Keeping the Heat at a Cool 66 | Seventh Generation
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Keeping the Heat at a Cool 66

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133 comments
Author: abbybrooks

"It's too cold at your house," my mother said recently when I invited her over for dinner.

We keep our heat at 66 degrees…is that too cold? I keep the thermostat low primarily to save money, but I also feel good about saving energy. What I do not feel good about is making people uncomfortable in my home. But then I remembered what my parents were wearing last time they visited. My father (from New Hampshire) was in short sleeves and my mom wore a lightweight top -- in January! If I wore short sleeves around the house I would be cold too, so no wonder!

Still, my mom's comment made me think. I started to really notice the things we do in our house to compensate for the lower heat setting. We often wear double socks to keep feet warm, and sweatshirts and heavy pants are the norm. The beds are each draped with a couple of blankets. I don't think these things are extreme, just seasonally appropriate.

Here's where I netted out: I am going to buy some extra sweatshirts and slippers to keep by the door for visitors.

Do you turn the thermostat down in your house?

photo: midnightcomm

133
Comments

humorous2me picture
humorous2me
12/07/11
My friends that stay over know that I am slightly hotter natured than they are. Therefore, they pack warm pj's (no silky lingerie or short sleeves here) and I wear lighter pj's. That being said, if they are cold, then the heat goes up (assuming they are "properly attired"). If they forgot warm pj's, I happily loan out sock and sweatshirts/pants. In the end...the guests must be comfy.
ewittenb picture
ewittenb
12/06/11
How long do your parents visit? I would think their comfort is worth the few extra cents/dollars and whatever mythical carbon footprint increase. I am totally for keeping the thermostat down - we keep ours at 58 in the night, 64 when home, 62 during the day when not at home. We turn it up to 66-68 when guests come over and I keep a basket of slippers handy too. People are ALWAYS more important than green ideology. If we're too preachy/strident about our ideals, we tend to turn people off to them altogether. It's not unlike religious zealotry. (I am a Christian and I care about the environment and am quite diligent about not wasting energy (and I'll gladly discuss either with people who want to, but I've learned that getting preachy or holier than thou about it does NOT help!)
sue picture
sue
11/16/11
We keep our house set at 68 in the winter. We do this to save money and energy. My parents think it's freezing in our house (they keep their thermostat set around 75 which I'm usually roasting in their house). My in-laws on the other hand keep it closer to 66 in their house. No matter what, not everyone will be comfortable. I think our bodies have adjusted to the temperature in our home so we don't think much of it until someone comes over and says they're cold. This is not to say I don't get cold, but that's what blankets are for (and my snuggie!)!
cturner22 picture
cturner22
11/05/11
My parents (who live in West Virginia) keep the thermostat between 66 and 70 in the winter months. When I visit around Christmas, I'm dressed in thick socks, thick pants, and 1-2 layers of long-sleeved tops, depending. I can curl up on the sofa with a blanket over me and STILL feel cold (some days feel chillier than others), so I don't see how you can reasonably excuse your lack of manners as a host by blaming it on your parents' choice of clothing. Setting aside extra sweatshirts and slippers for guests, instead of raising the thermostat temporarily while they're there, is just plain tacky. Don't insult your guests by expecting them to be uncomfortable just to satisfy your "green" sensibilities.
ADEspitia picture
ADEspitia
11/04/11
I would say keep your house at whatever works for your family, budget, environmental conscience or whatever factor goes into setting your own thermostat. It isn't saving much environmentally (if that's your purpose in lowering the temp) by wearing extra clothes as your washer consumes both water and power. I would also say, when we have company we don't expect them to adapt to the ways of our household. If they are cold, then I will turn up the heat for my relatives.
Maddy1 picture
Maddy1
11/04/11
I want to be comfortable in my home; I’m not going to bundle up in layers for clothing inside my home. Barefoot, shorts and T’s is how I like to be dressed in the house all year round, so I keep the house between 70 – 72 day and night. When my parents are here I will turn it up to 75 if that make them comfortable. I guess I have more respect for my parent then you do for yours, I would never want my parents to feel hot or cold in my house. I know what they keep there home at and adjust my thermostat accordingly for them.
