Heat or Not To Heat: Should You Heat Unused Rooms?

With winter settling in, homeowners are most likely concerned about keeping their homes warm and comfortable. One of the main debates is whether or not unused rooms should be heated. After all, why waste energy heating a room that no one’s using, right?

But before you go ahead and take the plunge, it’s essential to know if it’s a wise decision or not. In this article, we’ll answer the question, “should you heat unused rooms?” and explain the factors that come into play.

Comfort vs. Cost

When it comes to heating unused rooms, it all boils down to your comfort and cost. Most homeowners desire to keep their home at a comfortable temperature all year round, which raises the question, what about rooms no one’s using?

should you heat unused rooms
Should you heat unused rooms?

A clear distinction should be made between the comfort of the homeowner and the cost of heating the home. While the latter can be a considerable financial burden, the comfort of the family should take precedence. However, before you start heating every corner of your home, weigh the benefits against the cost.


The insulation of your home plays a significant role in determining whether unused rooms should be heated. If the insulation is poor, it’s a no-brainer that more heated air will escape, leaving you with cold rooms.

In contrast, if your home has good insulation, it’s likely that the heat will remain intact in the rooms you want to heat. Before you decide to heat an additional room, contact your local home insulation company to assess your insulation and improve it if necessary.

Smart Thermostats

A significant advancement in home heating technology is the smart thermostat. With this device, you can program your home’s heating systems to turn on and off based on when someone is present in specific rooms.

A smart thermostat can significantly reduce your energy bills by keeping unused rooms unheated and warm up the rooms you need to use. This state-of-the-art technology ensures that you don’t waste energy or money on heating unused rooms.

Personal Preferences

Do you have a guest room that hardly gets used? Or perhaps a home office that only sees use once or twice a week? If you’re someone that likes to use and rotate different rooms in your home, it’s understandable to keep them heated. It would be best to keep them heated to reduce the time it takes to warm them up when they are put to use.

Potential Damage to Property

It’s essential to keep in mind that not heating a room can result in property damage. Pipes can burst and floors can warp and deteriorate during the winter months. A burst pipe can result in significant material damage, and this can occur in a matter of hours. It’s wise to ensure that your pipes are adequately insulated to avoid them freezing and bursting, thus resulting in damage.

How to Keep Rooms Heated

If you choose to heat unused rooms, there are several tips and tricks you can use to ensure that they are maximally heated and comfortable. Some of these tips include:

  • Keep the doors to the rooms closed to trap the heat.
  • Do not place large objects or obstructions along the radiators
  • Ensure that the radiators and vents of the central heating system is clear to ensure full heat transfer, use air purifier in the room
  • Seal any drafts around windows and doors to help keep the heat in.


Heating unused rooms is a topic that requires careful consideration of financial and personal needs. The bottom line is that it comes down to what works for you and your family. Factors such as insulation, smart home technology, and personal preferences should be weighed against the cost of energy. Ensure that any room you decide to heat is appropriately insulated to avoid damage to your property. By applying some useful tips and tricks, unused rooms can also be kept heated to ensure maximum comfort and warmth. The decision is yours!

FAQs –

1. Does heating unused rooms save energy?

It depends on your home’s insulation and layout. In well-insulated homes, heating unused rooms may not result in significant energy savings. However, if your home has poor insulation or drafts, heating unused rooms can help maintain a consistent temperature throughout the house, reducing strain on your heating system and potentially saving energy.

2. Can heating unused rooms prevent damage to my home?

Yes, heating unused rooms can help prevent issues such as dampness, mold growth, and frozen pipes during cold weather. Maintaining a consistent temperature in all rooms can help protect your home from potential damage related to extreme temperature fluctuations.

3. How can I heat unused rooms efficiently?

To heat unused rooms efficiently, consider using a programmable thermostat or smart heating system that allows you to set different temperatures for each room. This way, you can maintain a lower temperature in unused rooms while keeping occupied areas comfortable.

4. Should I keep doors open or closed when heating unused rooms?

If you’re only heating unused rooms to prevent potential damage, it’s best to keep doors closed to minimize heat transfer between rooms. However, if you’re trying to maintain a consistent temperature throughout your home, leaving doors open can help circulate warm air more evenly.

5. What is the recommended temperature for unused rooms?

The ideal temperature for unused rooms may vary depending on your specific needs and preferences. However, a general recommendation is to maintain a temperature of around 50-60°F (10-15°C) to prevent freezing pipes, mold growth, and other issues related to cold temperatures.

6. Are there alternatives to heating unused rooms?

Yes, there are alternatives to heating unused rooms. You can improve insulation, seal drafts, or use space heaters when needed. Additionally, you can invest in smart heating systems or zone heating to control the temperature in specific areas of your home, allowing you to heat only the rooms you use most frequently.

By Ishan Crawford

Prior to the position, Ishan was senior vice president, strategy & development for Cumbernauld-media Company since April 2013. He joined the Company in 2004 and has served in several corporate developments, business development and strategic planning roles for three chief executives. During that time, he helped transform the Company from a traditional U.S. media conglomerate into a global digital subscription service, unified by the journalism and brand of Cumbernauld-media.

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