What should the average house temperature in winter be?

average house temperature in the winter

Heating and cooling costs have been the forever trending concerns for most household. What is the ideal house temperature in winter remains among the questions with very subjective answers. People who live in different places will answer this question differently, based on their experience. This can make it quite hard for people with little experience to decide on their winter thermostat settings. 

The first apartment where we were responsible for the heating bill during winter was not a success. It’s a small one-bedroom home and the heating costs to maintain an adequate temperature came out to over $500 every month!

The energy company noticed something off when we contacted them, so they asked if this would be your first time being responsible for heating costs? Yes, we answered. she chimed in stating “Don’t worry; you’ll get it right next winter, just keep playing around with the thermostat setting to find out what works best.” she gave us some tips to reduce heating costs. A programmable thermostat works as well as experimenting with different temperature settings. Lessons learned, we can’t wait to share them with you in this post.

However, no matter where you live, the U.S. Government Department of Energy (DOE) has recommended an ideal house temperature in winter that is affordable and comfortable for the human body. So if you’re looking for the ideal house temperature in winter, look no further! 

According to the United States Department of Energy, the recommended thermostat temperature setting in the winter is 68 degrees Fahrenheit. That is the ideal house temperature in winter. With a smart or programmable thermostat, you can set the thermostat to automatically lower temperature settings by a few degrees when you step out of the house and when you are asleep.

However, some people may consider this temperature too low and decide to keep their thermostat temperature set at about 75 degrees Fahrenheit throughout winter. The first drawback of this is the high cost of your energy bills. Second, it is not a good idea even if you have the money. To understand why that choice is unwise, we will explain why setting your thermostat in winter to 68 degrees Fahrenheit is the ideal house temperature. So you want to read on to find out!

Why is 68 degrees considered the best temperature in winter?

average house temperature in the winter

Most people will consider winter the coldest season, given how cold it gets. It is quite unbearable for people, especially those living in areas that freezes and become ice cold during winter like Chicago. 

Given that we can not change the temperature outside, we can only protect ourselves by layering up and keeping our homes at ideal temperatures that are both affordable and comfortable. For this reason, the U.S. Government’s DOE has recommended a 68 degrees Fahrenheit thermostat setting for homes in winter. They consider it the ideal house temperature in winter because of the following benefits. 

  • Comfortability

One remarkable thing about the human body is its ability to adapt. Seasonal changes are characterized by changes in temperatures that can range from freezing to very hot temperatures. The only reason we can survive these drastic changes in environmental temperatures due to changing seasons is our body’s ability to adapt to the environment. 

Although some people may consider 68 degrees Fahrenheit low, research and experience have crowned this temperature setting as perfect. It is not high enough to drain your bank account and not low enough to send you to the hospital.

Also, there is an easy and gradual way to adapt this for your body temperature. All you have to do is to set your thermostat at about 74 degrees Fahrenheit and reduce it by a degree daily until it gets to 68 degrees Fahrenheit. That rep’s advice was spot on, by the following winter we were comfortable at 68 degrees.

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This method is very effective and allows your body to adapt to lower temperatures in winter gradually.

  • Affordability

When setting up your thermostat during winter, remember that the higher the thermostat temperature setting, the higher the energy costs, and the higher the amount of money you will need to pay.

Additionally, note that heat is always escape from your house. As such, the greater the difference between the outdoor temperature and the indoor temperature, the higher the amount of heat that escapes.

Considering this, you should aim to save energy and save money on your energy bill. Setting your thermostat at 68 degrees Fahrenheit is best for energy efficiency and less costly than setting it at higher temperatures. Most importantly, it still keeps you warm.

How can you prevent your house from heat loss fast in winter?

You can close all air leaks around the doors, windows, or basement with foam or insulating materials such as radiant barriers. Also, cover your windows with insulation or thermal curtains to reduce heat loss.

How can you increase your indoor your house temperature without changing the thermostat temperature setting?

  • Block off vents in unused rooms

Rather than trying to keep the house warm by warming up every room, block off the vents in unused rooms and keep the doors shut. This will help you save energy and keep the frequently used rooms warmer.

  • Cook and bake more often

This is a very good way to heat a house. When cooking, the burner releases a lot of heat energy. You may be tempted to leave your oven open after baking so warm air can circulate into your home, but it’s not the best idea to use your oven for heat.

  • Use space heaters

Space heaters are very effective in heating small close-off rooms. You can use it to temporarily heat your bedrooms or other closed-off rooms at home during winter.

  • Seal off air leaks

Check your windows and doors throughout the house to ensure no air leaks. If you find any, seal them off with foam. This will block off the inflow of cold air and help increase and later on maintain your house indoor temperature.

  • Keep your curtains open on a sunny day.

Keep your curtains open to receive enough sunlight when the sun miraculously decides to pop out. 

  • Close your windows with insulating curtains

This is another way to increase the warmth in your home during winter. Unlike walls, windows are not good insulators. Covering your windows with insulating curtains will reduce heat loss.

  • Use carpets

Carpets will help keep your floors warm.


As December approaches, most people arm themselves mentally and physically to adapt to the upcoming winter season. The common challenge we mostly face is keeping our homes at an ideal temperature.

68 degrees Fahrenheit is the ideal temperature to set your thermostat during winter. It is considered ideal because it is quite affordable in terms of energy expenditure and can also keep you warm.

You can gradually adapt your body to this ideal temperature by setting a much higher comfortable indoor temperature and decreasing it by a degree daily until you get to 68 degrees Fahrenheit.

Thanks for reading until the end!

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