Author Topic: Where do you set your thermostat for the winter?  (Read 9095 times)

ClovisKid

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Where do you set your thermostat for the winter?
« on: December 31, 2014, 04:59:49 PM »
Hi folks.  I discovered this site some time earlier in 2014 and I've been reducing my expenses in order to accelerate my path to financial independence.  I've made some good progress from April through December, and tomorrow starts a new year during which I hope to reduce my expenses further.

My current situation is that my heater is broken and I'm thinking about not getting it fixed.  I live in Southern California, so the winters are mild.  However, I'm also kinda cold-blooded in that I like a good deal of warmth :)  My hands and feet get cold easily and I don't seem to function well in the chill (i.e. I stay in bed in the morning because I'm cold - and sometimes lazy).  I try to keep my living space at about 70-71 degrees in the winter.  I can take any amount of heat in the summer, so the air conditioning is rarely, if ever, used. 

I was curious to know what temperature folks typically keep their indoors at during the winter.  I was reading some old posts here on the forum.  There are not too many discussions specifically tied to this subject.  However, reading through some of the ones that do exist, I realized that I could probably be considered a complainy-pants since I generally like it warmer than other folks.  I moved into a 1,200 sq ft 3/2 townhome style condo this past spring and this is my first winter in it.  I have an upstairs and downstairs with bedrooms and living space, respectively.  I have neighbors on both sides.  It's heated by a central forced air furnace fueled by natural gas.  Even though it sometimes touches mid-30s (F) at night, my place seems to not go below about 64 degrees downstairs, and a degree or two warmer upstairs.  I believe that my neighbors on both sides of me are helping to keep my place warm.  I have been bundling up more, but I'm a tall skinny guy (6'1" 145lbs) and my hands still get cold at 65.  I have several pairs of long underwear and I bought some cheap tight fitting long sleeve T-shirts for $5 each at Old Navy.  That equipment seems to help.  I am also thinking about "investing" in a thicker comforter.  I say "investing" because, assuming it keeps me warm enough, I will likely easily save more money than what I would have otherwise spent on gas (heat) and electricity (fan).

What temperatures do others on this forum keep their indoor space at in the winter?  I am know that I am pretty fortunate to be in a mild climate, but I'm afraid it's made me whimpy...

Cheers to all and have a Happy and prosperous New Year!

Elliot

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Re: Where do you set your thermostat for the winter?
« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2014, 05:13:06 PM »
I keep mine set between 55-60, and use an electric blanket at night. I don't use the AC (unless it's >100F, which only happened once last summer) except twice, maybe thrice a summer when the humidity is out of control. If my possessions aren't damp, it's probably fine.

Threshkin

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Re: Where do you set your thermostat for the winter?
« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2014, 05:15:14 PM »
67F during the day, 62F or off at night.  We both work from home.

It is hitting -15 to -20F at night this week so the heater stays on at night.  When it gets milder we will go back to just turning it off in the evening.  We turn the heater off completely in the spring and leave it off until fall.  Last year we never turned on the air conditioning despite some 100+ F days.

We are nowhere as extreme as some people on this site. 

JLee

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Re: Where do you set your thermostat for the winter?
« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2014, 05:18:08 PM »
Mine is still off. If the house gets into the low 50's overnight, it'll get turned on.

RapmasterD

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Re: Where do you set your thermostat for the winter?
« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2014, 05:19:30 PM »
Usually 65 weekdays, 68 weekend days and 64 nights, but we're having a bit of a cold blast (for us) in the SF Bay Area, our windows are single pane from 1946, and so right now we're at 68 degrees 24 * 7.

Blueskies123

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Re: Where do you set your thermostat for the winter?
« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2014, 05:20:01 PM »
Since I live is South Florida I keep the AC at 78 degrees.  It might be a 77 right now.

DeltaBond

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Re: Where do you set your thermostat for the winter?
« Reply #6 on: January 01, 2015, 06:53:37 AM »
68 during the day and 65 at night. 

