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is it unhealthy to keep your house cold

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is it unhealthy to keep your house cold

I know a post is coming on this whole frugality tourist notion, but while that one keeps cooking in my brain, I decided to look at our lives and see if there was any area in which we truly are frugal, and ask what that means for us. Keeping the temperature in the high 60s results in a … We’re going well into the midnight hours. Good article, though. And you make such a great point about the unknown nature of the expense — I bet that’s a big part of our aversion to turning up the temperature. We’ve eased up a bit with kiddos, but it’s still pretty cool, and the kids don’t seem to mind at all. // Sidebar: That blue in the header photo has absolutely zero color correction or filter applied. But on the flip side, if it’s warm at night, I’ll have a horrible night’s sleep. But then we’d be fine spending on things that would bother other people — it’s all so personal. My fav line on your post was “smart people can behave irrationally”! Before kids we turned the heat down to 55 at night (it was a few degrees warmer in 2nd floor bedrooms), and had it up at maybe 60 during the day. :-) And 60 degrees is still pretty great. But we’d probably lose on every single other frugal comparison, so if we can have an impressive number on ONE THING, we’ll take it. Sitting in my sleeping bag, I began to wonder: If we all set our thermostats to our own “comfortable low,” how many West Virginia mountains could we save? if you're under 65, healthy and active, you can safely have your home cooler than 18C, as long as you're comfortable use a hot water bottle or electric blanket to keep warm in bed – but do not use both at the same time have at least 1 hot meal a day – eating regularly helps … And we have plenty of equivalent things to that. We never consider forgoing things we need, we only occasionally forgo things we want and our fill-the-bucket list is very full. If I try to turn the thermostat down any lower, I think there will be a cat mutiny; they’ve never shed so little fur before this winter that we’ve had the small house at 60F. High five for you guys! We have our house around 60 at night and I would keep it at 62 when we are there during the day/evenings, but he wants it warmer, so we typically have to bump it up to 65 after he complains (but not before.) At 53 the heat runs much more than at 52….seems to be the break point. Thank goodness spring is on its way! ;-) Just kidding! Have you given up anything crazy, like reasonable indoor heating, in the interest of frugality? Thanks for the encouragement. Sleep in a slightly cooler room. They wouldn’t be unreasonable to question our priorities. What Temperature Do You Keep Your House At? :-) Our gas bill was always super cheap when we lived in the city, so in all honesty, we didn’t think it would jump so much when we bought our house in the mountains. But I’m such a wuss about heat! It has actually been fun and has turned into a game for us, we put a digital thermostat in our room to see how low the temp got. By the end of the summer, low 70s indoors will feel freezing! Big hugs all around. So our intentional comfort (temperature) level is 68 during the day (wintertime), with polar tech and blankets and gloves in the house no big deal. I love being outside. Have you read his blog? I’d rather spend my money on other things. But for us, it gets warm enough during the day that it usually minimizes the heat that we need to use. hard. Yea the heaters are for the kids…I don’t think they want or care about playing our little game. I’d do the same if I were you. ;-) And I would die riding in a car in the summer with no AC — so you have my admiration there! Here’s my theory: maybe this is (subconsciously?) We still feel a bit uncomfortable with its contemporary definition, though. No. We’ll never get sick of that! Why does it warrant its own set of logic? I have found I can leave my thermostat much lower and save a lot and yet still feel toasty warm and comfy with an electric blanket on the bed and an electric throw for sitting in. It’s not like you asked them to turn on their heat, so you’re just benefiting from thermodynamics… no harm in that! Taking pictures when the light is good is what elevates a snapshot to a quality picture. We can say from experience that there are a LOT of reasons why people on a six-figure salary spend all their money, not all having to do (or even mostly having to do) with caring about how others see them (us). We’re going to do it. Credit cards are paid off monthly, big ticket items (cars, furniture, trips, etc.) I live in an area with cool climate and it’s