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What Is The Ideal Temperature For Your Home?

What Is The Ideal Temperature For Your Home?

Note: It’s important if any of the below apply to you or your family you should seek advice from a healthcare professional as opposed to following our general guidelines (or any other guidelines found online from non-healthcare professionals) as the temperature of your home can play a big role in your health and wellbeing.
  • There is someone in the home aged 65 and older
  • You have babies, toddlers, young children or are pregnant
  • There is someone in your home with a health condition
  • There is someone in the home with a disability
  • There is someone in your home with a mental health condition
The online consensus which you may have already seen or heard is to heat your home to 18-21°C for general comfort and health. This temperature is enough to make most people feel warm and can help you save money on your heating bills.  However, this is a general rule of thumb and won't work for everyone, every home or every room. The NHS recommended room temperature is at least 18°C in the rooms that you use regularly - such as your living room and bedroom - especially if you have health conditions/concerns.  So, what temperature do we at UK Radiators recommend?  While we don’t want to disappoint you, we aren't going to give you a number so you can immediately run away and change your thermostat setting. Instead, we’ll share with your our expertise and the information you need to choose the most ideal temperature for you and your home.  Before we begin, we’ll explain the uses of both your main boiler thermostat and the TRVs in your home:

MBT (Main Boiler Thermostats)

This little box (most likely located in your living room) allows you to determine what temperature you’d like your room to heat up to. The boiler will run until the thermostat tells the boiler that the desired temperature has been reached.  Remember that the thermostat can only read the temperature of the room that it's in (this is a reference room), which is why it's usually in the main living room.  This room should also have manual valves on the radiators, rather than TRVs. If a room has TRVs, then they will compete with the boiler - meaning a battle of the thermostats might begin!

TRV (Thermostatic Radiator Valves)

TRVs allow you to set a desired temperature for the room they are in. Turning up a TRV will not result in the room heating up quicker.  Setting a TRV to a higher temperature than the boiler thermostat is set to won't make that room hotter than the others. This is because the boiler is turning on and off based on the main boiler thermostat settings.  Ideally, you should set the thermostat to your comfort temperature and use the TRVs to lower the temperature in unused/less used rooms, this will save you energy and money - it’s a win-win situation!

Finding Your Ideal Temperature

To find your ideal temperature, we recommend some experimental research where you are the guinea pig!  In the advice section below, we’ve assumed that your main boiler thermostat is in the living room. Therefore, if you do not have a functioning fireplace in your living room, the radiators in that space will have manual valves instead of TRVs. However, TRVs are present throughout the rest of your home. Starting with your living room, set the thermostat to a lower temperature - 16-18°C is a warm spring day and a good place to start.  Once the thermostat has reached this temperature, it is tempting to turn it up further. However, it will take a bit of time for you to feel the benefit of this temperature, so wait a bit before turning it up.  If you’re interested in finding out more information about the science of our heating behaviours, check out our thermoregulation blog! If you're still a little chilly, turn the thermostat up a degree or two. Repeat these steps over a couple of days until you find a temperature that makes you feel all warm and cosy.

What Temperature Should The Rest of The Rooms In The House Be?

With the above steps in mind, you can now tackle the other rooms in your home. Although, it's important to consider the function and use of these rooms and factor that into the temperature you set the TRVs to.

Kitchens/Dining Rooms

Kitchen and dining room usage vary from home to home.  Some spend a lot of time in their kitchen/dining room, while others cook, eat and leave.  If you do spend a lot of time in these rooms, we recommend matching the TRV settings to that of the main boiler thermostat.  If you pop in and out of this room, then a few degrees (or a number down on the TRV dial) lower than the living room should be fine. It's also important to remember that in your kitchen you have other heat-producing appliances like your oven, hob, kettle etc. So having the same temperature as the living room may result in you opening windows and doors!

Bathrooms/Shower Rooms

Like kitchens, you're either an in-and-out type, or you spend a lot of time in here getting ready to grace the outside world with your beautiful presence!  You don't want to step out of a nice warm shower or bath into a cold room, but you also don't need the room to be as warm as your living room because the shower or bath will add heat to the space. So a few degrees (or a number down on the TRV dial) lower than the living room should be fine.


No one enjoys sitting on a cold toilet seat, but is it necessary to heat a whole room to 20°C for the short amount of time you're using this room? We suggest going a few degrees (or a number down on the TRV dial) lower than the living room.


This one depends on whether the bedroom is used for sleeping or living (we’re looking at you, darling teenagers!).  If the latter, then for the inhabitant to feel comfortable it's likely you’ll need to set the TRVs to match the living room.  If used for just sleeping, then it's important to consider the other thermal factors such as duvets, throws and pyjamas.  If you set the temperature to match your living room you may find yourself too hot once you’re in bed and trying to get to sleep. We recommend setting this room to a few degrees (or a number down on the TRV dial) lower than the living room, you can always turn it up if you need to!

Less Used Rooms

This could be a guest bedroom, laundry room, anywhere you might pass through but not hang around in, or a room that is only used on odd occasions. You could get away with setting these rooms to either the frost protection setting (usually a * symbol). This means the radiator is off, but if the room temperature drops to below a certain degree the valves will allow water through to prevent freezing in the system.  If you don't want to go all the way down to frost protection, choose a lower number on the dial for a lower temperature. Then, if any of these rooms become more used, you can use the other examples above to find the best temperature for that room. [video width="1920" height="1080" mp4="https://ukradiators.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2023/05/What-Is-The-Ideal-Temperature.mp4"][/video]

How Can This Save You Money?

According to the Energy Saving Trust, “For every degree you increase, it will increase the heating bill by about 10%”. That's a lot of money for only one degree more warmth!  To reap the potential savings, we recommend that you (at least) follow our steps to find the ideal temperature for the room in your home where the main boiler thermostat is located.  By doing this, you will be less inclined to turn your thermostat up at a later date because your home should be at a comfortable temperature.  We hope this guide will help you to find the most comfortable temperature for you, your loved ones and your home! Please be sure to take into account any health conditions and seek the advice of a healthcare professional.  If you want to read everything we have (so far) on energy-saving tips, tricks, do’s, don’ts, science and myths, then we’ve made a section in our advice centre for you!

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