TO warm up our house, as the humidity is low here in the winter, we boil a pot of water on the stove and have a small fan next to that to help distribute the moisture and that helps a LOT.  Granted, that's energy, but its cheaper than running the HVAC more with air that's going to dehydrate us that much more.

Also, staying very hydrated in the winter can make you feel less cold.

Also, order some winter socks from LLBean or something - they're in Maine, so they have the good stuff that you might not find in stores in CA... and get your heater fixed!  There is a balance to being MMM and your quality of life.

JanVV

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Re: Where do you set your thermostat for the winter?
« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2015, 07:02:59 AM »
We keep ours at 61-62 during the day and 58 at night. I am completely comfortable at these temperatures although it did take a bit of adjustment in the beginning (2-3 years ago).

Gray Matter

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Re: Where do you set your thermostat for the winter?
« Reply #8 on: January 01, 2015, 07:03:40 AM »
58 degrees for 20 hours a day, then bump it up to 65 for the evening hours.

Janie

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Re: Where do you set your thermostat for the winter?
« Reply #9 on: January 01, 2015, 07:03:47 AM »
60 at night (very comfortable in my down covers). If someone is home during the day they sometimes turn it as high as 65.

chasesfish

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Re: Where do you set your thermostat for the winter?
« Reply #10 on: January 01, 2015, 07:13:01 AM »
Seeing these replies reminds me what a wimp I am at certain things....congrats to all of you willing to go below 64 and above 76!

Elliot

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Re: Where do you set your thermostat for the winter?
« Reply #11 on: January 01, 2015, 07:14:10 AM »
Also, order some winter socks from LLBean or something - they're in Maine, so they have the good stuff that you might not find in stores in CA... and get your heater fixed!  There is a balance to being MMM and your quality of life.

Nice socks are one of the true luxuries in life.

southernhippie

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Re: Where do you set your thermostat for the winter?
« Reply #12 on: January 01, 2015, 07:44:10 AM »
65 downstairs

68 upstairs but we have a 5 month old baby. so cant go much colder than that

cartechguy

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Re: Where do you set your thermostat for the winter?
« Reply #13 on: January 01, 2015, 08:09:56 AM »
When I was living in VA it would be at 62 during the day and 58 at night!! Living in southern FL I have the ac set to 75!! Its funny to have my AC on this time of year!!

begood

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Re: Where do you set your thermostat for the winter?
« Reply #14 on: January 01, 2015, 08:35:49 AM »
65 during the day; 58 at night. But that makes it 60 upstairs, where we sleep. We have warm blankets!

I do have to put on hand warmers (picture gloves with no fingers or thumb) during the day sometimes when I sit at my desk working over long periods. But I use getting cold as my signal to get up and move around!

This is our second winter keeping the thermostat at those temps - we made it through the whole Polar Vortex last year without nudging up the thermostat. :)

marketnonsenses

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Re: Where do you set your thermostat for the winter?
« Reply #15 on: January 01, 2015, 09:33:43 AM »
65 during the day 62-63 at night. The cats get upset if we go any lower.

begood

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Re: Where do you set your thermostat for the winter?
« Reply #16 on: January 01, 2015, 09:44:13 AM »
65 during the day 62-63 at night. The cats get upset if we go any lower.

We put out a heating pad for the cat. We wrap it in a towel and put it on low a few minutes before we go to bed. The only problem is that it shuts itself off automatically a few hours later and then she climbs under the covers with us. I don't appreciate waking up with whiskers up my nose, but she does add a little more warmth to the bed!

TerriM

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Re: Where do you set your thermostat for the winter?
« Reply #17 on: January 01, 2015, 10:20:30 AM »
72 during the day, I think it's 70 or 68 at night.

I think that time is as important as money.  If you're lowering the heat and staying in bed in the morning, get an electric thermostat that jacks the heat up when you need to get up.  Heck, jack it up to 74 to encourage you to jump out of bed with gusto and then let it go back down after you're done showering.  It's more important that you get up than you save $10/m towards FI.

