Thermostat Question
January 15, 2017 8:10 AM   Subscribe

Spousal difference regarding thermostat. I run cold, wife runs hot. Her argument is that you can always layer. Fair enough, but I find myself needing to pile on sweaters in the middle of summer. Our two kids (5 & 8) are also usually cold inside the house. The thermostat is usually set to 65 degrees. Does 65 degrees year round seem unusually cold in the context of human beings living in a climate controlled house? Household thermometer is currently 62.5 (located in a different room that thermostat).
posted by leotrotsky to Human Relations (98 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
62.5° is cold enough that (where I live) your landlord would get in trouble...

It's not an insane preference, but it is definitely colder than normal, especially for a daytime temperature. (Lots of people turn their thermostat down to 65°-ish at night)
posted by goodbyewaffles at 8:13 AM on January 15, 2017 [22 favorites]


My mother is like this, somehow convinced my father to be, and yes, growing up I was that kid telling my friends to bring sweatshirts with them if they came over to my house in the middle of the summer.

So, yes, this is a thing some people do.

Can you win on the energy consumption argument? Cooling a house below about 72 degrees in the summer is a pretty egregious use of energy if you have a standard continental US hot summer, so your energy bills are probably ridiculous and also you're killing the Earth. If you install ceiling fans, does that help? My mom is way more willing to be in a warmer room if the air is at least moving over her.
posted by olinerd at 8:16 AM on January 15, 2017 [15 favorites]


Around here (central EU), 70F (21C) is government-mandated minimum for offices.
posted by gakiko at 8:16 AM on January 15, 2017 [3 favorites]


We run our temps between 73 and 75 year round. 62.5 would be unlivable.
posted by Splunge at 8:17 AM on January 15, 2017 [7 favorites]


We kept the house at like 63 in the winter when we lived in a super uninsulated house and our gas bill was insanity. We hated ever living minute of it and that was one of the main reasons we sold it.
Ive seen typical heat be between 68-72 degrees, which sounds about right. We bring it down to 65 at night for sleeping.
She is running so hot year round (I'm taking it that she sets the ac at 63ish too?) that I almost want to ask if she needs to see a doctor.
posted by zara at 8:18 AM on January 15, 2017 [15 favorites]


UK guidance on home heating suggests a comfortable level is 21C (~70F) in the main room of the house and no less than 18C (~65F) in the rest of the house, so your house is a little chilly.
posted by biffa at 8:18 AM on January 15, 2017 [2 favorites]


In Orlando with a ceiling fan, FWIW.
posted by Splunge at 8:19 AM on January 15, 2017


65° is fine for winter, but crazy ridiculous COLD for summer. Nobody needs their air conditioning set that low, unless you have fuel money to burn!
posted by BostonTerrier at 8:23 AM on January 15, 2017 [24 favorites]


I am more like your wife, and have had problems with roommates who want the temperature in the mid-to-high 70s all the time, which results in me sweating so much I begin to get dehydrated. As a compromise, at just above 70, I keep fans handy all year and that helps me to deal with it. (So that seems like a counterargument to the layering thing, albeit a non-energy-efficient counterargument.)

Also in the summer I'll use a window air conditioner to get a lower temperature in just one well-insulated room, where I spend most of my time.
posted by XMLicious at 8:24 AM on January 15, 2017 [1 favorite]


I'm a woman who runs very hot and lives in an oven. I don't know if it's too cold, but I think this is definitely below compromise temperature.
posted by Room 641-A at 8:24 AM on January 15, 2017 [6 favorites]


I find it difficult to do tasks that require fine motor skills, like typing, at 65 and lower.

Is there any way you can create a couple warmer rooms for you and the kids? Sometimes there are flaps (I forget the real name) in the venting that can help direct the flow of heat. You can maybe get around this with some hvac help.
posted by Kalmya at 8:25 AM on January 15, 2017 [14 favorites]


Or space heaters.
posted by Kalmya at 8:26 AM on January 15, 2017


Is it possible that a medication of hers is making her extra hot? Maybe a visit to the doc is in order?
posted by Room 641-A at 8:27 AM on January 15, 2017 [13 favorites]


65 degrees is cold to me. My rule is that a house shouldn't be cooled to the point where, if one were outside, one would put on an extra layer.
posted by kimberussell at 8:29 AM on January 15, 2017


In Canada, my experience is the generally agreed upon room temperature is a nice even 20°C. That converts to 68°F. I personally run cold all the friggen time and prefer 21-22/70-72, but having a nice round number that everyone basically agrees to has been good for these types of arguments.

62.5°F is 17°C. Thats crazy talk unless it's winter and you're not running the heat enough for whatever reason.
posted by cgg at 8:30 AM on January 15, 2017 [2 favorites]


My sister keeps it at 16.5C = 61.7F, yes it's freezing, they love it. They also do a lot of winter outdoor sports (Canada), from what I gather this makes you run hot. We sit at 69-70 ourselves (California).
posted by St. Peepsburg at 8:31 AM on January 15, 2017 [1 favorite]


65 is the lowest I'll put it in winter--that's what I set it at right before bed, when we'll all be under duvets for 8 hours. Normal winter thermostat setting is 68-70.

In summer, I'll cool to around 72-74, maybe a tad lower at night.

62 would not be livable for me in winter (I might be willing to compromise at 66, with optional space heater pointed at me or heating blanket). And cooling to that in summer? What are your electric bills like?!
posted by soren_lorensen at 8:36 AM on January 15, 2017 [3 favorites]


I agree that temperature seems impossibly energy inefficient in summer and uncomfortably cool year round, but whenever I see these questions about what is normal AND it involves people living together I think this is less about the former and more about the latter. In other words, this is more a personal relations question.

Why is your partner so reluctant to compromise on this matter? I like the house warmer, my partner likes the house cooler, and well, we compromise. Is your partner compromising at all? If 65 degrees is their compromise, then woo boy, I do think there needs to be a discussion about how miserable everyone else is feeling and yes, maybe a discussion about other options, like space heaters and medical appointments. I think your partner needs to bring something to the table other than "more layers."
posted by dawg-proud at 8:37 AM on January 15, 2017 [30 favorites]


That's insanely cold. I also have trouble with fine motor skills at that temp, and no matter how many layers I wear I'm still uncomfortable.