winter now and for years I haven’t turned on the heat even once. We’ve been fortunate enough, though, that our utility bill only runs between $150-250. Hiya friends! :-) And yeah, on most things, we’re about shaving off small increments, but for some reason we just went for the drastic change on this one, realized we could live with it, and are going with it for the time being. One of the many things I enjoy about condo/apartment living is that I’ve often been able to make it through the mild Pacific Northwest winters without turning on the heat much at all. I also have not been sick at all since doing this. ;-). Where can we save a lot without really sacrificing? It’s amazing how quickly our bodies can adapt to different temperatures. I open the windows and air out the house in cold temps too! If I make our laundry soap, dishwasher soap, hand soap, fabric softener or hair conditioner I know the exact cost of those ingredients and how that compares to the watered down, wasteful, over-packaged store bought alternatives. But if I just give it the right mind set, it’s cold, yes, and refreshing! I did a post about it on my blog, but it’s a combination of curtains, fans, and inside window insulation. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. But yeah, we fully recognize that 56 is borderline crazy. I live in a very hot climate where it’s regularly 110f+ outside. Living in a cold house, apartment, or other building can cause hypothermia. As it is, we pay about $200 a month in the winter to maintain 56, with occasional bumps up to 60 (15º C) when we’re in a treat yoself mood. If the cold is a deal breaker for you, then it’s worth paying for heat. In the end, I think we both have our extremes of what our tolerances can handle. So true that it’s all relative! I’m not an overly large person, so I get cold pretty easily. We keep it cold at our house unless it is a certain temperature outside. The house is long since paid off — I did that all on my own before I got married — and I enjoy beautiful clothes and great restaurants. Kuffa explains the affect of cold on your home. Copyright 2015 – 2020 Tanja Hester / Our Next Life. Look at it as a cry for help, if you will. :-) And yes, we’d recommend that everyone try going up or down a few degrees on the thermostat to see if you could adapt to a temp that requires less energy. So here goes confession time: (That’s 13 degrees Celcius.) And we’re the same way about “frugal” — we don’t feel at all worthy of the title (and truthfully think many who claim it are also not worthy of the title!). Personal preference I guess but I am happy at 52. Running the heat in SoCal?! 5 Tips To Keep Your House Warm During Extreme Cold Temperatures. And haha, yeah, I’m the same way with lights. Great reason! That said, as a frugal person, I am a bit in love with the idea. Personally, I’d like to drop it down a bit further at night but my husband likes things warmer. Now you don’t want to keep your home too cold or you will likely get sick for other reasons but by keeping your home a few degrees cooler, you can make it harder for germs to breed…. Just got back from skiing in Utah last week and forgot just how blue that sky is and what skiing on real snow is! There could be some funny ones coming up, now that I know about that! I am a bit of a wuss when it comes to the cold. And do eskimos die young? Every single comment is a big deal to us, and we love how much we learn from things you share. I am a 70-year-old man who lives alone in a well-insulated but ventilated static caravan in Scotland. This is the second winter that I am keeping the main part of my 5 BR (1880’s,) insulated house at 42-44 degrees F, with the exception of one small bathroom at 62 degrees, my bedroom at 52 degrees, and the kitchen at 58. I was perfectly content and it really cleaned out my colon. Even if it’s like us and just bi-weekly, it’s WAY worth it to us to not have to do as much cleaning. This means that it can produce heat in order to keep your house warm when it is too cold. The sole shower was upstairs (not heated) and you could get out of the shower, towel off, and see your breath in the bathroom. PS: I highly recommend getting a hot water bottle to sit with under a blanket. There’s blankets and sweaters you could use to keep warm. I just hope my sister enjoys sleeping in the cold as I do. Not that our sky is that blue every day, but that is what you get in the cold, dry mountain air, way up high. I only lived there that one winter…. One cord lasts two months (we don’t heat the downstairs at all, unless we have company), and the house stays deliciously, toasty warm. :-). We like our house cool, too, even in our frigid Minnesota winters. Which just kills me. Sometimes in the morning I