The Optimal Temperature for Your Space Heater: A Comprehensive Guide

When it comes to setting the temperature for your space heater, it’s crucial to strike the right balance between personal comfort, energy efficiency, and health considerations. This comprehensive guide will delve into the technical details and provide you with a playbook to ensure you’re getting the most out of your space heater while keeping your home cozy and your energy bills in check.

Understanding the Ideal Temperature Range

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the recommended ideal temperature for your thermostat during the winter months is 68°F (20°C). This temperature is suggested because it helps reduce the amount of energy needed to keep your home warm, which in turn minimizes heat loss and the rate of heat loss. By losing less hot air, your home stays warmer for longer, and your heater doesn’t have to work as hard.

However, if 68°F (20°C) feels too cold for your personal comfort, you can safely set your space heater to up to 72°F (22°C) and still enjoy a reasonable level of energy savings. It’s important to note that the ideal temperature range can vary depending on several factors, including:

  1. Household Composition: Individuals with different thermal preferences, such as women and men, may require slightly different temperature settings to feel comfortable. Additionally, the presence of young children, elderly individuals, or pets may necessitate adjustments to the ideal temperature range.

  2. Health Considerations: Maintaining a consistent indoor temperature is crucial for health and well-being. Keeping your home at 72°F (22°C) is generally considered the comfort temperature preferred by most people, but this may not be the most energy-efficient approach. Lowering the thermostat by 7-10°F (4-6°C) during the night or when no one is home can promote more restful sleep and reduce energy consumption.

  3. Seasonal and Weather Variations: The ideal temperature for your space heater may need to be adjusted based on the current season and weather conditions. For instance, during a particularly cold winter day, you may need to set the temperature higher to maintain a comfortable indoor environment. Conversely, on a mild winter day, you may be able to set the temperature lower and still feel comfortable.

Optimizing Energy Efficiency

what temperature should i set my space heater

Maintaining optimal thermostat control, especially during the winter months, is a crucial step in reducing heating and cooling costs. The use of supplemental heat sources, such as portable heaters, space heaters, and baseboard heaters, can significantly increase energy consumption if not used judiciously.

To maximize energy efficiency, consider the following strategies:

  1. Programmable Thermostats: Invest in a programmable thermostat that allows you to set different temperatures for different times of the day. For example, you can program the thermostat to lower the temperature when you’re away at work and increase it before you return home, ensuring your home is comfortable without wasting energy.

  2. Zonal Heating: If your home has multiple rooms or zones, consider using a space heater in the specific areas you occupy most, rather than heating the entire house. This targeted approach can help you save energy and money.

  3. Insulation and Air Sealing: Ensure your home is properly insulated and air-sealed to minimize heat loss. This can help reduce the overall energy demand on your space heater, allowing you to maintain a comfortable temperature with less energy consumption.

  4. Thermostat Placement: The location of your thermostat can also impact its ability to accurately measure and regulate the temperature in your home. Avoid placing the thermostat near drafts, direct sunlight, or other sources that could skew the temperature reading.

Factors to Consider for Specific Household Needs

When setting the temperature for your space heater, it’s essential to consider the unique needs of your household members:

Young Children and Elderly Individuals

  • Maintain a slightly higher temperature, around 72-74°F (22-23°C), to ensure their comfort and health.
  • Monitor for signs of overheating or cold stress, and adjust the temperature accordingly.
  • Ensure the space heater is placed in a safe location, out of reach of curious hands.


  • Consult with your veterinarian to determine the ideal temperature range for your furry friends.
  • Avoid setting the temperature too high or too low, as pets may be more sensitive to temperature changes.
  • Consider using a pet-safe space heater or placing the heater in a designated pet-friendly area.

Individuals with Specific Health Conditions

  • Consult with your healthcare provider to determine the optimal temperature range for your specific health needs.
  • Factors such as circulation, respiratory issues, or temperature sensitivity may require adjustments to the standard temperature recommendations.
  • Ensure the space heater is placed in a well-ventilated area and that the air quality is maintained.

By considering the unique needs of your household members, you can create a comfortable and safe environment while maximizing the efficiency of your space heater.


Setting the optimal temperature for your space heater is a delicate balance that requires considering personal comfort, energy efficiency, and health considerations. By following the guidelines outlined in this comprehensive guide, you can ensure your home stays cozy, your energy bills remain manageable, and the specific needs of your household members are met.

Remember, the ideal temperature for your space heater may vary depending on the season, weather conditions, and the unique requirements of your home and its occupants. Stay vigilant, make adjustments as needed, and enjoy the warmth and comfort of your space heater while maximizing energy savings.

U.S. Department of Energy – Thermostats
Trane – What Temperature Should I Set My Thermostat to in the Winter to Save Money?
Home Electrical – What Temperature Should My Heater Be Set to Keep Warm and Save Energy?
Reddit – What Temperature Do You Keep Your House At?