I'm not totally sure why everyone in the family has to be uncomfortable except for her.
posted by schadenfrau at 8:39 AM on January 15, 2017 [21 favorites]


I think we keep our house about 67F in the winter, but that's in part because the house we're renting is a bit of an old shitbox that's not properly insulated. I'm fine with 65, in part because buying/wearing clothes is more economical in the medium to long term than pissing away money on heating. I tend to run hot, though, and so hate Hate HATE summers when I'm always uncomfortable and moist. I don't keep the house that cool in the summer because I'm cheap and it's just not necessary (there needn't be a 20-degree differential between in- and outside temps). For me 65 would be in the lower end of the acceptable range.
posted by Emperor SnooKloze at 8:39 AM on January 15, 2017


Just a data point, we keep our house at 63 degrees during the day and 52 at night, although I do turn it up to 67 when we have guests because I acknowledge that's pretty cold.
posted by carolr at 8:42 AM on January 15, 2017 [6 favorites]


A lot of cold soaks in from the floor; a quality Smartwool type of sock and the better down slippers/booties might be the thing. I'm of cold feet myself; all my winter shoeing gets a three layer Spenco (might need a larger shoe). Baselayers for the top; and if its really chilly; a sock that goes to past the calf does more than imagined to keep the feet warm. All the modern stuff insulates without the traditional bulk of cotton. Sierra Trading Post, Campmoor, backcountry gear, etc; good places to start and half of local retail.
Good luck with the spouse. :/
posted by buzzman at 8:43 AM on January 15, 2017 [1 favorite]


Generally speaking, Mr. Kouti is you and I am your wife, but in winter [New England], we keep the heat at 68-70 while home and awake, 64 when asleep. We supplement with a space heater in the living room aimed at his spot on the couch, but agree we need to at least be wearing long sleeves and socks before turning it on.

Our bedroom is the least-insulated room in the house (when the thermostat says 64, it's maybe 58), so we supplement with extra blankets on his side of the bed and bean bag warmers/hot water bottles.

[In summer, we aim our window air conditioner directly at my spot on the couch, and set it to 74-76 while home and awake. I run a small fan at night aimed at me.]
posted by Pandora Kouti at 8:43 AM on January 15, 2017 [3 favorites]


We keep our thermostat around 63 in the winter. (We don't have central AC.)

A question: are different rooms in your house warmer or cooler? We have an old, old house and at 63 some rooms are fine and others are freezing. I spend most of my time in a naturally warm room; my housemate has a cold room and uses a space heater when it gets too chilly. Is your household experience at all modulated by where you spend your time?

Also, does your wife do most of the cooking/tidying/etc? I am a much more active person than my housemates and find our house warmer just because I'm moving. For this reason, I feel that I get a little more temperature control, since I'm the one who cleans most, etc.

Being too hot, though, is horrible. I've lived in very cold housing where I wore a light coat indoors all the time, and it's much better than being too hot, not least because you can't sleep when you're too hot but you can pile on blankets when it's cold. I think that keeping the house at the warmest she can handle (presumably warmer than it is now) might be best - you can layer a bit, anyway.
posted by Frowner at 8:53 AM on January 15, 2017 [4 favorites]


So this seems much less a right-wrong thing than a compromise thing, which you can do either by finding a temperature that nobody likes but nobody hates or by finding something that the other person gets for leaving the thermostat at a temperature they don't prefer.

But just as a counterpoint, it doesn't seem nuts to me. We keep our house around 60-61 in winter, so right now the upstairs bedroom is 58 and the room I'm in is 63. It's fuckin' awesome. I get to wear sweatpants and slipper socks (llbean, so I guess I'll have to find a replacement) and a sweater and use a blanket -- you know, like a human -- instead of flopping around mostly-naked and sweating like animals, and we have a heated mattress pad upstairs so we can have warm cozy bodies breathing lovely cool air. Fuckin' awesome. I would do this all the damn year if it that weren't so expensive.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:02 AM on January 15, 2017 [5 favorites]


It's obvious that personal preferences and local differences play a role here, but let me say this: if there's even the tiniest bit of air movement, let's say away from the windows or from colder outer walls or suchlike, this seems too cold for me. I would have it around 68 during the summer and 70 in the winter (or up to 72 if it's really cold outside).
Fwiw I'm usually the one running hot. So what? T shirts in the winter. Win-win.
posted by Namlit at 9:04 AM on January 15, 2017


It is miserable being too cold in your own home all the time. And 3 miserable cold people vs one miserable hot person still means that the hot person has to wear shorts and points a fan at themselves and uses less blankets at night as opposed to everybody else having to wear coats and scarfs and have space heaters pointed at them. Clearly wearing socks, slippers, long sleeved layers and a jumper in the house in winter is reasonable and established practice in parts with severe winters. But if that is not enough insulation indoors the thermostat is too low, at least in the rooms where people spend most of their time.
posted by koahiatamadl at 9:10 AM on January 15, 2017 [6 favorites]


It seems like you need to focus less on the thermostat and more on the temperature in the various rooms? Also it's worth teasing out if this is a money-saving thing or purely a comfort thing. Like is she literally too hot if the thermostat is at 68 or does she just get anxious about money stuff?

I live in Vermont and I keep my winter thermostat set to 65 in the winter during the day and 55 at night when I'm under all the blankets. However, I also have a mattress pad warmer on the bed and on the very coldest days I'll get into bed early and read. And I am also a renter and my landlord would have some trouble if I couldn't heat the place to (I think?) 65 in some way.

Other strategies can include having a room with a space heater that is warmer or a room with a window cracked (and NOT the thermostat) which is colder. I grew up in a drafty house with a penny pinching anxious parent who would prefer that we were saving some arbitrary money than being comfortable. That's the wrong message to send to your kids, that their comfort doesn't matter.

Obviously people should be dressed appropriately for the season, but if the kids are dressed appropriately and they're still cold, either your sending the message that mom's comfort is more important than them, or that money is more important than them (which it might be if you're well and truly broke, but otherwise dont send this message) or that saving the planet is more important than them (again, this is maybe how you feel, but be clear that's the message). In any of these conditions, some outside the box thinking to help the kids warm up is necessary here, whether it's turning up the thermostat, insulating the house, setting up space heaters or something.
posted by jessamyn at 9:10 AM on January 15, 2017 [9 favorites]


There would not be enough blankets in the Western Hemisphere for me to spend my time in a 65 degree house.
posted by jacquilynne at 9:27 AM on January 15, 2017 [18 favorites]


68 Winter and 72 summer.

Fwiw, I think the outside temperature matters. We had a cabin in the Adirondacks. When it would literally be -5F outside, the cabin being 62 was plenty. You come inside and think, wow!
posted by AugustWest at 9:32 AM on January 15, 2017 [3 favorites]


Her argument is that you can always layer.

