The most crucial sustainability etiquette rules to save on home heating costs. The proper practices to limit home heating’s footprint and bills.

What home heating etiquette is

Today, sustainability has a crucial role in our modern social etiquette. On many occasions, behaviors that can harm the environment are no longer accepted.

Home heating etiquette is the set of rules to properly heat our homes while limiting our consumption of utilities. Such rules help us avoid behaviors that may lead to waste and have a negative environmental impact. They include:

  • How to save on home heating by limiting our personal consumption.
  • The appropriate behaviors at home and in other venues.
  • The behaviors to avoid.

Everyone should follow home heating etiquette to save electricity, limit negative environmental impact, save money on utility bills, and avoid behaviors that may upset others.

rules to save on home heating and limit energy footprint

Home heating etiquette rules

1) Turn the heating off

Keep the heating off whenever possible. When no one is at home, you can switch the heating off. If the outside temperature allows it, lower the heating temperature or switch it off.

Consider buying a programmable thermostat to control the heating and avoid wasting resources.

2) Set the right heating temperature

Optimize the use of home heating. Never set it to extremely high temperatures. Home heating is made to bring relatively small, incremental improvements compared to the normal temperature. 

The home heating temperature should be between 18°C (64°F) and 20°C (68°F). Warmer values consume more electricity or natural gas. The warmer the home heating temperature, the higher the consumption of resources and the bills.

Furthermore, a too-warm temperature not only has a negative environmental footprint but can also pose threats to our health. Warmer temperatures increase the growth and spread of bacteria. Also, a change of 4°C (7°F) in home heating can lead to heat fatigue, disturbed sleep, skin conditions, and respiratory problems.

3) Lower the home heating temperature at night

When we sleep, our bodies need lower temperatures. A too-warm temperature can lead to disturbed sleep, insomnia, or night sweat. Thus, during the night, it is best to lower the temperature to between 15°C (59°F) and 18°C (64°F).

4) Take advantage of sunlight

During the day, keep the curtains open to allow the sunlight in. Even during the winter, direct sunlight can significantly contribute to warming up your home.

5) Insulate windows, keep doors closed, and use carpets

When the home heating is on, keep the windows closed. Otherwise, the cold air from the outside will come in and your house will disperse heat. This will make it harder to control the inside temperature and consume resources unnecessarily.

At any time, it is best to keep doors shut. It is easier to warm up the temperature in single rooms separately rather than in the house as a whole. Keeping doors closed limits air circulation and the dispersion of heat.

Furthermore, you can insulate your windows and doors to avoid dispersing heat. Covering the floors with carpet helps keep the house warmer.

6) Wear warmer clothes

Before turning the home heating on, make sure that you are appropriately dressed for the season.

Home heating consumes natural gas or electricity. Thus, it increases our environmental footprint and pollutes. It is perfectly appropriate to use home heating to warm our houses up and get some comfort. However, home heating is not intended to allow us to wear just a t-shirt during winter.

Apply the appropriate home heating etiquette to each place

Home heating etiquette with your guests

When you have guests, it is not appropriate to excessively limit home heating in your house. Instead, make sure that your house has a comfortable temperature in every room.

Home heating etiquette at someone else’s house

When you are at someone else’s house, respect the same rules that you follow at home. Avoid comments on the temperature, as you risk embarrassing your hosts. If the temperature is excessively warm, you can ask to open a window for a couple of minutes. If the house is too cold, it is acceptable to wear a scarf inside. Avoid wearing a winter coat, gloves, or hat inside the house, as it may offend your guests.

Heating etiquette at work or in the office

The temperature in the workplace should be set to a level that is comfortable for all coworkers. If the office is too cold, it is acceptable to wear a scarf inside. Avoid excessively warm temperatures, as they can pose health risks and affect concentration and productivity.

Heating etiquette in hotels, bed & breakfasts, and hostels

Some hotels, bed & breakfast, or hostels ask guests to help them save electricity or natural gas by limiting the room heating. If this is not an inconvenience to you, it is the best etiquette to comply with such recommendations. In any case, do not change your good habits.

home heating worst mistakes

Home heating etiquette: the worst mistakes

The Rude Index identifies and ranks negative behaviors. 

A high score (8-10) means that the behavior has the potential to trigger a conflict with others. A medium score (4-7) means that the behavior risks making you look inelegant and unsophisticated. Read more about the Rude Index and its methodology here.  

Avoid the worst home heating etiquette mistakes. 

  • 9/10. Wasting resources by dispersing heat.
  • 8/10. Keeping home heating on when it is not needed.
  • 7/10. Setting a too-high home heating temperature.
  • 7/10. Not wearing warm clothes.


  • National Renewable Energy Laboratory – Research: