October 5, 2006

"I vowed to lower the thermostat at night by one degree — not two, as often recommended by tree-huggers."

From an article about easily accomplished energy-saving around the house. An illustration depicts a guy turning the thermostat from 70° to 69°. What is wrong with people? Quite aside from the entire subject of environmentalism, these are ridiculous cold weather thermostat settings. In summertime, people equally ridiculously put the air conditioning at 69 or 70° and wear short sleeves and sandals and even shorts. So why are you cranking the heat up that high when you're wearing a sweater? Something terrible has gone wrong with your brain.

What is the right nighttime setting for cold weather? It's 62° (or lower), and that's not even taking the environment or the cost of heating into account. Purely as a matter of comfort and health, you should go low for sleeping. Use a warm comfortor and you won't feel cold. You will feel much better in the morning from breathing cool air during the night. I used to get sinusitis every winter and end up going to the doctor for antibiotics, but after I moved to a big house, I started turning down the heat -- to save money -- and ever since, I've never had this problem. In fact, I've had one cold in over ten years.

I also dislike the sound and feeling of heated air blowing into the room at night. Because of this, I turn the the heat up to 68° in the evening to warm things up, then put it way down -- maybe as low as 55° -- to make it unlikely, most nights, that the furnace will come on at all. This is perfect for a very sound night's sleep. Gradually, it gets cooler and cooler, and if it wakes you up, it's a natural alarm clock. You'll get up and feel great. And when you do, maybe you'll remember I gave you this tip, and you'll have extra time in the morning to stop by the blog and see what new pearls of wisdom have appeared.

62 comments:

al said...

It's a mental thing. 70 in the house with AC when it's 98 outside is wonderful. In the winter that same 70 when it's -20 seems real cold.

Much like you our house gets chilly at night - thermostat kicks back to 62 at 10:00pm in the winter. Since my wife is hormone unbalanced at this time in her life one of our windows is generally open so our bedroom is somewhere in the 50s right now. A refreshing way to wake up.

As for the 'no colds' - my sons doctor told us when he was a few months old to keep the house cool at night, under 65, and to use blankets. He'd be healthier and plenty warm. Seems to have worked for him. As for the rest of us we don't get many colds. Even with my wife working as a nurse in a busy office.

As for my son - last year at college he argued with his roommate over room temp and keeping a window open at night. Shawn won that battle and has a new roommate this year that doesn't mind the chill in the morning.

John Jenkins said...

I've had one cold in over ten years.

So you've all abandoned the germ theory of disease because you think the thermostat setting in your house governs whether you become ill?

Wuth all due respect, this is irrational bullshit, at least in this century. Maybe in the 18th it made sense.

Ann Althouse said...

John, you fool, germs are everywhere. The issue is what makes you susceptible to them.

Pogo said...

Re: "So you've all abandoned the germ theory of disease..."

Or instead,
1. Germs might be less able to move, attach, invade, or reproduce in the nasopharynx when the ambient temperature is lower.
or
2. Since chronically poor sleep can decrease the immune response, improved sleep might increase the immune reponse.

Not implausible at all.

DBrooks said...

Ann, I really enjoy your site, but let's make a deal--You won't use your personal preferences to tell me how to set my thermostat, and I won't use my personal preferences to tell you what car to drive.

Ann Althouse said...

DBrooks: No deal. I'm right. It's your own loss if you don't take my advice.

Christy said...

I love a cold bedroom too. Only problem is making myself crawl out from under those covers in the a.m. I've such delicate tootsies, you see.

And now that you mention it, I do have much fewer colds and sinus problems than the rest of my family.

Every year I play around with the temps as the season changes to see the limits of my tolerance. Summertime temps of 75 degrees with fans going full blast are as high as I can manage.

JenL said...

I'll admit I get a good night's sleep in a cool room . . . . the problem is that I also get a good *morning's* sleep. When I'm nice and warm, but the room around me is cool, I go into hibernation mode and sleep right through any alarm clock.

MadisonMan said...

It is a dreadful experience to visit my in-law's -- their house is so warm, all we do is fight the torpor that happens when it's too darn hot. So don't keep your house warm in the day either.

As I tell my kids: If you're cold, Put on a sweater!

John(classic) said...

I can assure you from extensive experience, this is not that simple.

The theory Ann espouses, that one sleeps better in a cold room, is true -- all other things being equal. The reality is that all other things are not equal.

At 60 degrees, the female coon cat gets on the bed, and stomps on one or the other of the sleepers until allowed to get under the covers where she purrs in a loud, errratic rumbling.