My argument is that there's one of her and three of you, and three people each setting the thermostat to 70° each time they walk past it is easier than one person trying to crank it back down, and oh dear is the aircon on the fritz again? I'll get right on that, uh huh.
posted by flabdablet at 9:35 AM on January 15, 2017 [2 favorites]


Her argument is that you can always layer.

Also, I'm six foot tall and I live in a world designed by midgets. Every working surface is six inches too low. Therefore, all benches, sinks, tables, handbasins etc. shall henceforth be raised six inches. Because hey, all those short people can just work on a box, right?

Have you considered smarter HVAC that's capable of maintaining multiple temperature zones?
posted by flabdablet at 9:39 AM on January 15, 2017 [11 favorites]


Setting aside environmental concerns and cost, I agree this does need to change - for your kids. I would not enjoy living like this as an adult, but I can layer and use a space heater (or de-layer and use a fan, for your wife). But if the children are miserable/uncomfortable they need to be made comfortable, and adult solutions may not work well for them. Layering, sure - but they don't want to spend all day playing or huddled in front of a small heater, right? Children have very little say over their environment, and this seems quite unfair to them.

Is there a way to adapt a room for your wife? Giving her the basement as her own work space, say, or buying some strong fans. Or if she is burning up heat running around, taking on additional chores or childcare when she needs a cool spot for a few hours. There should be some room for compromise here. I do hear her argument - it's easier to get warmer than get colder within a certain temperature band - but that level of cold seems outside of a normal temperature band.
posted by hapaxes.legomenon at 9:43 AM on January 15, 2017 [9 favorites]


65 at night in the winter (maybe 62-64); 68-70 in the daytime. Summer is about 70-72 in the day and 68 at night probably with a fan going also.
posted by Medieval Maven at 9:47 AM on January 15, 2017


I am a lizard that would live in the tropics on a heated rock if I could. I am also cheap, and grew up in a cheap household (think 58 because oil heat is very expensive).

I keep my house at 68 in the winter and sit miserably in sweatsuits and socks and blankets, but run 78 in the summer. I'm in SE NC though, and summer temps routinely reach mid-to high-90s with extra humidity, so dry 78 can feel refreshing, especially with ceiling fans.

65 is too cold.
posted by sara is disenchanted at 9:49 AM on January 15, 2017 [1 favorite]


I just did the Fahrenheit to Celsius conversion, and IIRC, 62.5 F was the temp in one of my classrooms once--building services had to fix it because it was considered unacceptably cold from a health and safety POV.

I run warm too, and I sympathize to an extent with your wife, but there's a limit. 65 is not a compromise. I think 68 is considered the miminum for comfortable daytime room temp where I live. Personally I like it cooler at night, maybe 65.

But no, 65 is not normal or reasonable for a daytime temp setting and not a good compromise, especially not with little kids.

Has your wife seen a doctor?
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 10:01 AM on January 15, 2017 [7 favorites]


I try to keep my condo at 70F in the winter (in the cold part of Canada) and 72F in the summer. I'm a weirdo, though; think it's common for most people up here - particularly those who live in large, expensive-to-heat homes - to keep their indoor temperatures in the mid-60s in winter.

Virtually everyone I've lived with other than my family has preferred low-60s indoor temperatures, and one of the major stumbling blocks for me is that no amount of layering changed the fact that my hands were too cold to comfortably do any fine motor tasks like typing or crafting. While I did end up wearing fingerless gloves indoors >75% of the time, this was a big drag on my quality of life and I ultimately tried to spend as little waking time at home during the winter as possible.

Our workaround was for me to spend my free time in a bedroom with a space heater, and to sleep with a toque - the person who's always warm usually tends to win this battle. Spending a lot of time apart because of temperature issues certainly did some damage to our relationship, but some temperature preferences are just spaced too far apart for a better compromise.
posted by blerghamot at 10:05 AM on January 15, 2017 [2 favorites]


65 is too cold in my house; we set the thermostat between 68-70F and I still wear wool socks, long sleeves and a fleece jacket all the time. It's noticeably cold to me at 65 (I turn up the heat).

This is even when it's quite cold outside (e.g., right now it's about -30F).

We don't air condition in the summer, so I can't help there.
posted by leahwrenn at 10:08 AM on January 15, 2017 [1 favorite]


I'm curious to know how your wife dresses at these temperatures. Even when it's cooler outside I basically live in tank tops in my place. While you and the kids add layers, is she also removing them?
posted by Room 641-A at 10:12 AM on January 15, 2017 [4 favorites]


Does your wife want your children to remember their early years as miserable and without comfort? Because this will do it.
posted by cyndigo at 10:12 AM on January 15, 2017 [18 favorites]


Where I live, if I rent an apartment and the temperature is under 70F, the landlord is legally liable for fines. So yes 65F is incredibly unbelievably unreasonably cold, even by the legal standards of freezing Canada.
posted by Jairus at 10:19 AM on January 15, 2017 [1 favorite]


Ultimately, I think that a compromise temperature is important. But I do want to put a little pressure on the "above 65 is needed for health and safety reasons" line - that's extremely culturally dependent.

I worked in Shanghai for a while, and due to limits on power production at the time, most buildings in Shanghai were not really heated. Shanghai dips down to just around freezing overnight very occasionally in the winter. From about November to April, I was cold all the time that I was not literally in bed, and indoor temperatures were usually between 40 (at the coldest in January) and 50. My Chinese colleagues and students were also cold. But I noticed that what we each found "warm enough" differed widely. My students and colleagues were "warm enough" once indoor temperatures were above about 55 because they had grown up with those temperatures. My expectations for "warm enough" were permanently reset to about 63 after that year. I also taught, graded, etc in rooms that were close to outdoor temperatures - so really fucking cold.