get that shiver, that brrr it’s cold. My sister will be visiting soon, and my nephew dislikes mosquitoes. I think we are all aware that using the heater less means more money saved and I’ve shared how to keep warm without cranking up that thermostat but there are actually a few other reasons to keep your home thermostat set just a bit lower this season! We’ve had issues with “frugal” for a while, a lot along the lines of what you wrote, and are still struggling to put together some big “theory of frugality.” But suffice to say, we are not planning to use the word too much! Another thing to note about weather strips and caulk … I gasped when I read 13 degrees celsius because we keep our house at about 25 degrees celsius in winter. One over five hundred dollar energy bill did that for us, the first month after we moved in. :-) (But, like no, for real. You guys are doing awesome, as well. Don’t get me wrong, we still clean between maid visits, but it’s nice knowing we don’t have to use our down-time to do lots of deep cleaning. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. (Plus reburns the smoke so it doesn’t pollute so much! I spend my money wisely and set my priorities but aside from cutting unnecessary shopping, I haven’t really committed to doing anything extreme like what you guys are doing. Even though turning it up for a day would only cost a few extra dollars. I’ve read some of it. I will show her some mercy and run the heat if it is below 50 outside or if she is taking a shower.She will get use to it and lose some weight in the process. We’ve definitely been pondering the same question about “frugality.” When we started our blog we hesitated to use the word much, but it became cumbersome to avoid it since much of what we do is viewed as frugal. Living in the cold has definitely toughened us up! I do not like the cold. ), Because we really aren’t frugal by any reasonable definition of the word. I think one month was less than $10. I was always amazed (and HOT) when I went to friends’ houses and their heat was up at 70 degrees and everyone was wearing short sleeves. And your numbers are still pretty great! You have no idea the amount of everyday cleaning and stuff that is just kid related. lol, Everything is going to vary based on a million different variables over the coming decade. :-). We’ve learned that we can live perfectly well without a lot of heat, so of course I wonder what we’ll eventually give up, realizing that our perceived need of it was an illusion all along. Like you guys, we would probably not truly be considered frugal in a lot of areas of our finances. It’s like magic. During the colder parts of the year it’ll get all the way down to 70f inside and of course the fans go off and so does the AC. My thermostat is set at 64 day and night. And I take really hot showers or I’m cold all day long. 80f is more than acceptable if you’re used to it. :-). But I suppose if I did pay a whopping amount and that decreasing the temp would helps save a lot of money I’d figure out a way to make it happen. Linking encouraged with brief excerpts only, but posting photos and/or full content allowed only by express written permission. Tagged as: budgeting, early retirement, finances, frugality, gratitude. The only part that doesn’t fit with this theory is the home theater…hmmm…more data points are needed. Instead we use low wattage radiator heaters in both kids rooms to keep them toasty and have an electric blanket for our bed. . We chose the latter! I’ve experienced dry cold and dry heat and wet cold and wet heat, and there’s no comparison. Yes, we have a high savings percent, but we also earn more than about 99.9 percent of the planet. Turning your thermostat down 2 degrees can save 2000 pounds of carbon dioxide each year. Aren’t you kind of cheating if you have all that electric heat? But I just can’t pull the trigger on that. Please consult a licensed financial or legal professional for advice on your own situation. Living room windows stay open as soon as it is ~50F. I am a hot box. Apart from comfort I think that is is very important to save energy and the environment. Obviously, a cooler house isn’t going to have you shedding pounds like crazy but it can add up! Every once in a while, I turn off the light on someone who is in the room. In the summer and winter, I like the house at 66 during the day and 65 at night. I’m not sure if the term is still used, but we used to always say we were “living well below our means”. This is also likely to not come as a surprise. Sometime as a child (with painfully frugal parents), I had a Scarlett O’Hara moment, “I will never be too hot or too cold again!” So I make lots of money so I can have heating when it’s cold and a/c when it’s warm. I