At 58 degrees the Springer Spaniel leaps on the bed and and as quietly as a 55 lb dog can when doing something illicit, curls up at the foot of the bed. The dog can be persuaded to get down with several loud commands that wake the other sleeper. He'll be back though.

AT 57 degrees, the second coon cat gets on the bed. He will now contest space with the Springer (back on the bed) until they work out an arrangement that involves a joint effort to wedge themselves into the space between the two human sleepers.

At 56 degrees, the humans,formerly lifelong lights of each other's lives,enter into a cruel and divisive discussion about equitable distribution of the quilt. In reality, the dog and cat, setting aside inborn prehjudices, have entered into a conspiracy to steal the quilt and squinch it under them. This endavour has, of course, awakened the other cat, formerly comfortable under the covers.

At 54 degrees.the human male in the sad physical decrepitude of later life, can spend up to one hour in wakefulness debating whetehr or not he really has to get up and go to the bathroom in he cold -- he does, and he will, but only after long delay. The issue will be compounded when he returns and attempts to evict animals, in the process awakening the human female and the feline female who have entered into an agreement on rapidly sharing the area under the covers that was temporarily expanded by the humanmales absence.

And so it goes..reality is far more complicated than theory.

Ann Althouse said...

I usually had the house at 65° during the day when my kids were growing up, and they never said they were cold. They ran around barefoot most of the time, in fact. They wore long sleeves but not sweaters. A lot of this feeling of being cold is in your mind, but some of it is a matter of growing hardy and activating the body's own heating mechanisms. I think this is one reason people have gotten so fat. They aren't burning calories to heat themselves (they're burning calories eaten long ago by dinosaurs).

Pogo said...

Accoding to Daniel Yergin in "The Commanding Heights", the poor economy and strikes led to coal shortages in Britain in the late 1970s. As a result, average-income residents had to limit heating to 3 days per week. Very, very cold nights there.

Indeed, it was The "Winter of Discontent" describing the British winter of 1978–79, when widespread strikes resulted in unburied coffins, petrol shortages, nursing strikes, and trash piled high on the streets.

1. Consequently, Margaret Thatcher got elected.
2. Socialism in Britain began its slow decline.
3. The fact that we can heat our rooms to ridiculous warmth in the dead of winter speaks of a degree of wealth unheard of in the history of mankind. I kid you not.
4. Those bad economic times gave rise to Punk Music and then New Wave. So anything that brought forth Joy Division, Dead Can Dance, Elvis Costello, and The Specials can't be all bad.

reader_iam said...

For a minute, when I first read this post, I was temporarily disoriented, thinking, "wait, did I read this in the wee hours this morning, when I couldn't sleep?"

Then I remembered this post of yours.

I'll bet you haven't gotten a cold since last October!

Tom C said...

Well, we could fill the comment space with stories about wood heating in Vermont. Ugh. I like it cool, too, but one of the top days of this decade was the day my central heating system went on line...sometimes I just look lovingly at my thermostat (set to 60 this time of year) while thinking that I don't have to bring 3 loads of wood into the house today...in January, the house temp could easily fall to 40 if the fire went out. You'd get a sense that something was wrong (moaning dogs, cat in the bedroom, etc.) and have to get up to re-light the fire; and be too chilled to get back to sleep.

Of course, now my wife wants a fire every night "to take the chill off". I knew I should have gotten rid of the wood stove permanently when I had the chance.

Richard Fagin said...

Ah, yes, what tgemperature to set the thermostat...reminds me fondly of the training engineer at Schlumberger's Belle Chasse, La. training center sometime in late 1978. He used to keep the classroom AC set at 65, which about froze most of us to our seats. When one of us complained, the reply was, "You're not very patriotic, are you. The President said to turn your thermostats down to 65 degrees!", which indeed President Carter had asked - for heating in the winter.

Diane said...

I agree sleeping cooler is best. Maybe the germ theory is why doctors' offices are generally much chillier than you'd expect.

Bruce Hayden said...

I do expect that to some extent, it is what you get used to. I feel like MM about too hot houses, but am not comfortable with them too cold either. But, it is all relative. My kid spent its first about ten years in the mountains, and still runs around in Tshirts in the winter.

I think though that it can be taken to an extreme. I had a friend in Austin who didn't heat in the winter or cool in the summer (or use much water), in a very large house. So, long underwear in the winter, and almost nothing in the summers.