BTW:  If you're a woman, you're more likely to end up with the cold hands/cold feet thing--it's a metabolism issue.  Something that fixed it for me was going on the Atkins diet.  It really ramped up my body heat level.  I was able to turn the heat down by 2 degrees and *still* felt warm, especially in my feet.  That said, Atkins isn't for everyone, but if you're overweight, then the two are probably linked.  Your body essentially has two modes--a calorie burning mode and a calorie storing mode.  If you eat too much sugar (possibly too much carbs, but fructose is the main problem), it sets your body into a storage mode--you're storing calories instead of burning them, so your metabolism slows down because your body is conserving energy for the future.  If you're in a calorie burning mode, your body ramps up the metabolism.  You want to get your body into a calorie burning mode.

I can't remember which of these addresses this issue, but Robert Lustig has a book and a talk regarding the metabolic effort of sugar:

His talk:  Sugar, the bitter truth
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBnniua6-oM

And his book, Fat Chance:
http://www.amazon.com/Fat-Chance-Beating-Against-Processed/dp/0142180432

The talk is better (and free), so start there.

Davids

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Re: Where do you set your thermostat for the winter?
« Reply #18 on: January 01, 2015, 10:23:04 AM »
Because we have a baby we keep it at 70 during the winter. When it was just me and my wife we kept it at 60.

darkadams00

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Re: Where do you set your thermostat for the winter?
« Reply #19 on: January 01, 2015, 10:26:25 AM »
Primarily 66 when we're not at home or at night while we sleep and 68 when we up and about at home. 


MoneyCat

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Re: Where do you set your thermostat for the winter?
« Reply #20 on: January 01, 2015, 10:27:39 AM »
I usually keep it at about 65 during the day and 60 at night, but the last day or so I have kept the thermostat set at 67 during the day because it's been hard to keep heat in the house with the intense cold we've been getting lately.  Our weather station is listing our indoor temperature at 62 downstairs.

Elle 8

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Re: Where do you set your thermostat for the winter?
« Reply #21 on: January 01, 2015, 10:45:38 AM »
I'm in New England.  My thermostat has 4 time periods; morning, day, evening, night.  In the morning it goes to 64 for a couple hours while I'm showering and getting dressed.  Then during the day it drops to 55.  I'm not home all day and my boyfriend is in and out of the house during the day.  In the evening back up to 64 for a few hours while we're hanging around.  Then 52 for night.

I use wool blankets and I love them.  It gets nice and toasty but not too hot.  We have a down comforter but we got too hot and sweaty with it so we don't use it anymore.  The wool seems to regulate heat better.  Good wool blankets can be expensive but we've picked some up at estate sales for cheap.

ClovisKid

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Re: Where do you set your thermostat for the winter?
« Reply #22 on: January 03, 2015, 07:33:03 PM »
The wool blanket idea is interesting. I had used cotton flannel years ago and was annoyed with the occasional night sweats.  I will try some wool. I heard that down was good too.

alsoknownasDean

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Re: Where do you set your thermostat for the winter?
« Reply #23 on: January 03, 2015, 07:51:27 PM »
When I lived in a place with central heating, I'd have it around 22C during the evening, and switched off most other times.

It's a bit brisk when getting out of bed on a chilly (by our standards) morning, but it rarely gets below freezing here so I just deal with it, no point running it for an hour or so in the morning when I'm just getting ready for work.

My current place doesn't have central heating, but I've got a small upright heater with a timer that I can set when it switches on and off. Not that it matters now as it's summer (can't comment on AC temps as I don't have aircon).

