What is the Best Temperature for a House in Winter

Everyone has their own preference for what is a reasonable temperature for a house in winter, but the consensus from most sources is 68° F.

hand with glove changing thermostatGordon Warlow/Shutterstock

What is a Reasonable Temperature for a House in Winter?

For most people, figuring out the optimal indoor temperature in winter is a balancing act between comfort and keeping heating bills as low as possible. Everyone has their own preference for what is a reasonable temperature for a house in winter, but the consensus from most sources is 68° F.

Here’s a collection of tips to help you slash heating bills this winter.

Thermostat Setting for Day and Night

Does that mean you should set the thermostat at 68° in the fall and leave it there until spring? There are differing viewpoints on this. For some people, 68° F. is too hot for sleeping, so they drop it a few degrees at bedtime. Some say, however, that doing this wastes energy, as it takes less energy to keep a house at a steady temperature than it does to reheat your home after letting it cool to say, 62° F. This depends on other factors, such as insulation, windows and doors. A well-insulated home holds heat longer and loses it slower, making the reheating period much quicker. In that case, I think dropping the temperature at night makes sense. A poorly insulated home with old, drafty doors and windows might be a different story. It’s super easy, with modern thermostats to program different temperatures for different times of the day.

Factors for Home Heating

If you go with the method of cooling at night and when you’re at work, also consider your floors. Do you have hardwood or tile? If so, it’ll take longer to warm up the floor than it takes to warm up the air. But that’s easily remedied with a warm pair of slippers.

Curious about in-floor heat? Here’s a guide to DIY in-floor heat installation.

So, the answer to the question “what is a reasonable temperature for a house in winter?” isn’t black and white. Whatever temperature setting you find is comfortable for you and keeps the heating bill reasonable is your answer. But remember, unless you live alone, you’ll likely have to come to a compromise; some household members might just need to bundle up a bit in the chilly months.

16 Ways to Warm Up a Cold Room That Actually Work

Thermostat Options

Is a Wi-Fi enabled thermostat right for you? A Wi-Fi thermostat connects to your home’s wireless Internet service and lets you remotely check and change the temperature in your home from an app on your smartphone or tablet. Here’s how to choose the best wifi thermostat.

Breakout and describe the different thermostat options that might heating and home energy easier during winter. Programmable thermostats, smart thermostats, etc.

If you need a little bit more warmth, these are the things you should know about electric space heaters:

Brad Holden
Brad Holden, an associate editor at The Family Handyman, has been building cabinets and furniture for 30 years. In that time, he has absorbed so many slivers and ingested so much sawdust that he's practically made of wood.