Thermostat Wars (in your house or place of work)

Do you constantly argue with family members and/or cow-orkers (& supervisors) about where you should set the thermostat? Where does your own personal “comfort level” operate at? Winter seems to be the more appropriate time to raise this issue, because temperature can vary much more than in summer.

Me, I tend to favor a fairly narrow range-68 to 75 F. Much below that and my hands and feet start to feel like icicles, but go over and all that stuffiness will really make me feel uncomfortable.

Both of my workplaces have covers over the thermostats. Winter heat settings are 68. Summer air conditioning settings are 72.

This is purely for energy reasons, and these are reasonable settings. The energy savings on setting the thermostat from 70 to 68 in the winter is about 20%. That’s significant when you’re talking about a big building with heating expenses over $1000 a month!

It’s winter. Dress appropriately. Just because you (rhetorical, not the OP) are cold while wearing a t-shirt indoors in December doesn’t mean you get to crank the heat. Wear warmer shoes - wool socks go a long way - and a sweater already!

At home there’s no one to argue with. The thermostat stays between 66 and 68, and I wear warm clothes. Yes, it’s nice to run around in panties and a t-shirt, but it’s December, and winter, and cold out, and I’m not made of money. A little extra laundry is a hecka lot cheaper than the stat set at 70 or higher!

If you’re cold, add layers. The too warm people can’t shed layers beyond a certain point. There’s also the use of space heaters for the creation of local warm spots.

More often than not I am cold when everyone else is comfortable so I wear layers to adjust accordingly. Realizing that I am in the minority, I wouldn’t dream of asking for the thermostat to be set to my comfort level.

At home, on the other hand, I keep it rather warm. I set it at 78ish-80.

At work, I don’t know who controls the thermostat. No one knows, in fact, all I know is that I’m so cold, even in the middle of summer, that I wear my wool coat at my desk. Although they are STRICTLY VERBOTEN, ALL PIGDOGS WHO HAVE THEM WILL BE TIED UP WITH PIANO WIRE, FORCED TO DIG THEIR OWN GRAVES, AND THEN SHOT, many people run space heaters under their desks all day long - while at the same time the air conditioning blasts an arctic wind.

My secretary finally convinced me to get a space heater of my own, and if I crank it up to “11” and shut my office door I can actually feel warm. Which is good, because I was in actual physical pain every single day before.

So in effect, the thermostat war is between one madman or madwoman who controls the thermostat, and hundreds of foot soldiers and a few score officers with their space heaters whirring away.

I live in Florida so rarely put on the heat, but when I do I keep it at 68 to 70, sometimes 72 if it’s really cold. When the a/c is on, which is almost always, I keep it at 78, which is quite comfortable for me. I live alone, so I don’t have to battle over this with anyone, though.

I am part polar bear (or so says my dad), so I am horribly uncomfortable anywhere over 70. Hell, it’s 55 degrees in my house right now and I have the heat off (roomies are gone). I’m sitting in bed under my blankets, on the laptop, but if I turn on the heat I’ll get all hot when it’s sleep time.

Personally, I like to wrap myself in tons of blankets while asleep- winter or summer. So, now, I’ve got the heat off and in the summer, I have the AC blaring at 68 AND two fans on, pointed at my bed.

Jim and I are actually really lucky - we both like it COLD. Our house is known in our family as the cold house (even though we turn the heat up for guests). I only have a problem at work when the thermostat controller likes it hot, and that doesn’t happen often.

There’s no heating or air-conditioning at home, so there’s nothing to fight about.

I think the office temperature is kept fairly constant all year round at around 20-21. Occasionally people gripe about cool drafts, but they just put on a coat or jumper.

One thing I have never understood. The guy who will turn the thermostat to 80 degrees because he is cold can not figure out how to turn it down when the space gets to 80. Or the guy who is hot and turns the stat down to 60 can not figure out how to turn it up when the space gets near 60. both will call complaining about the space being the temp they set at.

My favorite call happened about 5 years ago. Two women with their desk acrossed the aisle. At about the same time they both called the off one being to hot almost fainting, the other freezing. I get there the temp is 72 degrees. The one that was hot has on heavy clothes, turtle neck long sleeve sweater. the cold one short dress a lot of skin exposed.

I explained that building standard was 72 degrees so there was nothing I could do. And as I am walking away all I could thing is don’t dress like you work in a meat locker and the other don’t dress like you are working the streets.

