white dog under white blanket because the temperature is too cold inside the home

What Temperature is Too Cold for a House?

In the Winter months, most of us like to lower the temperature in our homes in order to save money. This is especially true when we are away at work or on vacation, for example. Some of us even like to keep the temperature lower than normal when we are at home to really maximize savings on our energy bill. But, is there a certain temperature that we shouldn’t surpass? Can it actually get too cold inside of a home when people are present? What about when the home is vacant?

Let’s go over some of these questions below.

Recommended Temperature When You Are Home

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends setting your thermostat no lower than 64 degrees (F) in the Winter months while people are in the home. If there are infants or elderly individuals, they recommend keeping the temperature at 70 degrees at a minimum.

We believe the WHO’s recommendations above are good and accurate in most situations. But, there can be exceptions of course. For example, when sleeping, many people like their homes (or at least their bedrooms) to be cooler than 64 degrees (F). Once we are snuggled under our warm blankets, 64 might not feel all that cool. So, if you and everyone else in the household are comfortable with going lower than 64 degrees while sleeping, then go for it!

As far as the normal hours of the day when everyone is awake and active in the home, we do recommend the WHO’s guideline of 64 degrees (F) as a minimum. Being in a house for long periods of time that is constantly chilly can have negative health effects. Our bodies aren’t meant to be constantly under the pressure of being cold or even chilly for long periods of time. So, it’s best to keep the temperature at a comfortable level for everyone involved.

Now, if you can wear a couple of layers to help offset the cooling effect of lower temperatures, then go ahead. As long as you and everyone else are still comfortable, that’s the main priority. Did you know that there are actually people who have set their thermostats to 45 degrees (that’s the lowest it would go) and lived in that environment? Of course, they were bundled up in long johns, hoodies, gloves and thick jackets while sitting in a sleeping bag, but they made it work. This is a little extreme in our opinion and not something that we recommend, but to each their own!

Recommended Temperature When the Home is Vacant

Now that we’ve gone over some tips concerning the indoor temperature when people are home, let’s get into some tips for when everyone is away.

When we say everyone, this includes your pets 😉

If you are going on vacation, or even to work, it’s wise to lower the temperature of the thermostat in order to save energy and money. For short periods of time away, like going to work, we’d recommend a temperature of around 55 – 60 degrees (F). While away on long periods of time, such as vacation, we don’t recommend setting the temperature any lower than 50 degrees (F). One of the last things you want is to come back home and find busted pipes and water damage throughout your home. This can be the outcome if the pipes freeze and burst. Setting your thermostat to 33 degrees hoping that none of your pipes will reach 32 degrees and freeze is wishful thinking. Stick with 50 degrees at a minimum. 55 – 60 degrees might be even better if you live in a home that isn’t adequately winterized and setup for Winter months.

Why 50 degrees (F) as a minimum?

Remember that there are spots and areas in many homes that are colder than others. Pipes located within the walls will likely be colder than the temperature inside the home. The 50 degree minimum is meant to compensate for these types of differing factors. Also, if your attic or basement isn’t heated, then it’d be wise to make sure any exposed pipes in these areas are insulated.

Related: 6 Tips to Winterize a Vacant Home

I really hope this information has given you some helpful tips and insight concerning ideal temperatures for your home during the Winter months.

Do you have any comments or experiences (positive or negative) that you can share?

Feel free to comment below!

Related: Winter Thermostat Setting to Save Money

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