Self-employed-swami

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Re: Where do you set your thermostat for the winter?
« Reply #24 on: January 03, 2015, 08:10:06 PM »
16.5 overnight, and when no one is home, 17.5 when someone is home, or 18.5 if it's colder than -20 continuously (we have a pipe-freezing potential when the basement stays below about 15, which it does if the main level isn't set higher).  Our bedrooms are upstairs, so they are usually warmer than the 16.5, but I like it cool when I sleep (I have a huge duvet) and my husband likes to be downright cold, as he has a blanket made of two sheets sown together with some summer-weight cotton in between.

His winter blanket is my summer blanket.  We don't have AC, as it rarely gets over 30 degrees in the house in the summer, and we have nice airflow with our windows.

lizzzi

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Re: Where do you set your thermostat for the winter?
« Reply #25 on: January 03, 2015, 08:26:17 PM »
I'm keeping it at 62 day and night, but I'm chilly during the day and wear layers of wool. At night I'm fine with flannel nightgown, wool socks, flannel sheets and a down comforter. I'm thinking of cranking up the heat to a toasty 67 during the day…but trying to hold off on that and not wimp out.

We have central air conditioning, but I never turn it on in the summer, no matter what. Location is northeastern Ohio.

ontheroaderic

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Re: Where do you set your thermostat for the winter?
« Reply #26 on: January 03, 2015, 08:51:58 PM »
58 night or unoccupied, 67 when we are home and awake. I'd like less but my wife and I compromised at 67.

Prepube

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Re: Where do you set your thermostat for the winter?
« Reply #27 on: January 03, 2015, 08:57:10 PM »
Because we have a baby we keep it at 70 during the winter. When it was just me and my wife we kept it at 60.

Can someone please explain this to me?  Why does a baby human have to be at or above 70 all the time?  There was another response like this above, and it made me shake my head, but this second one makes me want to know why.  Humans are pretty adaptable.  Why treat the little ones differently?

NeonPegasus

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Re: Where do you set your thermostat for the winter?
« Reply #28 on: January 03, 2015, 09:21:22 PM »

Because we have a baby we keep it at 70 during the winter. When it was just me and my wife we kept it at 60.

Can someone please explain this to me?  Why does a baby human have to be at or above 70 all the time?  There was another response like this above, and it made me shake my head, but this second one makes me want to know why.  Humans are pretty adaptable.  Why treat the little ones differently?

Babies are less able to regulate their body temperature. The smaller they are, the harder it is. Also, they can't sleep with blankets in the crib (SIDS risk) so they can't just pull one up over them if they get cold. Finally, colder air is drier  - it can exacerbate eczema and dry out their delicate mucus membranes.

lizzzi

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Re: Where do you set your thermostat for the winter?
« Reply #29 on: January 04, 2015, 06:45:51 AM »
+1

Albert

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Re: Where do you set your thermostat for the winter?
« Reply #30 on: January 04, 2015, 07:26:15 AM »
+20 C during the heating season (October-April), variable during summer months since I don't have (or need) AC.

DMoney

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Re: Where do you set your thermostat for the winter?
« Reply #31 on: January 04, 2015, 11:21:15 AM »
62 during the work day when no one home.

67 during hours we're home and awake

62 during sleepy time

+1 for the baby issue.  Our little ones wear sleep sacks over their PJs (they're past the SIDS risk, but still aren't coordinated enough to cover themselves with a blanket).  But I still don't think they're as warm as my husband and I together in bed under a few blankets.  So rather than warm the whole house for them, we have a space heater in their room which has a thermostat. (turns off above 70 degrees)

jopiquant

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Re: Where do you set your thermostat for the winter?
« Reply #32 on: January 04, 2015, 11:00:05 PM »
We set our main thermostat to 15 when we're away at work and 18 when we're home (59 & 66F, respectively). We're often in the basement with the gas fireplace on and it can sneak all the way up to 22 sometimes before we turn it down. Our room is about 16 at night. Our whole house costs $48/month for gas for our furnace, fireplace and hot water heater; our guests find it quite cold unless we take pity on them and crank it up a nudge.

Vancouver winters are relatively warm - it doesn't drop below freezing but a few nights a year.