don’t think you’re crazy at all. That’s amazing! It took some trial and error to perfect my system, but I absolutely LOVE cold sleeping! BTW if you haven’t already tried this, electric blankets are wonderful energy savers. As I dig deeper, I find evidence to the contrary or rather that … When we visit people and their houses are set closer to 70 or even 68, you can tell and it does feel pretty frigid. ;-P So that’s where we can trade stories… I think your grocery budget is crazy low, and Mr. P thinks our thermostat setting is crazy low. We have had some really colder weather than usual. One of my “guilty pleasures” is getting home the day the maids have been there. One grandfather was beyond frugal and was in fact out and out cheap. $3 for 3 months. But with us, we consider it a luxury to let the temperature dip down to 78 rather than keeping it at 80 (and the difference feels huge). Step 4: hang up satisfied knowing you won’t feel guilty about cleaning again. I gotta admit that I was floored when I heard how much it costs to keep your place at 56 in the winter time. Now I will add that you won’t burn calories if you bundle up. If my utility bill were that high, I’d have to consider those kind of measures, or more likely, I’d have to move! It’s certainly not that we don’t like to be warm and toasty. :-) And hey, if temperature is important to you, then YES, pay for it! We can’t keep the house that cold either. Thanks for the informative article. Now, I’m usually cold at home, but I’m rarely cold elsewhere. I am totally confident that you’ll speed up your timeline as you go along. Both bugs and rodents seek out warm places. My house is not very big and I figure I’m worth it! During the depression she had to use lard on her chapped hands. Though after we retire, we’ll go find our own firewood, and then we can get things up to maybe 60 or 61 degrees F. :-). And yeah, the crazy thing about adapting more to the cold (not my natural inclination!) ;-) Redbox is literally the only show in town! But, fortunately, it’s not a competition to out-frugal each other. Your body gets used to that being it’s normal environment and adjusts so that you no longer feel cold. But that’s just an academic finding, not anything meaningful for our lives. Impressively frugal temperature! Lift your right foot and rest it on the inside of your left leg, under your knee. :-) I bet if you did like a degree every week or every other week, you could get colder than you’d expect. Well, I never! I still can’t believe that you buy organic on $200 a month… do you eat like Gwyneth Paltrow?? Even cleaning the stove every morning doesn’t bother us, and since I’m the early riser it’s nearly always done by me (who knew I’d be the keeper of the fire around here?). Still not as low as you guys though. So I found this article to show him, thanks for the information. I would rather put on more clothes and stay warm than to have the heat up so high.. After that, we adjusted the thermostat and started putting on more layers instead. :-), Step 1: pull up google on an internet browser Why does this one thing in our life have such power over us? y’all. The statements on this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. I recently have had a Millennial family member move in and she … Except when SIL visits. And research shows that turning your thermostat down by 1°C could cut your heating bill by up to 10%. I saw how he and his wife suffered over stupid things. Keep in mind this is body temperature, not ambient temperature, and it’s true for degrees above and below your natural set point (usually 98.6ºF). Did you know that there are reasons to keep your home cold (by not turning up the thermostat)? A roaring fire exhausts over 20,000 cubic feet of heated air per hour to the outside. I see no need to shed clothes when I come inside my static caravan; the inside temperature rarely rises above 10 degrees Celsius (I have a thermometer: outside it’s around 1.5 degrees C. I feel toasty: if I get too warm I can unzip, layer by layer down to my thermal vests. Well, I would have been wrong. Thanks for the congrats, by the way. Within a few minutes I’m totally acclimated. So in the end, it probably works out to be fairly respectable when all averaged together. I also can’t fathom this. ;-). I sleep very well. These 3 rooms all have portable electric heaters which are turned down or off when I’m at work. All photos are original and copyrighted by Our Next Life unless clearly noted. Then it drops back down at night. Can’t live without it. Tiled floors are notorious for being very cold and this cold surface not only causes heat loss but also feels cold on your feet. To me, that’s cold enough. Thankfully it is normally for only two weeks. :-) And