Thermostat, Home Energy Saving

What Is a Normal House Temperature?

Average Home Temperature for All Seasons

As I adjusted my thermostat for the changing season, I realized that I was not sure what the best temperature setting was. So, I did some research to find out what a normal house temperature was.

So, what is a normal house temperature? A normal house temperature varies from season to season but falls somewhere around 68 degrees in the winter and 78 degrees in the summer. This is due to a variety of factors including personal preference, home design and layout, HVAC performance, and home humidity.

No doubt all of the different factors that play into the ideal home temperature are intriguing and cause every home’s temperature preference to slightly vary. Oftentimes, homeowners do not understand their home, their HVAC system, or their thermostat, and can cause damage to any or all by improperly operating the systems.

Because of this, a homeowner needs to familiarize themself with their home’s specificities and make the best decision based on the information that they learn. This will ensure they stay as comfortable as possible while lengthening the life of their home and their HVAC unit.

Why There Is a Normal House Temperature

Best Temperature for HouseFirst of all, the reason there is a normal house temperature is that everyone is human. And, generally speaking, humans tend to feel comfortable in a similar range of temperatures.

This temperature does vary from person to person but generally hovers around the 70-80 degree mark. Sure, some outliers come as a result of body types, ethnicity, and even geography, and this is one of the main reasons why the thermostat is adjustable.

There are many other reasons why houses have a normal temperature range. One of these reasons is that the components of a home are meant to exist in a certain temperature range. Indoor caulking rated for 40 years likely will not last 40 years in a home that is 90 degrees.

In the same vein, water in a pipe cannot dip below freezing or the pipes will freeze and burst. So, just as comfort is important, there are also very important practical reasons to keep a home at a consistent, specific temperature.

Another key reason for operating an HVAC system in the 68-78-degree range is that this is what it was designed to do. There are many types of HVAC systems. HVAC systems are chosen for each home because they are the proper size for that home. The complex process of cooling and circulating air through a home requires a complex system that is honestly a bit fragile.

This is why it seems like every summer on the first hot day, your air conditioning either cannot keep up or just quits in general. When this happens, it is often because the coils in the HVAC system froze as a result of too much stress on the system or other malfunctions.

This is only scratching the surface as to the reasons why a home is best suited for the 68-78-degree range. Beyond these surface-level reasons, there is a multitude of intricacies and idiosyncrasies that change from house to house, thus changing the exact perfect temperature for that specific structure.

Humidity’s Effects on Temperature

Naturally, houses tend to be dry in the winter and humid in the summer. Unfortunately for homeowners, this can only exaggerate the discomfort that comes along with the temperatures. Excessive dryness in cooler temperatures can actually make the body feel colder.

Likewise, excessive humidity in warmer temperatures makes the body feel much hotter. This is why adjusting your thermostat when you are feeling uncomfortable may not be the most effective means of addressing the problem. Sometimes, it can be more effective to alter the humidity of your home than alter the temperature. This is often more of a problem in older homes but humidity can affect all homes.

In the winter months, this can look like introducing humidifiers throughout the home. This can come in the form of a  whole-home humidifier or local humidifiers in the rooms you frequent most, like bedrooms or offices. Introducing humidity to a dry, cold house will make occupants feel more comfortable and could even save you some money, as it may allow you to give your furnace a break.

In the hotter summer months, it may look like doing the opposite and introducing dehumidifiers into the mix. Drying out the air keeps your home from feeling clammy and uncomfortable, which is what exaggerates the heat. Just as you will have to fill a humidifier for it to be most effective, dehumidifiers will have to be emptied daily, depending on the size of the fill tank. If your home has serious humidity issues, it may worth connecting the dehumidifier to a drain.

How Home Layout Plays Into Temperature

Have you ever noticed that one room in your house feels too hot while another feels too cold and nothing you change on your thermostat ever makes a difference? This is incredibly common. No HVAC system is perfect and these imperfect beasts often struggle to keep all areas of the home at a consistent temperature.

There are many tricks in installation to combat this problem. However, there are still times where it simply is not enough. For instance, if a home features a southern-facing wall filled with windows and a northern-facing wall with only one small window, the two rooms will likely always be drastically different temperatures, regardless of their size or the number of registers and returns they have.

Windows are not the only factor regarding layout that can affect a home’s temperature. In fact, the position of rooms can also do this. An upstairs room will naturally trap more heat than a basement room because heat rises. In summer months especially, upstairs rooms in houses can become unbearable if the HVAC professional did not take proper measures to account for the room’s positioning. This can look like extra registers or entirely separate HVAC systems for different levels.

As you can see, the issue of determining the normal home temperature is quite complex. While comfort is a large part of the equation, there are many other aspects that you must consider. Maintaining a consistent temperature throughout the changing seasons is the best way to remain comfortable while caring for your home.

Related Questions

Should I turn off my thermostat when I’m away? 

It may seem like a good idea to turn your HVAC system off when you leave for a vacation or even a day of work. It will save you money, right? Wrong — sometimes. The answer to this question is a little bit complex and varies greatly from situation to situation.

In most situations, turning the HVAC system off is not recommended. Regardless of the season, turning the system completely off can have negative consequences on a home. In the winter, this could look like pipes freezing and bursting. This will cause thousands of dollars worth of property damage. In the summer, this could look like prolonged periods of excess humidity. This will wreak havoc on building materials and property, as well as encourage mold and mildew growth.

Turning the system completely off is not recommended. However, it is not unwise to adjust the temperature if you will be away for a while. Going on a summer trip? Feel free to bump the air conditioning up a few degrees. Visiting family for Christmas? There is no need to heat your home to 70 degrees if no one will be inside. Just be sure to keep the heat on to prevent pipes from freezing.

Why is my air conditioning not working?

There are a variety of reasons why your air conditioning could not be functioning properly, ranging from simple to complex. Before you make a call to a Tulsa HVAC repair service, check the simple possibilities yourself.

First, check your thermostat to make sure you have properly set it for your desired function. If cooling, the switch should be set to cool and auto. Make sure the thermostat is set at a temperature lower than the room’s temperature to ensure it comes on.

Next, check your return filter. A clogged return filter will cause major problems for an HVAC system, resulting in an inability to cool your house. This will likely lead to freezing over the system as a result. In some cases, you can clean or replace your filter and leave the system off for a day. Then turn it back on. Once you turn the system back on, it will likely have fixed itself.

If this is not the case, you must hire an HVAC repair service to take a look at the system. This way, you will have your system running quickly and ensure no further damage. Another common problem is air conditioning systems running out of refrigerant. When a system runs out of refrigerant, it will no longer be able to cool a house. A professional will need to refill the refrigerant for the system to work properly.

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Matt McWilliams
matt@mcwilliamsmedia.com

Hi there! My name is Matt and I write for Expert Home Report. I enjoy writing about everything related to home improvement, home tips and DIY. In my spare time, I'm either spending time with my family, doing a DIY project or learning a new skill.