I'm not saying that we should all virtuously push our margins of comfort as low as possible (I am a big fan of my window unit AC even though I've lived many summers without it, going nuts from the heat). I am saying that "this is dangerous" is a misunderstanding, and so is "no one can function well below 63".
posted by Frowner at 10:21 AM on January 15, 2017 [14 favorites]


16.9°C?? holy batman i would move out. no joke. for reference, here in finland that temp isn't considered kosher. like your place should be 69.8° to 71.6° F according to finnish law -- sorry if i'm butchering your fahrenheit thingies..suuch a weird one!

it's totally unfair for three out of four to be hella miserable. all. the. time. for serious. you're supposed to bundle up like michelin men around the house?? maybe you should. like shuffle around wearing beanies and mittens, wrapped up in blankets like burritos. maybe she'll get the message.

tell her to hang out in shorts if she's hot.
or get her thyroid checked (might be an overactive one).
or head over to an ayurvedic doc and get her pitta balanced out. not even kidding – i would hippify the fook out of her diet.
posted by speakeasy at 10:28 AM on January 15, 2017 [10 favorites]


This debate was settled in my household when the always-hot member (a woman in her mid-thirties) was diagnosed with Graves' disease and began treatment.
posted by Tentacle of Trust at 10:29 AM on January 15, 2017 [18 favorites]


65 during the day is far too cool for most people if they're not moving around a bunch and dressed in more layers than seems reasonable for inside. 65 is not a compromise; it's where the bargaining on the cold end would begin for most people who run super-hot (your bargaining would start at 75 and you'd end at 70 like civilized people who enjoy modern conveniences). I'd be ok, like, vacuuming in a hoodie in warm socks at that temp but really unhappy sitting around and having a meal in the same outfit. It is not fine that 3/4 of the people in the house are miserable all the time.

When the heat is on we keep our house at 70 when I'm home as a compromise (I would prefer it at about 72; husband works weird hours, is often around during the day and likes it 68 or so, so we set the thermostat to start heating things up in time for my usual arrival at home). At night we let it drop it to 60 because he likse to sleep cold and I don't mind using a lot of blankets on my half of the bed. If I minded we'd probably end up at 65 overnight.
posted by charmedimsure at 10:38 AM on January 15, 2017 [2 favorites]


These responses are really interesting. Our thermostat is usually set at 62 when we are awake and 59 at night. We generally wear sweatshirts and such. It seems strange (to me!) to expect NOT to wear these things when it's winter where we live. 68 seems extravagant and 70 insane.
posted by pintapicasso at 10:43 AM on January 15, 2017 [18 favorites]


That said though, the important thing is that you and your kids want the thermostat higher. 3 against 1, majority rules.
posted by pintapicasso at 10:43 AM on January 15, 2017


I'm like your wife. My adult daughter, who lives with me, is like you. I would be comfortable if the temp stayed in the 64-65 degree range, but that makes her miserable, so the thermostat is never set lower than 68.

I wouldn't dream of doing otherwise.

(And everyone knows that 62.5 is well below what most people consider comfortable.)
posted by she's not there at 10:44 AM on January 15, 2017 [1 favorite]


It seems strange (to me!) to expect NOT to wear these things when it's winter where we live. 68 seems extravagant and 70 insane.

You do realize that people are still often wearing a lot of layers when it's 68-70 indoors, right?
posted by blerghamot at 10:48 AM on January 15, 2017 [9 favorites]


I'm sitting at my kitchen table in sweatpants with a T and a sweatshirt on top, the thermometer a foot above my head and 6" behind reads 50 F, and I am comfortable.

There's something a bit wrong with me when it comes to temperature, but mild cold appears to be quite good for people in general:
"Our research points to a simple and practical brown fat activating and growing strategy in humans through temperature exposure modulation. We show that long-term minimal manipulation of overnight ambient temperature -- well within the range found in climate-controlled buildings -- was able to modulate brown fat activity in humans. Mild cold exposure stimulated brown fat activity while mild warm exposure suppressed it. Brown fat increase was accompanied by improvement in insulin sensitivity and energy burning rate after food," said Paul Lee, MD, PhD, former research fellow at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
. . .
"The improvement in insulin sensitivity accompanying brown fat gain may open new avenues in the treatment of impaired glucose metabolism in the future. On the other hand, the reduction in mild cold exposure from widespread central heating in contemporary society may impair brown fat function and may be a hidden contributor to obesity and metabolic disorders," Lee said.

posted by jamjam at 10:48 AM on January 15, 2017 [3 favorites]


I'm comfortable at 72-74 in the winter, and 77-79 in the summer. I run cold. If my spouse insisted we had to keep the thermostat levels you're talking about, that would be dealbreaker territory for me, I'd be considering divorce. Being comfortable in your house is pretty fucking important. She needs to compromise here.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 10:48 AM on January 15, 2017 [4 favorites]


In elementary school I told my teacher that my parents kept the house at 60 degrees, and she flatly refused to believe me. But they did!

As an adult I set the thermostat to 62 in the winter daytime and 55 or 57 at night. I own a lot of afghans and a velvet coat for wearing over sweaters, and turn the heat up for company.

But in the summertime I feel ridiculously decadent for turning the AC down to 78.
posted by yarntheory at 10:49 AM on January 15, 2017


  1. When you say "I find myself needing to pile on sweaters in the middle of summer...The thermostat is usually set to 65 degrees." does that mean the thermostat is set to 65F even in summer?
  2. What clothes and activity level does she find comfortable at 65F?
  3. Has she discussed this with a doctor?
I started off sympathetic to your wife, because I'm sitting in a 67F room wearing a shirt and underwear (and also a thin hat, but I'm bald). However, in the summer I can tolerate up to 90F (lying very still and drinking copiously) whereas it sounds like in the summer your wife can tolerate...up to 65F. That seems abnormal.
posted by d. z. wang at 10:53 AM on January 15, 2017 [1 favorite]


If my husband set the thermostat at 62.5 he wouldn't be my husband anymore, mostly because it would be obvious that he didn't give a shit about anyone's comfort but his own and partly on the outside chance that I might have actually frozen to death.
posted by lydhre at 10:58 AM on January 15, 2017 [35 favorites]


It is hard for me to be productive at home below 68 degrees. I would literally not be able to do anything except sit on the couch on a sweatshirt under a blanket drinking hot tea at 65 degrees. The only solution I can see isnto set up your own study/personal space and put a space heater there, so you have someplace to stay when you want to be warm and get work done at home.
posted by deanc at 11:00 AM on January 15, 2017 [1 favorite]


As a data point, we live in Chicago and keep the thermostat at 65 during the winter and at 72 during the summer, day and night. Our house is really old, so during the winter it's probably below 65 in some rooms and above 65 in others, like yours. I would say this is on the cool end of comfortable for me during the day, particularly if I'm sitting still, but not too bad. When we were dating, Mr. Cimton used to keep his apartment at 58 during the day during the winter and that was way too cold for me!

But, as most other people are saying, it's difficult to come up with an objective standard, and having an objective standard doesn't keep you and your kids warm! I think this is certainly a situation where the preference of the majority should be the deciding factor. Could you compromise on a warmer daytime temperature and turn down the thermostat overnight? Apparently I run hot compared to a lot of people here, and while I could certainly tolerate 70-75 degrees fahrenheit inside during the winter during the day, I would really struggle to sleep at a temperature at the upper end of that scale.

