The best temperature for central heating efficiency

It’s hard to guess which is the best temperature to heat your home, while being budget friendly. Does turning up the thermostat at a high temperature for a shorter amount of time work? Or should you go for a lower temperature for longer?­­­­­

There also isn’t one correct answer. On the one hand, some professionals argue you should keep your heating on low throughout the day.* On the other, you should only turn your heating on when necessary.

What’s the best temperature for my central heating?

According to the Energy Saving Trust**, the best temperature for central heating in the UK is between 18°C and 21°C during the winter, (with a small 18°C boost in the early, colder days of spring and autumn if you feel you need it).

Much higher than this won’t be efficient. It’s a common misconception that the higher you set your thermostat, the quicker your home will heat. This isn’t true - it’ll just be warmer and will burn more energy to fill your home and heat your water.

What key factors can influence the temperature of a room?

There are numerous factors that can influence a room temperature from the size of the room to how many people contribute to the ambient temperature. Below are a few other factors that can influence the overall temperature of your home.

  • Air temperature is a measure of the hotness or coldness of the air, which is influenced by how hot or cold it is outside of the home.
  • Radiant temperature is heat that is expelled from items within the room like an oven.
  • Air velocity is essentially air moving through the room caused by factors such as open windows and draughts. This can also be improved by adding curtains, shutters or draught-proofing.
  • Humidity is the moisture within the air, the more humidity in the air the easier it is to maintain a warmer temperature. If the moisture level is low, the temperature inside your home should be warmer.

What's the ideal room temperature? ***

Taking into consideration the above factors each room within your home will still have an ideal room temperature for optimal comfort. Purchasing smart heating controls, like thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs) and smart thermostats will allow you to adjust the temperature in each room, so each room is set to its optimal temperature, providing you with more energy efficient heating.

Adjusting each room’s temperature individually and turning off areas in the home that are not being used, will not only save you money but ensure each area is suited to the room and the user's needs. Find out more about central heating controls here.

We understand that everyone will have temperature preferences. However, we have put together a guide of the common rooms in a home and what we recommend the thermostat should be set to within that space to create a healthy and comfortable environment.

Living room

Commonly the room where families spend most of their time together. The size of this room and the amount of people within the room will play a factor in the ideal temperature and how it fluctuates. The recommended temperature for this room is between 20 °C and 22 °C.

Study/home office

This is a room that if used as a home office could be used for long periods of time, on average 8 hours a day, 5 times a week. So, you need to ensure that it is comfortable, more than likely there will only be one user in this room, so you won’t need to consider body temperature contributing to the ambient temperature. Due to its use, we recommend a temperature between 20 °C and 22 °C.


It is tough for babies to tell you whether they are too hot or too cold and the chance of SIDS is higher in babies that get too hot. According to the Lullaby Trust **** the ideal room temperature for a baby is between 16°C and 20°C.

For more information regarding the safest room temperature for babies please visit the Lullaby Trust website.


We spend approximately a third of our lives in our bedroom and a good night’s sleep has an impact on our overall wellbeing.

According to The Sleep Charity our body temperature peaks in the late afternoon and then drops in preparation for sleep in the evening, kick-starting melatonin production*****. Rooms that are too hot, cold or have draughts can impact your sleep, especially your REM sleep. Try to keep your room temperature between 15°C and 22°C for a comfortable night's sleep. Bear in mind the younger the person the warmer the room should be as children cannot regulate their body temperature as easily as adults, this can also be said about the elderly.


Typically, one of the warmer rooms in the home due to cooking for this reason you can reduce the temperature in this room. The recommended temperature is between 18°C and 20°C.


You don’t want to be stepping out of your nice warm shower or bath into a freezing cold bathroom, which is why the bathroom’s ideal temperature is usually the highest of all the rooms. The ideal temperature for a bathroom is between 22°C and 24°C.


Hallways and entry rooms are only used for short periods of time to transition through the home, they often have the most opportunity for heat loss from doors opening and are prone to draughts.

As these areas are not occupied or used very often, they can be set to a much lower temperature. We recommend setting your thermostat between 15°C and 18°C.

If you’d like some more information about draught proofing and creating a warmer more comfortable home without adjusting the thermostat in winter, read our keep your family warm this winter blog.

Storage room

A tricky room to choose an ideal temperature as it really depends on what is being stored in the room and where the room is situated. For example is it an attic, garage or just a small room within the home?. On average you can treat these areas like a hallway when setting the temperature as they are not used often but consider that the higher the room within the home the lower you can set the temperature.

Use this as a guide when setting your room temperatures alongside our other simple tips to reduce your energy bills guide, to ensure you heat your home in the most beneficial way for you.

Why choose Swale Heating?

Looking for some advice about efficient heating, or considering installing a new boiler or smart heating controls in your home?

As one of Kent’s largest installers of boilers and renewable heating systems, we are relied on by homes across the South East, London and East Anglia. All our engineers are Gas Safe and MCS certified.

Whether you are looking for a new boiler or some advice we are on hand to help. You can contact us using WhatsApp on 01795 503604, or use our online chat service. If you are an existing Swale Heating customer you can log on to your online account, where you can book a repair, rebook a service or track your engineer.

If you’d like to enquire about a new boiler please give the sales team a call on 0800 731 33 44 or use our online estimator tool today to get an estimated price and book an appointment with our expert team to finalise your quote at your property.

Unsure what the best boiler is for you? Don’t worry, we have put together a blog discussing the best boiler brands on the market with a breakdown of what makes them popular to help you make the right decision.

Information sources:

*Ask Jeff

**Energy Saving Trust

*** Viessmann

**** Lullaby Trust

*****The Sleep Charity