out different expectations on formal dress between the genders.


Well, with the home office, the temperature is all about you. So brew up some coffee, break out your work-from-home jammies and get productive.


Bedrooms for restful sleep

Beautiful bedroom. Spilled coffee from breakfast in bed is about to streak with stains


Dalai Lama referred to sleep as the best meditation. We spend a third of our time sleeping, recharging, and replenishing energies. Good sleep improves concentration and productivity. A bedroom with the right environment can help you get those precious deep REM cycles.


Your body’s internal temperature changes throughout the day/night cycle. That's known as circadian rhythm. While our core body temperature hovers around 98.6 °F (37 °C), it fluctuates by about 2 °F. Your body starts to cool about two hours before bedtime, around the same time as it releases the sleep hormone melatonin. During sleep, your body stays cool until early morning. Then your body starts to warm up.


Because of that natural cycle, doctors recommend keeping your bedroom cooler overnight between 60 °F and 67 °F for adults.


Infants run a tiny bit hotter than adults. Still, as long as you dress them in cozy pajamas, the sleeping temperature should only go up by a few degrees: 60 °F - 69 °F.


Basement

Basement blending laundry room aesthetic with a yoga studio


My basement contains gas heaters, circuit breakers, and laundry machines. They're all tucked away out of my sight. But that doesn't take away my worries about gas leaks, electrical sparks, or burst pipes.


In a future article, I will discuss gas, water, and fire detection. For now, let's focus on temperature.


If you have a finished basement, then keep it comfortable for daytime use. In the winter, the basement temperature should be around 60 °F.


For an unfinished basement, heat it to at least 55 °F to avoid frozen pipes. If you live in a house without a basement but still have exposed pipes, insulate them. Ensure that the temperature is consistently above freezing.


In summer, your basement will be the coolest place in the house. Still, watch out for scorching summer days. Keep your basement temperature at 80 °F or lower. That will suppress humidity and mildew.


Storage room

Bright boxes to store all your dark secrets


Your house is a place of memories. In this case, literally. From mementos to memorabilia, there are boxes of memories stored in your house.


Storage spaces, like a closet or a mudroom, should be around 59 °F - 65 °F in the winter. In the summer, make sure they cool to 80 °F or lower. These temperatures will preserve your important documents, photos, and keepsakes.  This temperature range will deter dangerous mildew and condensation.


Pantry

Perfect pantry stock photo. Bigger than most kitchens


You may not clean out your pantry as often as you'd like. But, you can still keep it cool and comfortable. Then your perishables will have a longer shelf life.


Now, my house doesn't even have a traditional pantry. This advice still applies. Like me, I'm sure you have cabinets full of food stores that you want to preserve. Keep your perishables from perishing by maintaining temperatures between 50 °F - 70 °F.


It’s a good idea to keep your stored food away from your stove, fridge, and dishwasher. Those appliances contribute to temperature fluctuations and unwanted humidity.


Unoccupied Home in Winter

Photo of a polar bear in winter. Also a house


Your home is your center base. It's comfortable, cozy, and comfy.


Still, there are times when the wanderlust hits you, and you have to roam. Whether it's a winter getaway or you're a lucky snowbird with two homes. There are periods when you have to leave your house by itself.


While winterizing a home is a whole other topic.  For shorter periods that your house stays vacant, turn the temperature down to 50 °F. This setting will prevent pipes and bottled goods from freezing at frigid temperatures.


TLDR;

If you properly set temperatures for different areas of your house, you'll gain more comfort in your life. All without breaking your wallet.


For a quick reference, please see a summarized infographic.

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