Pam picture
Pam
11/04/11
I live in upstate New York and it gets darn cold during the winter here. However, I try really hard to be eco-conscious and save money, so we only heat the house to 66 when we're home. At night we drop it down to 54, and 60 during the day while we're at work (for the dogs). I don't think there's anything wrong with putting an extra blanket on the bed, wearing slippers and extra sweatshirts, and (my favorite) snuggling up under a fleece blanket while hanging out on the couch. I will turn the heat up if I feel so cold that I don't feel like I can get warm. Yet, just one degree sometime makes enough of a difference! I feel guilty when I turn it up, but comfort also counts. I like your idea of providing an extra layer to visitors who aren't dressed warmly enough. I'm going to keep that in mind! :)
CreativeOne picture
CreativeOne
11/04/11
We keep it at 58 degrees at night and during the day when we are at work and school, at 3 pm the programmable thermometer goes up to 65 and then back down again at 11pm (our bedtime). On weekends it is programmed for 62 all day and still 58 at night. When my 85 year old in laws visit I turn the heat to what ever they want, they have lived a long life and I honor them with a comfortable home. I would rather suck it up at 60 degrees the rest of the week than to have them uncomfortable for a minute. They did their time on this earth with sacrifice and pain (raising my hubby was enough trouble)and now they deserve nothing but comfort!
KatB picture
KatB
11/04/11
I live in up state NY, it can get pretty cold and blustery here, my home is rather comfortable and fairly small, fits the two of us perfect. I keep my heat on 71 during the day and 69 at night. I do wear layers to stay warm. We have gas heat, our bill is on what is called a budget, we pay the same each month year round, and a make up bill at the end of the year, it gets adjusted every three months. Last year they owed me money. I pay an average 130.00 a month, the secret is we stopped using an air conditioner in the summer, I use to owe them about 300 at the end of the year, which was far more expansive than heat. As for company and their comfort, most of my friends keep their heat anywhere between 55-65,five friends of mine, ladies, get together every other Monday for a pot luck lunch and good conversation, in the summer we rotate homes, but in the winter they all come to my house...hummm...maybe to get warm? At their homes they all dress like their out doors, not my idea of comfort. I wouldn't ask anyone to wear extra, or be uncomfortable, to come to my house, but then that's me, and I guess I am luck my bill is affordable for comfort. I think too is that our home isn't large and we take extra steps to keep out the drafts and cold.
wvwoman picture
wvwoman
11/04/11
I know why your parents were dressed that way: because most places are VERY overheated in the winter! I think JesseP is right...please read her comments ("A Mom.." and "Has everyone missed the real agenda here?") and take them to heart.
Debbie picture
Debbie
11/04/11
We live in an older and drafty doublewide. I hope to insulate before next winter. We will do what we can this winter. I do use insulated curtains. Durning the day, I keep the heat set at 65 and turn it down to 55 at night. We use extra blankets on the beds. We dont wear shoes in the house but do use warm slippers in the winter. We also wear sweaters/sweat shirts/flannel shirts/fleece shirts and warm boot socks. The cooler temps don't bother us or or kids. Debbie
Yvonne picture
Yvonne
11/04/11
Last winter was the first time in years I actually was able to control my heating. I live in NYC and moved to my apartment in spring 2010 where I can control my heating. My old apartment I could not control my heating and the place was sweltering in the winter, we would usually walk around in tank tops in the middle of January it was so hot. So last winter I had to start adjusting mine and my children's bodies to cooler temps. After my landlord, who is a rather grumpy old woman, would send my some rather nasty worded texts about the heating bill I started lowering the temp. Not that I had it at 80 or anything, I kept it at 70 all the time. I don't have a programmable thermostat so I have to manually adjust it on a scale which make exact temperatures impossible. I have been trying to keep the temp at 68 during the day but need to lower it at night. We had a rather warm October so the heat only came on a few times, more so last week when we had the freak snowstorm than any other time all month. I am unemployed so I am home all day, but I have been layering my clothes to stay warm. I know it is really cold when my walking furnace of a boyfriend says it is cold. I know my family will complain but they don't have to deal with the landlord. I would rather keep the temp down than get nasty texts from the grumpy landlord. Being unemployed I need to stay on her good side.
