What to do if your boiler breaks down

What's the ideal home temperature?

We’ve been keeping homes warm and cosy for the last 200 years. So to help you do the same for yours, we’ll take a closer look at the ideal temperature for different rooms, and how high the thermostat needs to be for vulnerable people, including new-born babies and the elderly.

What do the independent experts say?

The Energy Saving Trust recommends heating your home to between 18 to 21 degrees Celsius during winter. And The World Health Organisation (WHO) suggests 18 degrees is the ideal temperature for healthy and well-dressed people. Both agree this is also the ideal temperature for sleeping.

In practice, you should be heating your home based on the age and health of your household. The WHO suggests 20 degrees as the ideal temperature for the old, young or unwell. For healthy adults, you should heat your home to a room temperature that feels comfortable.

What’s the ideal baby room temperature?

According to lullabytrust.org.uk, it’s vital a newborn’s room is neither too hot or cold. This is because the risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) is higher for babies feeling too hot. They recommend heating the room of a newborn to 16 to 20 degrees.

What temperature is ideal for elderly people?

For vulnerable people such as the elderly, a change in room temperature can present several health risks. For example:

  • A temperature of less than nine degrees has the potential to lead to hypothermia
  • A temperature of nine to twelve degrees or above 24 degrees increases the risk of strokes and heart attacks

The Age UK guide suggests the elderly heat their main living areas to 21 degrees, while heating the rest of their home to at least 18 degrees.

Should you heat your home when on holiday?

Only leave your heating on during a holiday if there’s a possibility of freezing. Otherwise, you could return home to a flooded house and costly repair.

To prevent freezing, set your thermostat at around five degrees Celsius. Most modern boilers also have inbuilt frost protection. This allows the boiler to protect itself by turning on as the temperature drops.

In summer, it makes sense to switch off your heating while you’re away. The only two exceptions to this are:

  • If you have pets in the home while you’re away
  • If you’re away for an extended period and want to minimise the risk of mould or mildew building up.

Should you heat your home in the summer?

There’s no need to heat your home during daylight hours. But if the temperature drops at night and you feel uncomfortable, you can turn the thermostat up a notch or two.

That said, a better solution might be to improve the insulation of your home. With your home retaining more heat gained during the day, you can rely less on your central heating.

Should you open windows to circulate air?

Opening your windows may be a great way to let fresh air into your home. But if your heating is on, your home will never reach the desired temperature because heat will escape through the window.

During summer you may be tempted to open your windows to cool down your house. Or to improve your sleep at night. But if it’s a particularly hot summer, warm air from outside may make your room more uncomfortable.

How much does an extra degree in heating cost?

According to thisismoney.co.uk, you can save around £80 per year if you turn down your heating by one degree. So it might be worth giving a lower temperature a try.

Get smart with your heating

Products such as Hive Active Heating make it easy to manage the temperature of your home. For example, Hive can activate your heating when you’re on your way back home. Or switch off the heating as you leave for work. It can also track the temperature using its temperature sensor.

To find out more, visit the Hive website.