On preview: I'm not saying that your wife has a medical condition that is causing this (see Mr. Cimton's bizarre preferences above) but my parents struggled over the thermostat for a couple of years when I was a kid--my mom was too hot all the time!--and this stopped when she was diagnosed with and treated for Grave's disease.
posted by cimton at 11:03 AM on January 15, 2017 [2 favorites]


My family of origin kept the house so cold that my sister and I called it The Meat Locker instead of Home. It was horrible. 30 years later, I still feel like I can never get warm enough. I live in an uninsulated, unheated cottage in San Diego and my little gas fireplace is raging during our 50's/60's winter.

The thing of it is, being cold in your home is very alienating. You cannot draw happiness from being home, you don't feel that homey nurtured feeling. Everyone should feel sheltered by their home. When you're ridiculously cold, you don't even feel sheltered, you feel like there's no there there. It sucks. Please, beg her to stop for the sake of your kids if not you. This is an unbearably unhealthy environment emotionally, even if it isn't physically dangerous.
posted by The Noble Goofy Elk at 11:06 AM on January 15, 2017 [45 favorites]


As someone with reynaud's syndrome, I would barely be able to use my fingers at that temp. I honestly have never known anyone to keep their house temp below the 68-72 range. In the summer it makes even less sense to keep the temp so low.

But it really doesn't matter even if it is safe/healthy/normal, your wife isn't taking into account your need for a comfortable environment that suits your body. She has to be more reasonable. Forcing someone to live under piles of sweaters just isn't fair, especially since it's far more uncommon to need the house that cold. The fact that 2 growing kids are feeling cold is also a good indicator that this isn't okay. Kid's needs come first. Would it be possible to turn up the temp but then get her a good fan for cooling her personal space?

Also, if she literally cannot tolerate it any hotter, getting her health checked is the next step. High body fat percentage,grave's disease, early signs of menopause, or thyroid imbalance can cause a warped sense of temperature/overheating.
posted by InkDrinker at 11:10 AM on January 15, 2017 [3 favorites]


Has she seen a doctor to rule out any medical cause? Imagine if you could solve this problem entirely with medication. Has she always been this way or is it recent? Is she at the right age for menopause?

As many people have said, there are usually minimum temperature laws for landlords. In Wisconsin it is 67 degrees.
posted by AFABulous at 11:12 AM on January 15, 2017


I keep the temperature set to 65 in the winter. I could go down to 62, no problem but mr. crankylex gets too cold, he prefers 68 but then I am too hot. We keep most of the a/c units set to roughly 70 in the summer, the one in the bedroom goes a little lower depending on the outside temp. I wear short sleeves and use a fan all through the winter at work because it is disgustingly hot in that building.

If mr. crankylex had been one of those "it needs to be 75 inside at all times" people we would have never stayed together because I can't be constantly miserable inside my own home. On the flip side, your kids being uncomfortable is a huge deal and it needs to be warmer for them.
posted by crankylex at 11:14 AM on January 15, 2017 [1 favorite]


Like The Noble Goofy Elk above, I came in to say that my environmentally conscious upbringing (thermostat set at... 66 in winter, I think? I remember sneaking in to bump it to 68, and getting chastised for 70) did not do anything for increasing my cold tolerance as an adult. If your spouse were my spouse, this would be a conversation about the relationship future, because unless I'm being *very* active I can't ever seem to hold a normal temperature in my extremities even with multiple layers of insulating long underwear, flannel lined jeans, a hat, wool socks, sweater, etc. Below 68, I cannot get my hands and feet warm again with clothing, at all. At 62.5 I'm pretty sure the only way for my limbs to warm back up would be a scalding hot shower.
posted by deludingmyself at 11:18 AM on January 15, 2017 [4 favorites]


Oh, but since nobody has suggested it: in addition to the portable fan option for your wife, another alternative would be space heaters in specific rooms. We did have oil filled ones in my house growing up, and I cranked that sucker up whenever my parents weren't paying attention, because brrrrrr.
posted by deludingmyself at 11:22 AM on January 15, 2017


65 sounds fine to me. My house has been at 59-60 all day, but I just set my thermostat to 63 because I'm going to be sitting at my computer for a while and not moving. When I lived in northern Japan where they have six months of winter, my thermostat was usually set at 17C.
posted by betweenthebars at 11:42 AM on January 15, 2017 [1 favorite]


My house is around 57 in winter and 80-86 in summer. This is Australia without central heating/aircon. I run hot too and while I say I'd love to have the money to run air con that cold, even I would find your wife's choices too much. 70 would be much more reasonable.
posted by kitten magic at 11:42 AM on January 15, 2017


65 sounds like heaven to me, but I've always run hot and I acknowledge that most people aren't as comfortable at that temp as I am. I live with family members who prefer 71-75, and my bedroom is also the warmest room in the house, which means I have two fans pointed at me all night and still wake up sweaty and gross sometimes. In my case, it's not a medical issue -- I've been like this as long as I can remember, and nothing abnormal has ever shown up in medical tests.

My former roommate in South Carolina would run the heat like crazy in the winter; I would close off the only vent in my room and sleep with the window open (30 degrees outside? Threat of an ice storm? BRING IT.), and my room was probably 15-20 degrees cooler than the rest of the house.

OP, your wife should compromise more, yeah. But it's hard to describe the nauseating discomfort of running hot to someone who runs cool. There's something to be said for the layer argument -- I've been at the point before where I'd take off my skin if it were possible, just to cool down, because no one else is willing to put on a sweater. Fans, ice packs, cold showers -- they help, but not being able to cool down is really miserable.
posted by QuickedWeen at 12:26 PM on January 15, 2017 [3 favorites]


As a fellow cold person, I totally feel you here. Also, having a lot of experience in personal preference variation in community situations where everyone can't have it perfect (office, submarine), I can tell you the cold person is going to lose more often than the hot person. The hot people know intellectually, but don't understand what being cold all the time does to us. There's a reason the training for Navy SEALs involves being cold as often as possible: it's grueling.

I think your short-term strategy is going to be getting a space heater in your favorite small room and keeping it a nice toasty 72. You won't be able to do that forever probably, but this experiment is going to show her: people care about this to the extent they will all stay in this room and abandon the rest of the house to her. Want to watch TV with me? Uh, no thanks. Too cold in there. Seriously. Make it comfortable for us or be lonely.