ansarhalisi picture
ansarhalisi
11/04/11
Who knew we could save money by having a mouse in the house? A mouse is in our floor vent. This is confirmed by our 3 cats. We have a 6 month old baby who is now cold. We have to bundle her up. It's been anywhere from 61-65 degrees without the heat on. It's in the upper 30's at night. I think I'd feel very comfortable at 66! Mouse traps are set (sad face). We need the heat, so I've been baking cookies on really cold nights and keeping the drapes open when the sun shines :)
rosamatias picture
rosamatias
11/04/11
The whole point of having a heating system is to stay comfortable through the winter. Our last place, a big huge drafty house with wood floors my idiot roommate thought that 62 degrees was enough. My children and I where always sick. Of course when he wasn't home I crank that thing back to 70. I had since made some diet changes, didn't realize at the time my hypoglycemia was keeping me internally cold but when we moved to a much smaller carpeted apartment ironically our thermostat isn't much higher than 60. Because we are an upstairs unit and heat rises, we are benefiting from our neighbors downstairs for sure because we hadn't even turned on the heat here till about two weeks ago because now the cold is getting intolerable. Either way it works but my philosophy: If I cannot walk comfortably nude around my house it is too cold. I should not have to wear extra socks, sweaters, a mound of blankets. You're at home, that's insane. Relax a little.
Alexandra picture
Alexandra
11/04/11
Here in Austin, temperatures below 70 degrees outside are considered sweater weather. Our heat is usually set around 72 for the 6 weeks a year that it needs to be on. Our real energy costs and environmental concerns involve the air conditioner - 3 straight months of 100+ degree weather makes 78 degrees indoors feel balmy.
brandchan picture
brandchan
11/04/11
I generally sent my heat to 55 when I'm not home and around 60 to 65 when I am home. Even then I don't like turning it up that high. Turing on my heat nearly quadruples my electric bill. I've called the apartment office and ask and I've called the electric company but no one can tell me if that is normal. The electric company just sent me a packet on how to save on electricity but I was already doing everything in the packet. I'm also the kind of person who would rather be hot them cold so it drives me nuts.
kelly picture
kelly
11/04/11
We also keep it cool, I like my bedroom at 60-62 in winter and summer! If my Mom is coming over I will turn up the heat, she gets cold even with layers. I think it is a comfort thing, you should be comfortable in your own home, but you also have to be able to afford it.
Steffykins picture
Steffykins
10/07/11
I keep the heat set at 65 in the winter, but it gets turned up when guests come over. Mind you, my immediate family members who come over a few times a week are not "guests!" My heating bill would skyrocket. And we have an understanding--they don't turn the heat up when I visit them, either :)
sicily32 picture
sicily32
02/08/11
So we use it as little as possible. We live in an apartment complex and management has been out to check the vents and ducts twice to make sure there wasn't any kind of a dangerous gas leak. They can't figure out the source of the odor (a vague chlorine-ish smell) but it's forced us to keep the heater and A/C off as much as we can. We turn the heat up to 60 degrees in the winter (it can get pretty cold here in Colorado and pipes freeze easily) but we try to leave it off entirely in the summer. Saves money and energy for sure, and we're pretty comfortable most of the time. But we're definitely strong-armed into it. ;)
jasmindoula picture
jasmindoula
02/01/11
We have a programable thermostat which goes down to 64 and up to 66 (in the evening after dinner) It then goes back down to 64 when we go to sleep. Although I teach yoga outside the home, I also work from home on my paperwork, etc. If I am at home when the temp is at 64, I put on a hoodie and my ballet slippers. When my 13 year old son comes home from school, he runs around with a short-sleeved T-shirt on not even phased if it's too cold or not. When we have company over they complain about how cold it is so I crank it up to 68 for them. If it's company that frequents our house often, I remind them to wear a hoodie and bring their slippers because no outside shoes in our house!
tcrlady picture
tcrlady
02/01/11
I make it a point to close all closets and put a rag rug under the door to prevent drafts from closets that are on an outside wall. This makes a big difference as you're not paying to heat or cool your storage space. I moved from a cottage where there was no HVAC system-- only a gas heater so I had to use fans and carefully decide when to use the heat. My roommate hated the adjustments and hassles, but using an electric blanket on the mattress was fine for me in the winter. I now live in a slightly larger house with blinds and curtains (to let in sunlight or block it out in the summer) and when I'm baking or cooking, I let the heat out from the oven to blow into the rest of the house. We keep our thermostat at 67-68 when we're home in the winter, 62 at night and 60 when we're out. The doggies haven't complained, but they do nest in the pillows! I housesat for a family who kept it at 82 in the summer-- and I thought I'd die! When you learn to use fans, dress for the weather, and stay hydrated, your body actually adjusts to the temperature so when you're in an over-cooled place like a movie theater or grocery store, you get too cold!