I might sleep well in that situation in the winter, but it sure wasn't romantic. And summers, they were rather brutal. That is why air conditioning was invented.

Yes, I would rather not sleep with air conditioning, but I find I need it below about 7,000 feet in the summers any more. I spent my first summer in D.C. some 30 years ago w/o air conditioning, and make sure that I never repeat that - if you sleep better at 65 degrees, that means that it is very hard to sleep well at all at 95 degrees and 90 percent humidity, esp. if you are like me, and grew up in a much dried, cooler climate.

My solution to all this is the relatively cheap addition of programmable thermostats. I just program in the temperature swings for around the clock. So, when I had a two story house in PHX, in the summer, I would allow the upper floor to heat up during the day, and then started cooling it down about 9, so that it would be cool enough by midnight when I went to bed. I would then turn off most of the air conditioning up there around 7 the next day. I would start cooling the downstairs down around 6 or so, and keep it reasonably cool downstairs (but not as cool as at night), until about 10 p.m.

In the winter (?), I would leave the upstair unheated during the day, and only heat it up to about 65 at night. Downstairs would be somewhat heated during the day, but not at night at all.

The result was surprisingly low power bills, and a system that matched my lifestyle. Part of it was that warm air rises, and I only cooled the upstairs at night when energy prices were low.

My optimal place to live is somewhere where it is cool enough to sleep at night in the middle of the summer with the windows open. I am not talking acclimating to 85 or 90, but rather where the nights drop to 75 or lower. Lower is nicer.

Nasty, Brutish & Short said...

Ann, they make perfectly easy (and cheap) programmable thermostats that do it all for you. In the winter, we drop the temp way down at night, and during the day (when now one is home). It gets bumped up during the shower/breakfast hour in the am, and then again after work.

Meade said...

Ann Althouse said...
...They aren't burning calories to heat themselves (they're burning calories eaten long ago by dinosaurs).


Hence the idiom, "living off the fat of the Tyrannosaurus rex."

bill said...

This is why I sleep outdoors. Got a cot under the dogwood and if it rains, I'll throw up a tarp. Shower under the hose and borrow wifi from the neighbors. Saving a ton of money and it turns the entire house into a giant closet. Sweet!

Ann Althouse said...

I should add that I never have the air conditioning on for sleeping, and I only rarely put it on during the day. Maybe about 10 afternoons in the summer, total.

Brent said...

I have found that when it's the guys only - over for the game, for example - it rarely matters WHAT the temperature is. Men, in my 5 decades of cross-the-country experience, rarely comment or complain about the interior temperature.

Women, on the other hand, seem to be constantly "too cold" or "too hot" with just the variance of a couple of degrees. What's up with that?

NSC said...

Brent,

It's called hormones and it gets worse the older they get. As Ron Burgundy said, "It's science."

Pogo said...

It's a hard and fast rule at conventions and conferences that the number one complaint will be "the room was too [hot/cold]", followed by denigration of the free food.

I draw the line at wearing gloves inside.

John said...

For comfort: as mentioned earlier, programmable thermastats are the answer. Set it for lower temps over night and then, raise the temperature about an hour before your alarm goes off and your set to go. Get thermastats that allow you to set back during the day if your house is empty and warm for your return.

For savings: The next step is to find the right temperature for everyone in the house. That can be harder than deciding the menu for dinner.

Finally, getting your wife to understand how a thermastat works - I wonder how many marriages end from this - or investing in a locking case is a must. You could spend an inordinate amount of time checking to see if the settings are changed or to see if the system is on or off.

dmc_in_washington said...

One of this blog's most enjoyable threads in a while... esp. ann's tart replies to naysayers! Now, if I can just convince by fiancee, who love warm weather and is booing the approach of fall, to sleep at night sans heat!

Nasty, Brutish & Short said...

The person who invents zoned climate control for a bed (like the sleep number beds, for firmness) will make a killing. They kind of are part of the way there, with high-end cars.

Ann Althouse said...

Nasty: It's called a dual-control electric blanket (or mattress pad). Alternatively, sleep naked while your mate wears a flannel nightie. Or just put an extra comfortor on one side. Personally, I like my lower legs warmer than the rest of my body. It's easy to do with an extra comfortor.

And thanks for the reminder about the heated car seats. I'd forgotten I had them!

Sean E said...