If the space heater idea doesn't work, maybe a cold week/hot week alternating schedule? It's easier to put up with discomfort if you know it's temporary. If someone's got to be unhappy, at least make it so everyone gets to be happy some of the time.
posted by ctmf at 12:29 PM on January 15, 2017 [4 favorites]


I've always kept in mind the energy- efficient recommendations from the Carter administration in the 70s: heat set to 68; ac set to 72.
posted by janey47 at 12:37 PM on January 15, 2017 [1 favorite]


We live in the UK - this morning the thermometer in my flat read 16 degrees c (google translates as 60.8F) which was cold enough that getting out of bed was painful, but not cold enough that we couldn't cope with it once up and dressed.

A similar conversion suggests 65F is about 18 C, which is not unusual for our flat but is undeniably a bit chilly. We relented and put the heating on today, and the house is now 20c (68F)- I'm comfortable in a cardigan but wouldn't want to take it off.

It doesn't sound like either of you are being unreasonable. Your wife is right - it is certainly easier to put layers on than to cool down if you're too hot and already wearing minimal clothing . Equally, if she is the outlier and the rest of the family are feeling unreasonably chilly, there's a definite argument that she should compromise (perhaps turn the heating off in her main room or in naturally hotter rooms such as the kitchen). Its a tricky thing to solve. I suspect that eventually the answer is never going to be based on 'who's being unreasonable in their preference' but rather on a friendly compromise that keeps everyone reasonably comfortable (and perhaps minimises unnecessary energy usage.)
posted by bored_now_flay at 12:48 PM on January 15, 2017 [1 favorite]


I couldn't live like that. I would be miserable. I would end up shivering all the time and my fingers would stop working. I think your wife is being unfair to the point where I would consider leaving. Why should the entire family be miserable? She can wear shorts and a tee shirt and use a fan. Are you supposed to start wearing winter gloves inside your house?

If she won't compromise, one option might be to have a zoned heating/cooling system installed so that the rooms that you and the kids spend the most time in can be warm and her room can be cold.
posted by parakeetdog at 12:51 PM on January 15, 2017 [1 favorite]


I also wonder whether there is a cultural component to this - I seem to be seeing a lot of responses suggesting that your wife's preference is almost inhumane, and certainly highly unusual.

My feeling is that in the UK it would be the norm to have a cool house in winter, although often too warm in summer (no AC). I remember having one friend growing up who's parents heated her house to a balmy, t-shirt and shorts level of warmth all year round, and they were very much the exception that proves the rule.
posted by bored_now_flay at 12:54 PM on January 15, 2017 [2 favorites]


65 sounds unbearable no matter what the season is. 62.5 would probably kill me, legitimately kill me from my epic and grotendous chronic pain. for me i like about 75 in the summer and 80 in the winter, and since god willing i will never have to live with anyone else ever again i can do as i please, forever.
posted by poffin boffin at 1:06 PM on January 15, 2017 [1 favorite]


I'm hot all the time. I have been this way since I was born. As a baby I was known for napping on top of the A/C vents! If it was just me, I would keep the house at 64 degrees year round. I moved 2,000 miles away from my hometown so I could live in a climate that stays cool most of the year. I have even bought myself an ice vest to wear! There is nothing at all medical wrong with me. I just can't tolerate heat at all.

My boyfriend would be happy if it was 85 degrees inside year round maybe even hotter.

I have compromised by during the day I have over many many many many months slowly raised the indoor temp to 68 degrees. This was not easy for me! Some day I couldn't tolerate it all day long. But I kept at it until now I can keep it at 68 during the day. Sometimes I'm even wild and let it get up as high as 70, but I haven't built up a tolerance to that temp yet and still can feel too warm after too long at 70. I know, I know, I'm a weirdo.

He has compromised by keeping the vent in his office and in the downstairs den closed and he uses space heaters.

However at night, the temp goes down to what makes me comfortable otherwise I don't sleep at all. He warms up in the shower before bed and sleeps fine and never complains of the cold at night.
posted by ilovewinter at 1:50 PM on January 15, 2017


We keep our stat at 16C (61F) in the winter except we have the set back up the temperature for a couple hours in the morning to 18C (makes showers more comfortable).

In the summer our no-A/C house soars up to the 30s (mid 90s).

I'm only really comfortable when the temp hits 30 but compensate in the winter with a house coat (I've got a couple of different weights) when I'm moving around and add a blanket when I'm sitting.
posted by Mitheral at 2:09 PM on January 15, 2017


I know a lot of people who keep their houses around that temperature, mostly for conserving energy to save either money or the earth, so I wouldn't consider it unusual, per se. But it would be pretty miserable for me personally. I'm fine visiting cold-homed folks, but at home I like it warmer.

I'd suggest trying to find a balance somewhere between your ideal temperatures, possibly augmented with a space heater where you like to hang out most, or a fan where she does, so you can do a bit of personal temperature adjustment without making the rest of the house play along. You can layer, she can drink iced beverages, neither of you should be miserable.
posted by Stacey at 2:49 PM on January 15, 2017


Wife insists I mention that she is an exceptionally pale ginger who who descends from English and Eastern European stock, who loves winter and the cold, swims without shivering in Cape Cod Atlantic beaches, and flushes easily. I can attest to all of this, when she exercises she resembles a lobster or a Scot towards the end of a holiday in Spain. She claims a clean bill of health from Dr.
posted by leotrotsky at 3:36 PM on January 15, 2017 [2 favorites]


One thing to consider - you said "year round" - if you live where there is any reasonable amount of humidity in the summer, somewhere in your wall is at dew point. Wood doesn't like being wet, neither does insulation.
posted by rudd135 at 4:23 PM on January 15, 2017


We do thermostat control on an annual basis. It's not the same thing--we have a running argument about whether our thermostat is best controlled manually or by a timer, but 'I get to win every other year' shuts us both up.

That said, 62 is nighttime only. 68 minimum is during the day, and I usually crank it to 70. I run hot and like to sleep by the window, open, even in January.

65 during the day with kids? No. No way. (Although kids generally run hot--but still, no, 68, 67 is a reasonable daytime compromise (which will satisfy no one.)

