The present study investigated whether falls in environmental temperature increase morbidity from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Daily lung function and symptom data were collected over 12 months from 76 COPD patients living in East London and related to outdoor and bedroom temperature. Questionnaires were administered which asked primarily about the nature of night-time heating. A fall in outdoor or bedroom temperature was associated with increased frequency of exacerbation, and decline in lung function, irrespective of whether periods of exacerbation were excluded. Forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) and forced vital capacity (FVC) fell markedly by a median of 45 mL (95% percentile range: -113-229 mL) and 74 mL (-454-991 mL), respectively, between the warmest and coolest week of the study. The questionnaire revealed that 10% had bedrooms <13 degrees C for 25% of the year, possibly because only 21% heated their bedrooms and 48% kept their windows open in November. Temperature-related reduction in lung function, and increase in exacerbations may contribute to the high level of cold-related morbidity from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.