The Battle to Get and Keep an Ideal House Temperature

There Is a Solution!

The house is cold and you expect houseguests any minute. Once the house starts filling up, you’re all sweating. Then your holiday week turns into the battle of the thermostat and the temperature is never right. How do you make sure everyone is comfortable? What’s the ideal temperature for the house?

The good news is that it’s possible to regulate the temperature and find an agreeable comfort level for everyone, day and night. Here’s how.


Seasonal Factors

The first problem with keeping things at the right temperature is understanding that getting to and keeping the right temperature is influenced by many factors.

Plan on setting your thermostat differently based on season, time of day, and number of people occupying the room/house.

In the winter, set the thermostat for 68 degrees during the day. While sleeping or if you have a large number of people in the house, set the thermostat a bit lower: 60-67 degrees with 65 being the ideal bedroom temperature.

In the summer, set the thermostat to 78 degrees during the day and 70-75 degrees while you’re sleeping. Turn the thermostat up to 85-88 degrees if you’ll be away from home for over four hours. You can do the same in reverse in the winter to keep heating and cooling bills low.

In fact, if you set your thermostat lower by 10-15 degrees (in the winter) for eight hours per day, you can save 5-15% on your bill per year.


Humidity Factor

Indoor humidity has a huge impact on temperature comfort levels. Drier air doesn’t hold on to temperature as well as humid air does. Humidity makes warm feel warmer and cold feel colder.

Bottomline is, controlling the relative humidity inside your home is important to keep you and your guests feeling comfortable. A dehumidifier or humidifier may be necessary in your home to manage the temperature better.

In the winter, you’ll want to keep the relative humidity lower than 40%. In the summer, you’ll aim for 30-45%.

Too much moisture in your home can cause all sorts of problems, like mold. That’s just another good reason to ensure the humidity in your home is managed appropriately.


Living room with black wall vent near the ceiling.

Heating/Cooling System Factor

Keeping your heating or cooling system in tip top condition will help ensure you can stay comfortable. Damaged vent covers, dirty ducting, or a furnace in need of maintenance can all contribute to temperature discomfort.

Issues with the function of your heating or cooling may also cause your system to have to work harder, making the problem worse. Get your system maintenanced regularly by a professional. The perfect time to do this is in the early fall for heating and the spring for cooling.

Get ducts cleaned annually in the fall or spring when you’re least likely to be bothered by a day of no heating or cooling. If your vent covers need some attention, act now to keep air flow at optimal.

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Regular attention will ensure you’re all set before the real need arises. You won’t be caught with a house full of guests and find yourself without temperature control.



It won’t do you any good to perfect the temperature in the house if you have a leaky house. Weatherizing is just as important as regular maintenance for your heating/cooling system.

Give doors, windows, and other openings to your home a thorough inspection to make sure you keep your perfectly conditioned air from escaping.

Insulation is key to keeping your home comfortable. Add more insulation to the attic and make sure it is spread evenly throughout. If you ever find yourself “down to the studs” in a renovation, take the opportunity to add insulation to the walls. This will keep every room of the house better regulated and constant.

Drapes and blinds are often overlooked as a type of insulation, but they can help keep the temperature at the right spot too. Simply opening the blinds or drapes on a sunny winter day can assist the heating system to warm the house up faster. Closing drapes and blinds on particularly hot days has the opposite effect.


Smart Thermostat Factor

End the battle over the thermostat in one fell swoop with a smart thermostat. These are a simple upgrade you can do before guests arrive and are very affordable.

You can control it right from your phone and program it to be at the optimal temperature at any given season or time of day. If you need to make adjustments because there are a dozen people in the dining room, you don’t even have to leave the table to do so.

If there’s someone who insists on tinkering with the thermostat, just lock it from the app and avoid the confrontation.


Communication Factor

Who thinks about having a conversation with guests about the temperature or the living habits of the regular inhabitants of the house? But it may be necessary to ensure maximum comfort (and sanity) of all involved.

Don’t shy away from telling your guests the temperature you keep the house and where they can find extra blankets or a space heater. Let them know if they’re free to adjust the thermostat or crack a bedroom window.

Most guests won’t breach the topic so you, the host, should be the one to bring it up. It’s just as important as where to find the towels and how to use the coffee maker. Ask what they think is a comfortable sleeping temperature.

Take cues from your guests. Are they fanning themselves or dabbing their foreheads? Are they tucking their hands under themselves or snuggling up to a spouse? Did they leave a window cracked in the bedroom? All these things can be communication too. Be a sensitive host and make adjustments on the fly.

Even if everyone has a different idea about what the ideal house temperature is, you can successfully keep everyone comfortable. Put in a little effort and you’ll be surprised at how happy every guest will be.

Need some more tips for heating efficiently? Check out these tricks.

9 Tips for Heating Efficiency

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