The Instituto para la Diversificación y Ahorro de la Energía (IDAE - Institute for the Diversification and Saving of Energy) is the State body that is responsible, amongst many other things, for raising awareness about energy efficiency. If you ask them what temperature your home should be, the answer is as follows:
- The ideal temperature for a home ranges between 20 and 21ºC during the day, and between 15 and 17ºC at night.
Take these as a reference point, and avoid the raging debate about where to set the thermostat. If someone is cold, they can put another layer on (better to throw on a jumper than throw money down the drain on wasted energy). If someone is hot, they can always take layers off.
One of the recommendations frequently issued by the IDAE is that the thermostat should be around 20-21ºC, but only when the property is occupied. At night, and when the house is empty, it is best to turn the temperature down.
Only if the bedroom is especially cold or poorly insulated should the heating be turned on at night. Even then, before making the decision, it is crucial that people check they have adequate nightwear, so are covered up, lower the blinds and draw the curtains.
We don't all feel temperature the same way
When it comes to the sensation of warmth or cold, we are not all created equal. Some are particularly "cold blooded", and are advised to wrap up warm but not adjust the thermostat; some are particularly warm blooded, and simply need to take layers off and drink more water to keep their temperature down.
Then there are babies. What is the ideal temperature for them?
Paediatricians recommend that the temperature of a baby's home range between 22º and 24ºC in the daytime, and between 18º and 20ºC at night.
With regard to air-con, specialists advise parents not to leave children directly in the path of the air flow.
There are other factors which can influence the way we feel heat. Generally speaking, though there are many exceptions, people with a higher volume of body fat feel the cold less strongly.