How Fast Does Temperature Drop In House?

Since winter is the coldest season of the year, temperature drop in the house is a common problem. Areas prone to extremely low temperatures can drop the temperature of your house faster. But how fast can the temperature drop?

Generally, the temperature of your home can drop around 10°F every few hours without thermostats or an HVAC system. However, it depends on situations like power outages, poor insulation, broken or damaged thermostats, and outdoor temperature. In such a scenario having a backup is crucial.

This guide will help you know the average household temperature, the temperature drop speed during winters, and how to keep your house warm. It will keep you prepared for problems occurring in the future. So, continue reading to learn more. 

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What should be the average household temperature?

The temperature drop is the main issue during the winter season. 

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends having at least 64°F in the winter season. 

If the house has children and old people, then 70°F would be the average household temperature in the winter.

The temperature can change based on the situation. 

For example, some people like to have temperatures cooler than 64°F while sleeping.  

64°F no longer feels cool or comfortable under the blankets or warm clothes. 

In that case, you can go lower than 64°F during sleep time. 

Some people layer themselves with warm clothes like long hoodies, thick jackets, gloves, etc., inside their houses in winter. 

In that case, 64°F is not going to help. 

In that case, some people keep the household temperature around 45°F. 

It is the lowest temperature.

The recommended temperature when the house is vacant

While going out for a vacation, lowering the thermostat’s temperature is better to save money and energy. 

A recommended temperature during a short vacation would be around 55 to 60°F.

If you are off for a long vacation, keep the household temperature up to 50°F. 

Do not lower the temperature below 50°F. 

Otherwise, you have to witness busted pipes and water damage due to frozen pipes. 

50°F is the minimum. 

It would be best to keep the temperature between 55-60°F. 

How fast does the temperature drop in the house?

Winter is the coldest season of the year, and it is the time when the temperature will drop in the environment. 

Generally, the house temperature can drop to 10°F within a few hours if there is no heating device. 

People introduce thermostats and other heating devices to keep the house warm.

For example, suppose your house has temperatures around 75°F. 

In that case, it may fall to 64-65°F within 6-8 hours without a thermostat or other heating system.

The temperature can increase or decrease based on the situation of your house. 

For example, the temperature will decrease speedily after 8 hours of a power outage. 

It can start early if your house also lacks proper insulation or has a broken thermostat.

You can consider these situations as factors that determine the temperature drop rate of your house. They are:

  • Power outages
  • Poor insulation
  • Broken thermostat

Let’s talk about the factors in detail. 

Power outages in winter

If your house has any heating devices or systems, power outages can affect the household temperature. 

After a power outage in the winter, your house will stay warm for up to 8 hours. 

After 8 to 12 hours, the temperature of your house will start dropping and make your house cold within the next few hours. 

The temperature drop will slow down slightly if your house has good insulation. 

If you have bad insulation, your house is not good at retaining heat. As a result, the speed of temperature drop will increase.

  • You can combat the situation and continue to keep your house warm even after a power outage with the following methods:
  • You can wear multiple warm clothes to keep yourself warm. The multiple layers of clothes will keep you well-insulated and maintain body heat. 
  • Bundle yourself up in blankets to maintain your body heat. For a better heat-retaining technique, you can try emergency blankets during long power outages, like Swiss Safe Emergency Thermal Blankets. They will cost around $15.
  • Use wood-burning stoves and fireplaces to keep your house warm and comfortable. 
  • Close the unused doors to prevent the cold air from entering your house. It will keep your house well-insulated. 
  • Using camping gear like tents, sleeping bags, and winter coats is a great way to keep yourself warm. Many modern camping materials are available to keep you warm indoors and outdoors. 

Poor insulation

Poor insulation of the house can drop the temperature of your house.

The insulation of your house increases the heat flow resistance by filling up the blanks in your house with materials like foil, fiberglass, and other fibrous items. 

Insulation will reduce your house leaks and increase the heat’s ability to stay and flow throughout the entire house and remain trapped. 

Without insulation, the temperature can drop massively, especially during winter. 

The temperature may drop before 8 hours if there has been a long power outage. 

But if there is no power outage, the temperature will drop a few degrees every few hours unless the insulation is fixed. 

If the structural insulation of your house is not enough, there are some ways to fix the issue. 

You can try blocking the draft-prone areas, like the base of the windows and doors, with towels, blankets, or clothes. 

It will block the outside drafts from entering your house and trap the heat inside the house. 

Instead of using clothes or towels, you can also get a blocker for your door to block the draft areas. 

Try MAXTID Door Draft Blocker to block the drafts. 

These are adhesive-based installations, efficient, and also cheap, around $17.

It will block the outside cold drafts and prevent dust, sound, and water from entering your house. 

Broken thermostat

Honeywell Home RTH221B1039 1-Week Programmable Thermostat

A broken thermostat is another important reason behind the temperature drop in the entire house. 

A thermostat helps control your house’s heating and cooling systems. 

A thermostat helps keep your house warm and comfortable in the harsh winters. 

So, suppose the thermostat is broken or not working properly. 

In that case, the house temperature level will drop greatly, especially during the winter. 

The house temperature will drop the same way as during the power outage. 

After about 8 to 12 hours, the temperature will start dropping. 

You can fight this the same way you combat a power outage. 

If there is a problem with the thermostat, get a space heater for your home. 

You can plug the heaters into an electrical outlet and use it to heat a small part of your room. 

However, the heater won’t work if there is a power outage.

Try Portable Electric Space Heater

It comes with a thermostat and is more affordable than the other heaters, costing around $29. 

You can adjust the setting up to 158°F, and it also has built-in safety features to keep it from overheating and fire hazards.

Though space heaters can keep a small part of your house warm, it is not good for long-term use. 

You can use the heater temporarily. For the long term, a professional must fix your thermostat as soon as possible.

You turned off the heating system.

Sometimes, people consider keeping the heating system off. 

The temperature can drop based on the condition of your house. 

For example, you keep the heating system for 3 hours in the evening from 5 to 8 pm with a temperature of 64°F. 

Again you keep it on for 1 hour in the morning at 50-55°F. 

In such a case, the temperature may drop around 2 to 5°F at night. 

If your house insulation is fine, the temperature will drop around 2°F. 

But if the insulation is insufficient, your house might drop temperatures within 5-10°F.

What should you not do to warm up your house?

A few factors determine the temperature drop rate of your house. 

However, there are ways to combat the conditions. 

Sometimes, certain things can be quite tempting to bring back the house’s heat. But, it is best to avoid attempting such things. 

If you do not have any idea, you might commit those mistakes, especially when there is a power outage.

Here are the mistakes you must avoid to warm up your house. 

  • Do not run your cars inside the garage. You might feel excited about running the car’s heater, but it is a bad idea. Running the car in an unventilated garage can be dangerous as that will lead to the accumulation of carbon monoxide and explosions. 
  • Do not try using camp stoves, gas-fired patio heaters, charcoal grilles, or chimneys to warm up your house. These portable stoves, grilles, and heaters produce deadly carbon monoxide with heat. Running them outside can help escape the carbon monoxide freely in the open air, but indoors is not a good place for such devices.
  • Do not use any propane gas oven to warm up your house. It is good for cooking, but using it incorrectly to warm up the room can lead to serious fire hazards and kill your house with deadly carbon monoxide. 
  • Be sure to receive help as soon as possible. Contact your friends, family, and emergency personnel outside the power outage zone to get help. If the problem is with your insulation or thermostat, hire a professional to fix the problem soon. It is more important if you have children and old people with you. 

Other ways to keep your house warm

The power can go off in your area during heavy rains or storms. 

So, temperature drop will be a very common thing in that zone. 

Though I have shared many ways to combat the situation, there are a few more ways to make things comfortable:

  • Improve the insulation of your house if needed. 
  • Improve the ventilation for adequate airflow and humidity 
  • Install a whole-house generator
  • Also, get a backup battery or a rooftop solar array to power the furnace or heater with your own electricity. 

House heating tips during winters

Winter is when the temperature of your house can drop a bit, despite having power. 

So, you should know certain tips to keep your house warm and control the heating devices and thermostats. 

Know your thermostat

You must know your thermostat to control it whenever the temperature drops in winter. 

Please get to know the various functions and their meanings. 

Sometimes, the thermostat will have a higher or lower temperature than normal.

By knowing every feature of the device, you can control it and increase or decrease the temperature as per your need.

Make sure to keep the temperature of your room around 60-64°F. It should not be below 45-50°F.

Know when to increase the heat

Whenever the temperature of your house starts dropping, you feel cold. That is the time to increase the heat of your thermostat.

If you feel colder, increase the temperature more. 

The average room temperature of your house should always remain around 68 to 75°F. 

If the weather is too cold, you should increase the temperature to what you normally use. 

Make sure to have the right fuel tank.

Having the right fuel tank for your house’s heating systems is best. 

You must have enough fuel to warm up your house. It should neither be too much nor too less. 

If you run out of fuel, consider calling a professional for a full tank. 

Check for leakages

You must check for any leakages in the heating system, so ensure the fuel tank is properly full. 

If there is any leakage, your thermostat will lose fuel and stop working. 

Again your house will start dropping temperature after a few hours.

Call a professional if you run out of fuel due to leakages. 

Final thoughts

The temperature loss in your house depends on various situations and factors. 

If there is a power outage, your house will drop temperatures after 8 to 12 hours. It can drop around 10°F. 

If your house lacks or has poor insulation, the temperature may drop after 8 hours. 

If it gets accompanied by a power outage, the temperature will drop before 8 hours. 

A broken thermostat will have the same results as during a power outage. The combatting process is also the same. 

If your house is not warm enough, wear several warm clothes and blankets, buy a space heater, close the unused doors and windows, and add draft blockage to the doors and windows.

Refrain from doing any mistakes, like running cars inside the garage or using propane gas, camping stoves, charcoal grilles, or chimneys. 

It can be dangerous. 

Reference: Temperature Drop, Passive Solar Energy Efficient House, Residential Indoor Temperature Study.

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Arthur Smith

Howdy! I am Arthur Smith, an electrical engineer who is extremely passionate about electronics. I have lived in different parts of the US and currently reside in Wisconsin. I am one of those rare children who knew what he wanted to study and do in life right from the start. I was a curious child who wanted to know how switches work and how the AC works, and I would always observe my dad whenever he would handle the wires and fix things around the house. I currently work as an electrical engineer at a reputed company and write for this blog. And I read loads of books or play video games in my free time.

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