Fops picture
Fops
01/31/11
I may be crazy, but I sure am not paying for a DTE bill higher than $250!! It's set at 61F while we are at work and while we're sleeping. It's set at 64F when we wake up and when we're at home. My husband is sometimes cold because of this, but we have blankets and each other :P Also, we have a fairly well insulated home (new windows) so, it's not so bad. And we're about to install a radiant floor system for our basement.
obelwood picture
obelwood
01/31/11
I agree with Sammitch, 66 outside would be bikini weather for all of the "too cold" complainers. My mother-in-law keeps her home 66 in the summer and 76 in the winter. That mindset makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.
StephMac picture
StephMac
01/31/11
We have a timer, so when we are not around Monday through Friday-school hours we are at 58.... Night time 50 degrees! If we are off schedule...say a child is home sick, we just turn up, and it resets itself at the next scheduled time. It is great! I am home today, and it is reading 62, so I just turned up the thermostat from from 58 to 64. We have two children 11 and 14, we kept it a little warmer than now when they were little(68). They always seemed to be sick less often than most of thier peers, not claiming that it was because we kept it cooler, just that it did not seem to do them any harm. I have to say when the White House (Bush was president) announced a few years ago that they were turning their thermostat down to 72, like it was a major sacrifice. I admit I rolled my eyse a bit.
laurelb picture
laurelb
01/30/11
I think I only read one comment that addressed the real question about making guests comfortable. I keep my house at 66 degrees but when my elderly parents are coming over, I turn it up to 70 degrees. They always wear sweaters but they can't handle 66 degrees. I want them to enjoy visiting me and it doesn't cost much to turn up the heat for a few hours. Personally, I'm grossed out by the thought of having to put on a sweatshirt that the host gives out to all the guests. I'm allergic to fragrance so I would want to know if the host washed it in fragrance free detergent and did the guests before me have fragrance sprayed on their clothes. If the host washes the sweatshirts after each guest, a lot of water is being wasted - just turn the heat up for a few hours. My guess is that if you keep your temperatures way down and freeze your guests, you won't have to worry about it - they will take care of the problem and turn down your invitations!
JesseP picture
JesseP
01/29/11
I've carried children within my body. Slept with babies on my chest. I've kissed boo boos and mended broken hearts. I've been puked on, peed on, and spent sleepless nights in the rocking chair, but now my child is grown and can't be bothered to turn up the temperature when I visit...
taraalex picture
taraalex
01/29/11
My husband and I are hearty souls and we prefer to keep our home rather cool in the winter. We wear fleece pants & tops and socks and slippers. I don't see where we should feel entitled to walk around in shorts and tank tops when it's winter. To us that's a total waste of energy. We keep the thermostat at 55F degrees at night and 60F degrees during the day. If we have guests over for dinner we normally turn up the temperature to 64F and remind them to bring sweaters and slippers. Living in Montana, people are already dialed in to wearing warm clothing. This frugality saves us a bunch of $$ on our bill and we think we're less prone to sickness in winter.
PianoMommy picture
PianoMommy
01/29/11
We live in New York where the winters can get cold. Before we had children we kept the heat at 62. When our first little one came along we started keeping the heat at 64. We find that we stay comfortable during the day and the kids have no trouble keeping warm. Its winter, so I just know to keep everyone dressed warmly and we will be just fine!
Lori Cassin picture
Lori Cassin
01/29/11
We keep ours at 65 days, 62 nights. Kids wear sweaters and don't complain, no dust for allergies blowing about. Did notice when kids come home from playing at other homes, they cpmplain that their friends homes were too hot!!
amahel picture
amahel
01/29/11
My husband and I live in Central Minnesota, and it's been single digits/below 0F here a bit more this year than previous year (or at least it feels like it). We keep our house at 70/71, down at night to about 68 That's fine for both of us, but he's in tshirts & pants and I'm in sweatpants, sweater and slippers, all the while dragging my heated throw around with me. Our house is older, with windows that are quite drafty; I've covered most of them with thermal curtains, but I think more drastic weatherizing will be necessary next year. My perspective is that I refuse to be shivering in my home, but dressing for summer when it's winter is wasteful. When we have guests over, everyone seems comfortable. Personally, I feel that you should always consider your guests' preferences. They are visiting you, and should be comfortable or they may not want to come back! Find a compromise--Turn it up a few degrees for them, and when they're gone turn it back down to your liking.
