Knowing the average home temperature for each season is important for a variety of reasons. Primarily, it’s helpful to establish seasonal benchmarks so you can identify potential opportunities to improve your home’s overall energy efficiency.
If you constantly find yourself adjusting the thermostat to get comfortable, it might be a sign that you have a problem. But what are the average home temperatures for winter and summer?
In this article, we’ll be exploring those averages and the various factors that can impact those numbers.
Average Home Temperature in the Winter
The average home temperature during winter is often debated. Both Popular Science and energy.gov recommend 68 degrees during the winter, but homes tend to hover over or under that mark.
This is because of factors like personal comfort, where you live, how your home is constructed, and how well you’ve insulated your home. Let’s take a look at some of these factors in detail to see how they affect your winter home temperatures.
Where you live is going to have a big effect on your home temperatures, as Floridians likely have warmer home temperatures than folks from Alaska.
With that being said, it’s important to recognize how climate and weather affect average state winter temperatures. If you live in a warmer climate, your home temperature will likely be higher, and vice versa.
The warmest U.S. winters are in Louisiana, Florida, and Hawaii. The average winter temperatures for these states range anywhere from 50 degrees Fahrenheit to up to 70 degrees. This is because of their proximity to either the coast or simply being in warmer southern climates.
Unsurprisingly, southern states like Texas and Georgia have average temperatures of about 45 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit. California also boasts a similar average winter temperature, at around 50 to 55 degrees.
Meanwhile, states like Minnesota and Alaska experience frigid winters, with average temperatures ranging anywhere from 10 to 0 degrees Fahrenheit. Many east coast and northwestern states hover in the 30 to 15-degree range as well.
All of this is to say that the average home temperature in some states will be much lower or higher when compared to others.
An average home in Alaska probably won’t crank its heaters to reach an internal temperature of 68 degrees because it will need to work significantly harder, thereby increasing the utility bill.
On the flip side, a home in Hawaii might keep its temperatures below that level given how warm it can get near the equator.
Outside of geography, individual homes can vary in home temperature simply due to how they are constructed.
One of the most important factors in home design as it relates to indoor temperatures is where your home is situated relative to the sun. For example, homes that face southward might have higher average temperatures since they’ll be in the sunshine longer.
Your home’s orientation can also cause fluctuations in average temperatures between rooms. Rooms that are in the center of the home or without windows might have lower temperatures due to lack of sun exposure.
As such, those fluctuations can affect your home temperature since some rooms will be warmer during the day than other rooms.
The amount of insulation you have also impacts your average home temperature. Because heat naturally flows to cooler parts of your home, having insulation to block that warmth from escaping can greatly affect your interior temperature.
Research shows that homes with insulation can save up to 15% on their energy costs, indicating that stabilizing home temperatures is possible through more insulation.
Homes with sufficient insulation can retain heat better, meaning they’ll have higher average winter home temperatures than poorly insulated homes. How much insulation a home has, and the quality of the insulation, ultimately affect average temperatures in the wintertime.
Time of Day and Occupancy
Save for the fact that we’re in a pandemic at the moment, most homeowners won’t be staying in their homes 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They’re also not going to be awake every hour of the day either.
When looking at winter home temperatures, we need to take into account the hours where homeowners aren’t at home or awake. Some homes might have smart thermostats that maintain temperatures when no one is awake or at home, but others might let their homes cool off during off-hours.
This can result in homes that are hovering around the 68-degree mark, or homes that are persistently colder because of these factors.
Average Home Temperature in the Summer
During the summer, many studies say the ideal indoor temperature averages at around 78 degrees. While this is certainly a good number to shoot for when keeping energy bills low, it doesn’t necessarily reflect actual average summer temperatures in the United States. It also might not meet your “comfort level”.
Just like in the winter, things like geography, home design, and insulation all affect average home temperatures and how homeowners use their AC units in the summer. Humidity is another key factor that’s exclusive to the summer months.
Let’s look at how these elements affect average home temperatures in the summertime.
As you’ve probably expected, average summer temperatures in the U.S. are practically the inverse of our previous discussion on average winter temperatures.
Northern states like Alaska, Washington, and Maine experience average temperatures of about 50 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Even a lot of east coast and midwest states like Vermont or Minnesota experience cooler summers averaging around 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
As expected, southern states such as Georgia and Alabama experience warmer summers whose averages top off at around 80 degrees. Texas and Florida have even hotter summers with average temperatures of about 80 to 85 degrees.
Not only will states like Alaska have an easier time controlling their home temperatures in the recommended 78-degree range, but there’s also a good chance that they won’t even keep them that high. Meanwhile, the hotter southern states will likely have higher average indoor temperatures due to their respective climates.
Things like local utility companies and reliable access to proper air conditioning can also depend on location. These factors can enhance or reduce a homeowner’s ability to cool their homes properly.
We mentioned how the direction your home is facing and where it’s built relative to the sun can affect winter temperatures. This holds true in the summer, as homes that are more exposed to the sun will likely experience higher indoor temperatures than others.
Homes with trees, shrubs, and other plants can also experience lower home temperatures. Not only will tall trees shade your windows and expose your rooms to less sunlight, but plants can also shade the ground and pavement around the home.
This reduces heat radiation and cools the air before the summer heat even reaches your walls and windows. As such, designing your homes around plants or near them can affect home temperatures in the summer.
Just as insulation keeps heat from escaping in the winter, the same materials can keep unwanted heat out of lower floors.
The sun tends to radiate heat onto your rooftop, which heats up your attic and subsequently makes the lower floors hotter. Depending on the type of insulation you choose, you can prevent that heat from entering the lower floors or from entering your attic altogether.
As such, homes with more insulation, particularly in the attic, will likely experience lower temperatures in the summer since they won’t have to crank their AC units as much.
Other than sunlight, humidity is a big factor in terms of what makes us feel warm in the summer.
Humans sweat to regulate body temperature, but since there’s already so much moisture in humid air, it takes longer for us to sweat in these conditions. This means more discomfort, and in many cases, hotter homes.
Heat index allows us to estimate how hot a room will feel relative to how hot it actually is. For example, 65% humidity in a 96 degree Fahrenheit room will make it feel like it’s about 121 degrees. This is what can make your attic feel so hot in the summer and why attic ventilation is key.
Therefore, humidity can elevate how people perceive how hot their homes are, and could very well affect their average indoor temperature.
Know Your Home’s Temperature
Regardless of the season, it’s important to regulate your home temperature to save energy and reduce your bills. Use this article to find out what causes your home temperature to fluctuate and incorporate it into your energy efficiency strategies.