Results: Indoor temperatures

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The big picture of how warm these homes are was not good!  Average temperatures in winter in living rooms and bedrooms didn’t meet the minimum temperatures recommended by the World Health Organisation for good health. 

Average evening temperatures in monitored homes were 17.79°C - ideally homes should be a minimum of 18°C and if you have young children, older adults, or sick people in the home, then 21°C is the recommended temperature. 

There were some very chilly homes in the study - with the average minimum evening temperatures recorded in the living room of 11.86°C and average minimum overnight temperatures of 8.2°C, and an average temperature of 14.43°C.  Temperatures of 12°C or under have been shown by researchers to seriously impact your health. 

A lucky 35%, however, did have evening temperatures greater than 18°C.  These homes were generally heated by a wood burner, a pellet burner, or a heat pump.  These systems are very efficient at heating and cost-effective for your budget - this is why Beacon recommends those heating methods.

Bedrooms were generally much colder than living rooms.  Less than 5% of homes had healthy temperatures overnight in their bedrooms.  Interestingly over 30% of people said they didn’t want to heat their bedrooms, but with the temperatures we have found in homes in the study, it’s something we have to strongly recommend.   

Time period

Minimum bedroom temperature

Average bedroom temperature













And if you live in the warm north, listen up!  On average, these houses were as cold as those in the deepest south.  

Perhaps not surprisingly, those homes which homeowners told us were hard to heat, were generally colder - reinforcing the fact that the problem is caused by poor housing condition (insulate, insulate, insulate, and get an efficient heating system).


Related Documents

  • 31-May-2010 (Report HR2420/13)

    HomeSmart Renovations: Householder Actions and Responses to Dwelling Performance (PDF 1.1MB)

    Kay Saville Smith, Ruth Fraser, Nikki Buckett, Michael Camilleri

    This report presents self-reported and monitored data from householders participating in the HomeSmart Renovation Project. It describes the profile of those householders, their perceptions of house condition, and their past, intended and actual renovations. It considers the profile of house performance of the subset of householders whose dwellings were monitored for temperature and the impact of renovations on electricity and water consumption.


Frozen dripping tap