I recently read a BlogHer post about a woman asking for advice on what to do because her husband keeps the thermostat set at 69 degrees. Here's a partial quote (You can read the entire article here.)
"He says 69 degrees is warm enough and that I should just put on a sweater and stop complaining. It's making me really resent him and wonder why he's not concerned about my comfort. What can I do?"Apparently this is a thing.
Especially when it came to the comments. They range from suck it up Buttercup to go behind this back and jack the heat to that's abusive! The comprise it to let the wife have her way.
Long time readers can guess I'm in the put on a sweater camp. I spent a year lowering my energy bills by 20% and worked from home with my programmable thermostat set to 58 degrees during the winter. I stayed warm by wearing an extra layer that included a sweater and was lucky enough I handle the cold because my computer processor puts out enough heat to act as a space heater under my desk. During the project I researched and still use the 5 unusual ways I stay warm in a cold house because I am one of those perpetually cold people. I hate being cold.
Now that both Husband and I both work from home, we have our daytime heat set to 68 degrees (F) and programmed to lower to 62 degrees (F) at night when we are asleep. I am wearing one layer - a sweater - and I am perfectly warm. That is our compromise and it is working well for us.
However, going outside in the snow is another matter entirely! Lacey hates wearing a sweater too but during the Polar Vortex, she wore one outside to protect her from the -23 (F) wind chill factor. Dressing for the weather may be inconvenient, but it is smart.
Are you sure dogs running the Iditarod wear this kind of get up? I feel silly.
Frankly, I think our house is toasty warm and wonderful at 68. My skin and scalp isn't dry and itchy either. I'm loving this!
I don't think 69 degrees is a hardship, if you are dressed appropriately. Heck, Energy Star suggests you keep your heater set to 68 degrees to save on energy costs, so they are one degree warmer than that.
Personally, I think this woman should investigate why she thinks her house is cold at 69 degrees than getting a bunch of strangers to gang up on her spouse.
Six Things to Check if You Have a Thermostat War
- Are you wearing weather appropriate clothing? Long sleeves or a sweater can go a long way in cold weather.
- Have you checked your house for and sealed air leaks? Learn how I check for and seal air leaks around windows, doors, and sink pipes here. Even my new build home had air leaks (especially under our sinks.) Sealing them was cheap, easy and made a difference.
- Have you insulated your light switches and electrical wall outlets? Light switches and electrical outlets can leak air too. Learn how I insulate outlets and switches here.
- Is the furnace working properly? When was the last time they changed the filter? Are there air leaks in their heating ducts? All of these things can keep your furnace from properly heating your home. Learn how I sealed my furnace ducts and made my furnace work for efficiently here.
- Consider warming a South facing room with free passive solar heat. Learn how I warm a room with free heat heat here. Did I mention, it works during gray days and is FREE?
- And finally, is there a dietary or medical issue that makes you feel so cold? Keep a food diary for a couple of weeks and show it to your medical professional during a check up.
I guess what surprised the most was the number of comments suggesting this woman is completely right, her husband is completely wrong and the "compromise" is to sneak around and jack the heat behind his back. That doesn't sound like a compromise to me.
What do you think? What would you do?