crackedjar picture
crackedjar
01/29/11
I commented before, but reading the comments made me want to comment again. Someone mentioned people wearing shorts and t-shirts outside if it is 66 degrees. Not me! I can't wear shorts unless it's almost 80 degrees. If it's below 70 degrees my ears start to hurt and they will hurt for hours after I come in. Also, someone mentioned that our bodies adapt. Mine doesn't seem to, unfortunately. And, when I am cold, I cannot force myself to get up and do anything. I'm stuck under a blanket with a heater blowing on me. I would most definitely make it comfortable for whoever is visiting me, though, and I would suffer, not them. Audrey
Debra Nelson picture
Debra Nelson
01/28/11
We live in the middle of Minnesota. Last week, we were waking up to temperatures ranging from -15 to -25 below 0!!! But, no matter how cold it gets, we keep our thermostat at 66 degrees, and we are very comfortable. My daughters wear t-shirts and summer p.j.s... But, my husband and I opt for jeans and sweatshirts, and flannel pajamas. At night, we have a sheet, a blanket and a comforter on each of our beds, and are toasty warm. But, we also have 2 cats and a dog that snuggle in with a couple of us. I do turn up the thermostat a bit when I have my frozen friends come over. But, most visitors think our house feels fine. We have a gas fireplace in the living room that we have on a thermostat, as well (66 degrees). The fireplace keeps the living room and kitchen warm, which is where we spend most of our time. I feel better being a little on the cool side, but not cold. When we come in from outside, 66 actually can feel too warm. So, keep up the good work, my fellow 66'ers.
amysinis picture
amysinis
01/28/11
I am laughing at everyone here with an opinion about what is too warm or too cold for others. People are naturally all different temperatures themselves, and are thus comfortable at all different air temps too. I have a very petite sister-in-law who is almost always as warm as a furnace to the touch, whereas I am usually a lot chillier and she is thus often asking me to stick my cold hands on the back of her neck to cool her off. To each his own... That said, I have taken heed of the green advice to try to go down a degree, and this year we went from 68 down to 67 degrees when we're here, 63 when we're sleeping or at work (to keep the kitties warm). Some days/evenings when we feel an extra chill, we may go back to 68 for a bit. And yes, in the winter, we always have on what we call "bunny pajamas" and fuzzy, thick socks on also :-)
1artsychick picture
1artsychick
01/28/11
We keep our thermostat around 65, sometimes it will seem like we are just so cold we'll raise it a degree or two and all of a sudden we think it's way too hot in here. We're comfy in sweat pants and long sleeves. Sometimes I add a sweater. But really, I'm comfy, I think it's silly to wear shorts and short sleeves inside when it's freezing outside. If I needed to let the dog out or answer the front door I'd freeze. People do seem to think we keep our house too hot in the summer. But we're comfy. We do sometimes make it a little cooler in here when we have guests in the summer, but for us, we just adapt. I bought sheets that keep you cooler. They are great. It's just a waste of money and energy to not adapt your thermostat to the weather. It's not cold in your house, sweaters are cozy.
rahcards picture
rahcards
01/28/11
We have people with chronic illnesses in our home and we have the thermostat on 75-76 degrees. It may seem wasteful to some, but it keeps at least two of us functional, whereas 66 would have us hospitalized, lol!
rahcards picture
rahcards
01/28/11
We have people with chronic illnesses in our home and we have the thermostat on 75-76 degrees. It may seem wasteful to some, but it keeps at least two of us functional, whereas 66 would have us hospitalized, lol!
neiferone picture
neiferone
01/28/11
Am I the only one who turns the heat up when guests come over? I have the thermostat set regularly at 62, except for an hour in the mornings - it goes up to 68 so we don't catch a chill after our showers. I have blankets on every sofa, chair and couch - not just for aesthetics (though they are all pretty) but to use when you are sitting and reading or watching TV. I even have a Snugli, which I LOVE. But when I know company is coming over (or when they arrive unexpectedly, I will raise the heat to 68 so they don't freeze. It automatically drops back down to 62 at 6pm or 10pm, whichever comes first. And when my cousin and her little ones stay, I set the thermostat to hold at 67 for the entire weekend. My programmable thermostat saves me a ton of money, and saves tons of wasted oil. It's a win-win. :)
moresunshine picture
moresunshine
01/28/11
We live in Rochester, NY. Unfortunately when your landlord heats the apartment with an old-school oil furnace... choices are limited! It is both financially and environmentally abominable to keep it any higher than 60, so we layer up, collect the cats, and focus on spring coming soon! Our one concession: a strategically placed efficient electric space heater in the bedroom and livingroom. It works!