whoa — I don’t know how you could even stand to shower at that place in KY if you could see your breath. But yes, when you come visit, pack your slippers! A cooler room means you’ll fall asleep quicker and you will sleep more deeply! Traveling on the agency’s dime with next-to-zero expenses should allow for an insane savings rate if we play our cards right. As I’ve gotten older and my circulation has deteriorated, I find 67 to be reasonable during the day, but anything less makes me terribly uncomfortable. maybe. :), Okay, sold. The we turn it down to 60 degrees, with the thermal mass of the brick home it helpa us cost till the sun is up then our large windows let in the heat. To us, it’s simple: energy is extra expensive in rural areas, we live in a cold place, ergo the natural gas bill in the winter would be unacceptably high if we heated our house to a more normal temperature. If your ancestors survived without air conditioning, so can you. 7. Bundling up and staying warm defeats the purpose so it’s up to you if you really want to loose those pounds with the help of a cold house. I’d rather put on a sweater than turn the heat up. Then there was my other grandmother who remained sensible but never did without that which she really wanted. Oh, I really dislike hearing stories like that, of people who are so cheap they make things unnecessarily unpleasant for themselves or, worse, loved ones! You know that your fancy coffee is probably better for people and for the planet than super cheap coffee that involves questionable cost-cutting measures, so you shell out. I prefer to look for smaller changes that add up to a nice savings rather than one big habit to tackle. If you have wood floors or bare floorboards then heat will be more easily lost than if you have carpet. :) Great post, Brittany! Until then, got any camera equipment/photography tips? The beauty of it, though, is that I legitimately love what I do so, even if I end up working a little longer, it won’t be the end of the world. Not too shabby! Have you looked into maybe better insulate the house? I’m breathing in cold air, yes: but does that mean people in the northern parts should not go for long walks? Cutting out alcohol and soda? Me and my husband fight over the heat all day and night. :). :-). My sleep is very poor if I’m warm at all. Oh, and thanks for the mention! Our best advice for feeling less sadness about not going to the movies is to move to a small town with no movie theatre. It’s pretty pleasant. If you go to work in a warmer space for 8 hours a day and then come back to your cold home, you will feel like the house is cold. Wait, really? It’s now, as I write, 9/25/18; any updates? I love how the url for this post is “cold” – you guys are hilarious! (See where you rank on the Global Rich List. I’m hoping my kids catch on like I did, and it saves us some green. saved up for. In the mornings and later afternoon I turn the heat on to 68. Third, we’ve learned that we’re more adaptable than we think. The cost wasn’t ridiculous, it cost us about $150 a month during winter. Secondly, I give you serious congrats on being able to acclimate to your thermostat being that low. One “WTF? I, too, balk at spending so much on energy (we don’t have air conditioning in this house either, only a window unit in the bedroom for when things get really bad — Baltimore summers are hot). If it works for the two of you, then keep doing it. I dig it. And yes, we have an electric blanket, and an electric mattress heater. So glad you guys got to UT! 55 in dry cold sounds almost like heaven! My SIL was visiting and (severely) complained how cold our 68 degrees house was! :-) (Though I will confess that I totally love it too.) I would help add to the heat and humidity with my morning shower. Though I love the mountains, I could never live there full-time. But then again, you are more than making up for that in the summer when you probably aren’t spending much on utilities. Holy bluebird skies and…. Wow! But if we have company and they opt to run the heat, and that company takes thirty minute showers, leaves the water running while brushing their teeth and shaving, leaves the thermostat at 72 degrees when they’re not even in the house, etc., we have no idea what to expect when the energy and water bills arrive! We live in northern Florida. Last week, a super special thing happened here: we had our first 100 comment post. My wife just told me about that, actually – we do follow them though I haven’t personally seen that one. But Gas is dirt cheap. :-). He already thinks 67 is too cold! Your body has to use more energy when it’s just a bit chilly in your home; all that energy used means calories burned. 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