It's easier to add then subtract layers--she's wrong about this. And I hope she's running around in a half slip and bare feet before complaining it's too hot.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 4:48 PM on January 15, 2017


65 seems livable, if chilly, in the winter to me, though I'd prefer the temperature closer closer to 67-68 unless I'm cooking or in bed. 65 in the summer seems ridiculously, wastefully cold. We keep our air around 75in the summer and even on the 3rd floor of an apt building, that's plenty cool. (Note: we do live in North Dakota where it's dry, which helps, but my mom and stepdad in humid Iowa keep their A/C at 78.)
posted by epj at 6:09 PM on January 15, 2017


65 is perfect for me. It's what I grew up with, and it's what my body is acclimated to. We generally heated with wood, if that means anything, and everybody I knew was super fuel conscious. You can always put on more clothing when you're cold, but there's only so much you can take off when you're hot. A space heater to warm up one room for someone who's cold works much better than a fan to cool down one room for someone who's hot. If I feel chilly, it's an incentive to get up and move, but if I'm fainting from the heat there's nothing for it but to waste hours lying in front of the fan getting nothing done.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 6:12 PM on January 15, 2017


I'm Northern Europe stock, and think that is cold, so that just doesn't wash for me. My curiosity is about why this is an 'argument' and not a 'compromise'. Or is the 65 degrees the compromise you guys already reached?

There is no right or wrong answer in terms of degrees. The answer lies in how you both work it so everyone is comfortable.
posted by Vaike at 7:29 PM on January 15, 2017 [3 favorites]


Yes, 65° is a little low - the recommended setting during the "Energy Crisis" of the 70's was 68° in winter and 72° in summer. It also depends on the level of humidity. But your wife is right - you can add more layers. She can only get naked and after that is out of options.

Being constantly too hot is no joke - if you sweat too much, you can end up with serious heart problems from electrolyte issues. As in, this happened to me, and they had to use a defibrillator on me.

This is not just a comfort issue.
posted by MexicanYenta at 8:36 PM on January 15, 2017 [1 favorite]


65 is too cold for a house where people are awake.

In the winter, we set the programmable thermostat to 68F in the mornings and evenings, and 62F overnight and during the day (when no one without fur is home).

In the summer it's more like 82/78.

Layers can only do so much if you need to make use of your body parts. There's a limit to how many layers one can wear on their fingers and still type, or cook, or even turn pages in a book. And layers don't help when you get out of bed/use the bathroom.

I am a survivor of Grave's Disease. I know what it is too be too hot. Being too cold is far, far worse. I hope that your wife is willing to compromise on this.
posted by sparklemotion at 8:55 PM on January 15, 2017


I can't sleep reliably if it is above 68. Not being able to sleep is no good.

On the other hand, I can't work (sitting still and writing or typing) if it is much below 65; I am often wearing my coat, scarf, and fingerless gloves at work. So I understand that being cold while awake is no fun, and below a certain temp "more layers" doesn't work.

My suggestion is to try cooler at night and warmer in the day, as it is easy to put more blankets on the bed at night.
posted by nat at 9:21 PM on January 15, 2017 [1 favorite]


I keep the heat set at 65 (I use A/C sparingly in the summer; the house usually heats up to the 80s or 90s on hot days) and I'm fine sitting watching tv in a sweatshirt or cooking/cleaning/folding laundry in a t-shirt. I have it set to go up to 68 in the half-hour before I wake up, because it makes me so miserably overheated that it's easy to get out of bed. (And it was much worse when I was on Cymbalta, which was a weird side effect I didn't realize I was having until I went off it.) I'm not sure where people are getting the idea that no one could ever be happy at that temperature, because obviously there are people who are. The issue is that you are not happy at that temperature, though.
posted by lazuli at 9:30 PM on January 15, 2017


I'm wondering if your spouse is affected by one or more of the following, all of which affect temperature sensitivity:

- hot flushes/menopause;

- thyroid issues;

- Multiple sclerosis;

- Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor use (warms you up, promotes sweating);

- Serotonin–norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor use (warms you up, promotes sweating);

- Psoriasis and/or Eczema (often worse in warmth).

One reason to avoid a too-cold house: there's considerable evidence that too-cold houses significantly increase the risk of heart attacks...
posted by Sockpuppets 'R' Us at 2:28 AM on January 16, 2017


Oh: and ask your wife if turning the heat up makes her feel physically/mentally tired.

If so, she may want to get checked out for Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, which makes people feel very unwell at temperatures that other people consider comfortable.

It's surprisingly common, and MASSIVELY under-diagnosed...
posted by Sockpuppets 'R' Us at 2:36 AM on January 16, 2017


but it still doesnt make sense for me.
if one family member decides to go vegan, does that mean the entire family has to too?
if one decides that ukranian funk is the only genre of worthy music, does that mean you can kiss your country records goodbye for life?
??
?!?
posted by speakeasy at 5:14 AM on January 16, 2017 [1 favorite]


65 isn't inhumane. Our thermostat is at 64 and the least-insulated parts of the house are colder than that. We're not hot-running people but we cope via warm clothes (esp. house Crocs and scarves), blankets (some electric) when sitting still, getting up and moving regularly (ten quick jumping jacks or pushups do a lot!). Our feeling is that winter shouldn't feel like May. If you and the kids are truly miserable, though, I think you have to find a way to section off the house into warm and cool zones.
posted by lakeroon at 5:43 AM on January 16, 2017 [1 favorite]


I'm Northern Europe stock, and think that is cold, so that just doesn't wash for me. My curiosity is about why this is an 'argument' and not a 'compromise'. Or is the 65 degrees the compromise you guys already reached?

FWIW it's not an "argument". I used "her argument" in the original post in sense of "position supported by logical reasoning" not "heated dispute."

Also I'd really appreciate less of the "your children will never know joy, emotional warmth, or love" comments.

I mean, come on.
posted by leotrotsky at 7:47 AM on January 16, 2017 [13 favorites]


Everyone has such strong opinions about house temperatures! We keep our house fairly cool, no higher than 67 during the day, and down to 64 at night, during the winter. Part of the reason for this is that everyone hates our heater. It's forced air and no matter how cold the house was when we turned the heat on, within two minutes of the heat coming on, it's stifling and dry and miserable. I haaaaate that thing. When we had baseboard radiators in another house, it was much nicer. I wouldn't be able to function if the heat was set at 70.

I'd love the set the AC at 65 (and did sometimes when I was nine months pregnant in August) but wouldn't because it would be too expensive.
posted by Aquifer at 8:52 AM on January 16, 2017


After dealing with clothes and activity levels there are multiple factors for environmental comfort: temperature of contacted surfaces (primarily air but also floor, furniture), humidity, temperature of visible surfaces, and air movement. It's easy to focus on "the temperature" but all of these impact how comfortable you feel.