jkhovan picture
jkhovan
01/28/11
We live in MD and in the winter we keep it at 58 when gone and 64 when home. Because we have little kids, we keep it at 64 at night as well. It's winter so wearing the sweater is fine for us. We kept it low because we had old windows and at 64 it would cycle every 5 minutes! We just replaced our big windows with Thompson Creek and it now cycles at 64 every 30 minutes. I can't wait to replace the rest of the house. Think of all the $$$ I would save!!! In the summer we keep it at 82 when gone and 80 when home.
jaymg picture
jaymg
01/28/11
What I am curious about is why so many keep their homes so warm at night while they're sleeping and "under the blankets" anyway? In past years, I kept the house at 64 most days when we were around, this year its 66-68. We live in northern Wisconsin At 9pm the programable thermostat reduces the temp to 54. We're warm under the blankets, the cats sleep above them. Everyone seems to be happy, although I admit, it's a bit brisk in the wee hours if you have to get up...
veggiegrrrl picture
veggiegrrrl
01/28/11
I am a person who truly cannot stand winter (in NW Ohio), but I rarely turn my thermostat above about 62. Yes, it's still kind of chilly, but I find that if I just move around more, I'm not cold, and if I'm just sitting, I grab a hoodie or a blanket. For the bedroom, I just pile blankets on the bed and actually turn the heat off before I go to bed. I'd much rather add layers than pay a higher utility bill :)
cellbioprof picture
cellbioprof
01/28/11
We keep our thermostat at 65F when we are at home and awake, and 60F when we go to bed or are out of the house. In addition, we recently purchased an EPA-certified high-efficiency woodstove, so when that is burning we turn the thermostat back to 60F and the gas furnace doesn't run at all (plus, the hot air rises and does a much better job of warming our bedroom than the gas furnace!). We have warm fuzzy slippers and a warm throw on EVERY chair and sofa in the house. Now we are both physically and ETHICALLY comfortable at these temperatures.
artfulgal picture
artfulgal
01/28/11
I love the comments! I too have a programable thermostat and how easy is that! One less thing to remember. I do wear my fleece during the day, except when I am vacuming and then it all comes off - too hot! At night it goes down to 58 and I eopen my window a few inches, hunkerdown under my flannel sheets and down comforter, with the cold air in my face - I LOVE it (but then I also like winter camping)! I don't see the logic behind wearing short sleeves and shorts in the winter. It's winter! for gosh sakes. Now it does help that I live in NC,and it doesn't stay cold for too long, but we still get cold weather and 64 is 64 no matter where you live. In the summer the AC doesn't go on til it gets 80+ in the house. But then we usually have to contend with the humidity as much as the heat. Those ceiling fans sure work well then. I would rather spend my money on something other than heating and cooling my house.
shabbypink123 picture
shabbypink123
01/28/11
Seriously, living in South Florida, when the temps drop below 60 degrees, my hands and feet turn numb with cold. I'm all about being green, but I refuse to make my family unconfortable in the process. During the winter cold snaps, the heat is set no lower than 72. And in the summer the a/c is set on 75. This is my limit. I'm not going to sweat to death or freeze in my own home. How much time does your mother spend at your house? A couple of hours here and there? Can't you just turn the heat up a couple of degrees, for a couple of hours, in consideration of your mother?
brownin31 picture
brownin31
01/28/11
I feel we all have a duty to our planet and eachother to be mindful of how we use our heat and air conditioning. We are so lucky to have these amenities and should be thoughtful in our use. We have become very selfish in our privileged use of water, heat and cooling, amongst other things. It does not hurt anyone to put on an extra layer or blanket on when home or shorts in the summer. Imagine living somewhere you did not have these options? The next time you are going towards your thermostat, to make a move, please go in the responsible direction. Love our planet and eachother. Honor you energy use. Your children and grandchildren will thank you for it later. Go 66!
tamdoll picture
tamdoll
01/28/11
I keep my NH house around 65 most of the time. I have the thermostat automatically programmed to get it up to around 67 in the early morning and for a short time in the evening when everyone's showering. Sometimes if I'm having company I'll warm it up, too (if there are comments) - but often, with the oven on, the house tends to warm up even more. I agree with the comments - just bundle up a little in the house! Slippers, a cozy vest or blankets on the couch do the trick.