I sometimes do consultation work at a hospital. When I do, I have to share a very small space with four women. There are no windows in the room. There’s an air vent in the ceiling, which they have covered with cardboard. There are several computers that put out heat. These women keep the thermostat at 80 degrees, and they all wear sweaters. I have to bring a small fan with me and point it directly at my head . . . and I have to be very careful that none of them get any second-hand air from my fan.

When my partner and I sleep together, he has to wear flannel pajamas and socks, and be covered with a quilt. I either wear just gym shorts or nothing at all . . . no blanket, and definitely nothing on my feet. And if I’m alone I turn on the ceiling fan.

The layers thing doesn’t work. Body heat doesn’t feel like external heat. There’s a huge difference. I always consider it the height of snobbishness when I hear someone tell me I can just wear more clothes. I mean, I don’t tell them they could spray themselves with water and have a fan blowing on them all day. Why, because it’s not the same.

I also really hate having cold air blow on me, even if the temperature of the room itself is within the normal range.

The OP mentioned having a very small range. Mine is small, too, but it’s higher than most 70-80. At 68, which a lot of people like, I start feeling unwell, and feel like I’m gonna throw up. And unless my extra clothes have an electric heater in them, they do all of nothing.

I’d suggest to Una to try things like battery powered socks or even a heating pad/blanket if you’re going to be near an outlet. They are a life saver.

We live in Tampa and it’s similar. During the short time of the year that we use heat, it’s at 68. During the summer, the A/C range is 76-80 F. The low end is if I’m home working, the high end is when no one is there. If we’re home not working it will be at 77 or 78.

As for wars, we do have them to an extent. My wife is cold in the summer (at 78 or lower) and hot in the winter at 68 or higher. I tell her that she’s broken, but she doesn’t listen. Our biggest issue is that for reasons of solar migration*, the north end of our house can be quite hot in the summer and quite cold in the winter. For example, the other day the heat was set at 68. It was “cool” out, maybe in the 40s/50s, and I put the kids to bed. I noticed it felt very cold in my kids’ rooms, so I put a thermometer there to check. It measured 70 in our bedroom (south end) of the house, but only 63 in my daughters room. My son had it worst at 61. Fortunately he doesn’t get cold very easily and the dog sleeps with him most nights.

In the summer the reverse happens and I suspect it gets in excess of 85F in their rooms most nights. I’d be sweating like a pig. Anyone who knows how to balance this out I’d appreciate it. Our house is not that large - less than 2000 square feet.

My work place removes the need for any thermostat war by enforcing a central air-conditioning system. Right now it’s freezing cold, what with the monsoon season at my country and they still set the temeprature to 16 degree celcius. We are opening the windows, wearing 3 layers of clothings and etc.


I have no idea who controls the heat at the Best Buy I’m working at, but it’s cool up by the registers (makes sense, it’s near the door, but it’s weird needing to wear a sweatshirt when I’ve got my thigh-high wool socks on under my khakis), chilly in the breakroom, and at least 75 degrees in the admin office. I don’t mind the cooler store- in fact, when I come in as a customer, it’s nice to not have to take off all my outer layers just to not sweat through shopping. But I think they’re using a space heater in the admin office, and if that’s the case, I wish they’d move it back and forth between the break room and the admin office.

This year I’m in agreement with every Spaniard in the neighborhood: these freaking Scots keep the heat too high! Entering any classroom is followed by collective stripping: off come the hats, gloves, scarves, full-length coats and several more layers. But since we have no idea who Owns The Mighty Thermostat, whatever.

One of my classmates is in the same dorm I’m in: both of us keep the heater in our rooms “off,” yet I’m writing in a sleeveless top while watching the morning frost melt. And I’m one of those people who suffer from permacold!

I used to work in a theater, and then was the building manager for a school, and what I learned was to carry a thermometer with you.

Women tend to dress the way other women dress, while men tend to dress for work regardless of the weather. Therefore, during the summer, women are freezing when inside an air-conditioned environment while wearing tank tops and miniskirts, while men are overheating wearing ties, slacks, and shoes.

To avoid arguments, always carry a thermometer (~$10-20 at the drugstore) and set a rule: if it’s between 72-75F, nobody touches the thermostat. Over or under, and we adjust it. If you’re cold, deal with it, and bring a sweater. If it’s under 71, it’s a health hazard and we have to call the landlord if we can’t get it higher. If it’s 76 or higher, we call the AC repairmen.

Superhal, how is under 71 a health hazard?

People could catch colds.

Am I being wooshed? 68-71 should, in terms of immune system, be warm enough unless you’re submerging your feet in cold water for long periods.