In the winter, a lower temperature will be comfortable if visible surfaces have a higher temperature (radiant heaters), if the humidity isn't high (usually not a problem) and if there are no drafts. Even better is if the floor is relatively warm. So, you may find that some home upgrades are helpful to find a good compromise. In particular, radiant (space) heaters can be highly directional, so may help in this situation. Personally I'd still insist on actual air temperature reaching the 65-66 range - but as this thread has shown "de gustibus non est disputandum"

In the summer aim for air movement and humidity reduction. If you can achieve those I'll be even your wife will find a temperature in the 73-75 degree range is quite comfortable. The challenge is many hope air conditioners just don't wring enough humidity out of the air unless they over-cool the space a bit. That's something you'll have to just live with. Cooling below 72 really does rub my environmentalist heart the wrong way - I urge you to try to find other ways to stay comfortable than making a refrigerator out of your house in the summer.

I'm sure your children are well loved. Hopefully one of them will be able to write a very amusing story about all of this and sell it for millions when they are an adult.
posted by meinvt at 8:54 AM on January 16, 2017 [2 favorites]


I had that issue for a while and it turned out to be that my hair was short (like buzz cut) and theirs was long.
posted by cashman at 9:05 AM on January 16, 2017


I have no data to back it up, but I'm still going to say that by setting the thermostat to 65F year round you're an outlier, especially in the summer.

If it's 65 outside in the spring (Canada) people are breaking out the shorts and t-shirts and hitting the patios. At that temperature in the fall I'm also perfectly comfortable without heavy sweaters. In fact I'm probably walking around in a t-shirt.

But to cool your house to that temperature in the summer seems insanely energy inefficient (if your profile's location is accurate) despite what energy savings you might gain during winter months. Our AC unit would melt under that kind of load, but our house is also very poorly insulated. Also, holy shit the shock of leaving your house and walking into 85-90F weather must be brutal.

In the winter I'd say it's tolerable because I'm generally wearing warmer clothing anyway. It's still on the cool side of "normal" though. I'd personally be willing to compromise at 68.
posted by howling fantods at 9:57 AM on January 16, 2017


I am of Norwegian and Dutch heritage. I am a very hot sleeper and if I exercise minimally in over 80 degree temps, I am beet red, blotchy and miserable. I am also prone to the occasional hot flash. I would be VERY happy to sleep in 65 degree temps every night. But I don't because Mr. Murrey thinks that is too cold and we experimented with temperatures, fans and bedding until we found an acceptable compromise. but your question wasn't about sleeping temps...

I am ok with 65 degrees inside when it is over 50 degrees outside. Below 50 degrees outside and 65 degrees inside would possibly feel too cold for me, but I have a drafty house. Getting to 65 degrees via air conditioning in the summer wouldn't make me uncomfortable and it might actually be welcomed. But good god, who can afford it? But I live in Austin. YMMV.


Even though I run hot, it sucks to be cold. But it would suck even worse to have to bundle up (i.e. wearing outerwear) in my own home to feel warm. I don't think an equivalent argument can be made for asking the hot person to dress lighter.

There has to be a temperature where you and the kids can feel comfortable with a sweater and pants and socks (not jackets, hats and gloves) and your wife can feel comfortable with shorts and a t-shirt and bare feet.

Raise it a degree at a time until you find your family's compromise.
posted by murrey at 12:48 PM on January 16, 2017 [1 favorite]


My wife and I keep the house at around 68°F (day) and 62°F (night) from autumn through spring, and we normally have the A/C set to turn on at 78-80°F in the summer depending on humidity. We live in western Massachusetts, and we've chosen our limits based primarily on the limits of comfort, because we want to do our part to reduce carbon emissions.

She normally tends to feel cold, but also doesn't like temperatures much above 80°F. I tend to run hot, but I sweat efficiently and don't mind being hot. That sounds like the main difference between me and your wife: not so much feeling warm as being able to tolerate warmth. FWIW, I'm a reasonably lean long-distance cyclist and moderate-distance runner, and I find it a lot easier to bear the heat now than 10 years ago when I was overweight and not very active.
posted by brianogilvie at 2:53 PM on January 16, 2017


My husband and I are sort of the reverse of you and your wife...I typically do layers + electric blanket and he just hangs out in shorts or underwear, and he's a little warm while I'm a little chilly -- but, neither of us are so bad off that we are really miserable. I'm curious what your wife is doing to compromise while you are layering? I agree you should be willing to wear layers, but I could wear layers and still be miserable/unable to function at 62 degrees. In particular, once I get cold, it can be hard for layers to warm me back up because my body doesn't seem to generate enough heat on its own to do that without some help (hence the electric blanket).

Ultimately, if there is no temperature that both people are reasonably comfortable at with her in tank top + shorts and you in a sweater, I think the kids' preference should reign, if only as a tie breaker. If SOMEONE is going to be uncomfortable no matter what, it would seem that one person being uncomfortable is better than three people being uncomfortable. Alternately, a fair compromise might be keeping things cooler than comfortable (for you) in winter and warmer than comfortable (for her) in summer for environmental reasons.

In any case, whatever solution you settle on, I think both adults should compromise to some extent (i.e find a medium temperature between whatever she likes and whatever you like), and you should work for some solution (whether it be space heater in the playroom or whatever) that means the kids feel comfortable. Certainly I don't think they will "never know love" or whatever, but...absent a serious financial situation (which doesn't seem the case here since you're running the AC at 65 degrees (!!!!!) in the summer), I don't think there is a very good argument for making kids suffer needlessly.
posted by rainbowbrite at 3:32 PM on January 16, 2017 [3 favorites]


I'm from Minnesota and my ethnic background is (unsurprisingly) Scandinavian. 65F is lower than I will keep my apartment at night, and in daytime that's too cold for me shower. There's a difference between "put on a sweater, it's winter" and "wear your snowpants and all winter gear inside", which is what I would be doing if I lived at your house while searching craigslist for a new domicile. Your wife is being unreasonable.
posted by bile and syntax at 10:54 AM on January 17, 2017 [2 favorites]


This is pretty late coming in, but: body size has an effect on sensitivity to cold*, and your kids, being small, might be feeling the cold even more than you are. (*At least, according to some research that was in the news about this not too long ago, framed as accounting for why workplace temperatures often feel too cold to women.)

It sounds like space heaters should be a thing at your house, especially where the kids do homework or any activities that require their hands to not be in a pocket or under a blanket. Something like a kotatsumight be nice. Scarves and hats are surprisingly effective. Does one of you do more cooking than the other? The kitchen would be a natural candidate for a room to keep warm.

That said, during the summer it really seems like things should be reversed somewhat, with higher ambient temperatures and fans used locally.
posted by trig at 1:24 AM on January 19, 2017


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