cville16 picture
cville16
01/28/11
I agree with 1potato2. 66 is toasty! We have heat pumps so we try to minimize the times when the inefficient auxiliary heat kicks in. We turn our thermostat down to 55 at night while we're sleeping. Then if it's below freezing outside during the day, we keep the temp at 58-59. The highest we'll go during the winter is 62. Perhaps if our house were smaller and newer (ours is 33 years old, 3800 s.f.), I wouldn't feel as guilty about turning up the thermostat and its impact on the environment. We dress in layers to keep warm, but it is winter after all. I think it's a crime to keep one's house so warm as to be able walk around in shorts and tee shirt inside when it's freezing outside!
tarris7 picture
tarris7
01/28/11
As "Posted by smalc | Thu, Jan. 27, 2011" said, "you really can't compare directly." I agree completely. What type of heating system you have, the level of efficiency it is at, the size of the rooms and how many windows and what direction the wind may blow all create variables. Each family or person must decide what is comfortable for them, how well they can reduce the use of natural resources, and be okay with that. My parents home was toasty warm at 62 degrees and oil heat, new furnace with 92% efficiency and two heating zones and protected by dense trees. Our home with a 20 year old gas boiler running at 70% efficiency, west wind and need for more insulation is very cold at 67 degrees. And yes, we are working towards those goals of boiler replacement and additional insulation, but it is a long expensive process.
1potato2 picture
1potato2
01/28/11
We lived in Japan six years (with infants/small children in the house) so we know something about cold houses!! Houses in Tokyo do not have central heating. They do have those nice quilted kimono style jackets for wearing in the house in Japan. I remember coming home and seeing our breath inside the house in the winter! Anyway, anyone who says they have to turn the temp. up due to having babies/children in the house--I can tell you children are the most impervious to feeling cold temperatures, because their metabolisms are so active (that is, unless they're spending too many hours playing with electronic devices). Adults feel it much more than children! If it's a small baby you're worried about, there are quilted sleepers, etc. you can bundle babies up in. People do it all over the world. In many countries, cold indoor temperatures are just a fact of life--people don't have the choice, so they don't give it any thought. Our problem here is that we have central heating, which gives us a choice. However, just because you CAN do something, doesn't mean you SHOULD!! After coming back from Japan, we were so toughened to the cold that I refused to go back to wasteful American ways, and I have kept our winter thermostat at 60 in the day, 52 at night ever since, here in northern IL. After a year or so I did start to get complaints from my husband and children, because they were spending their days in 70 degree environments, which was weakening their resistance to cold! We have a nice Vermont Castings gas stove in our family room though, which we use copiously to keep that area warm. You will often find our teenagers stretched out by the stove doing their homework, reading or texting. Otherwise, you can be sure they'd each be isolated up in their respective rooms most of the time. This way, we have a little togetherness. It also saves us a huge amount of money, compared to heating the whole house up. It doesn't take long for your body to adapt to the cold. I feel like I burn more calories this way, which is an added plus. When guests come, we turn it up a bit. As long as you offer a sweater/blanket/slippers or one area which is warm (gas stove, etc.), I think you are fulfilling your duty to your guests. In bed, I don't know why anyone needs to have the furnace come on at all. We set ours at 52, which means the furnace stays off all night. We have heavy quilts from Japan. I'm sure down comforters, etc. are just as effective. If I feel cold while sleeping, I adjust by keeping my socks on, or adding an extra blanket. Our bodies have a wonderful capacity to adapt, if given a chance. The more we pamper ourselves, the more we lose that capacity and the more restricted we become. I feel the same about A/C in the summer. People lived and continue to live without it in climates far more severe than ours up until just a few decades ago. A/C makes me feel like a prisoner in my house--I want to live with my windows open in the summer.
dsjones picture
dsjones
01/28/11
Per our boiler technician, he said it is best and more efficient to run the boiler at 62 degrees in the winter. Yes, it is winter and it is cold. We dress for winter, not summer. I don't understand running around the house in short sleeves and shorts in winter. I dress appropriately for the seasons. Because of rising heating costs, our oil bill is still high. We have an old house with energy efficient windows and new doors. Sometimes when the temps get into the single digits we use our wood stove and maybe turn the heat up a few notches. Eventually, I acclimate to the changing temps and when Spring time comes and it's 35 to 40 degrees, it feels like we're having a heat wave.
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