"Finally, getting your wife to understand how a thermastat works - I wonder how many marriages end from this - or investing in a locking case is a must. "

One of my pet peeves is waking up in a sweat at midnight, wondering why the hell the furnace keeps kicking in when it's programmed to go down to 16 C (about 61 F) at night. I haul my arse out of bed and trudge down the hall to find my wife turned the thermostat up to 21 during the day and set it to "permanent hold." Why would she do this??

Joe said...

72 in the winter, 78 in the summer. My body turns off outside that range. Even at 72 I feel frozen all winter even with extra clothes.

(Oh, and Richard, Pres. Carter mandated government buildings would be set to 68 degrees in the winter and suggested everyone do the same.)

rhodeymark1 said...

I suppose it's fine to wake up in a freezing house if you have a mondo forced air system to crank up, but you wouldn't do that with a boiler. You just can't sit next to the radiator waiting for it to become useful. I am with NSB - the programmable stat is the greatest energy/money saver yet, because it takes the memory aspect out of the equation and allows the house to shake off the shivers before you pad to the coffee pot. The granite counter will still be serviceable for a Coldstone Creamery though!

Mike said...

Anything above 70 is too hot for my blood.

MadisonMan said...

bill, I would never tent sleep in Wisconsin. Bugs bugs bugs bugs. I also rarely use the a/c. I'd never use it, but am outvoted by wife and kids.

David Walser said...

You people are such weenies! You heat your homes at night? In our home, we let nature do her worst and still sleep with nothing more than a sheet on the bed! This is possible because we are hardy, of good moral character, and refuse to let minor things like the temperature control our lives. 62 degrees is the best temperature for sleeping? Hah! I wouldn't know if that's true. I refuse to allow my wife to set the thermostat below 75 degrees. Air conditioning is expensive. (We live in the Phoenix area. The overnight low, last night, was 70 degrees. We won't break out the blankets for another few weeks and won't turn the heat on -- if at all -- for another couple of months.)

Pogo said...

In January early 1990s, a bitter winter, the cold air knifed around the single pane windows and between the stone foundation and floor. God, it was cold. Outside shoveling, I wore two long coats, one over the other. I hated that winter.

A few summers later, we remodelled that 1898 Minnesota house, and found walls stuffed with old newspapers, horsehair, and even old quilts and rags.

The original owners must have thought heaven had come when they ditched the kitchen stove for an ocotopus heater in the early 1900s. By 1990, that old machine had been coaxed as far as it could go, and we had it put down, old thing.

Anonymous said...

Disconnected thoughts:
-It's not the heat, it's excessive dryness from heating that makes you susceptible to colds. You could keep your house at 85 degrees all winter if you humidify properly. It's counterintuitive, but it's science.

-There's a reason they call 72 degrees farenheit "room temperature."

-Saying "no one needs what I don't need" is a form of elitism I disdain. Saying you're going to be made miserable because it's good for you is de rigeur these days. Mind your own business.

-One size does not fit all. One size doesn't even fit many, in my experience in these matters.

-Radiant floor heat gives lots of people athlete's foot.

-It's easier to make yourself really comfortable in your house than ever before. Few people do, anyway. They just keep chasing fads.

rafinlay said...

Speaking of knowing how a thermostat works: Thermostats react to the temperature where THEY are. In the winter, the temperature (usually) drops off as you get further away from the thermostat, toward the walls & windows. In summer, the reverse. So it is not anomolous that 70 degrees (per thermostat) in summer is warmer than 70 degrees in winter.

Tibore said...

How in God's name does everyone else here end up free of colds sleeping in the cold? I never did. I've heard this advice before, and it sure as heck never worked for me. The sickest I've ever gotten was the year I tried keeping my place at 67 degrees in the winter. I'd bulk up on clothes, had a really nice, thick comforter... nope. Sickest I've ever been.

I don't think Asian Pacific Islander physiology is that different. Besides, I grew up here in Indiana, and while it's hardly as bad as, say, upper Michigan or anywhere in Wisconsin in the winter, it's hardly warm. I'd think I'd be acclimated by having lived here all my life. But no, sleeping in the cold eventually gets me head-colds. Real bad ones. I don't even consider letting the thermo drop below 72 if I'm at home. So lower temps at night works for the rest of you all? Well... more power to you, I guess. I'm never following that advice. Never again.

As an aside: Everyone talking about those programmable thermostats are right! I installed one, and while a $5 to $8 savings per month isn't huge, it's definitely, consistently there. I can use that on other stuff; an extra $5 a month on groceries I can really grok on! 8 bucks? Whoo-hoo! Best 30-odd bucks I've spent on my place so far.

Dave said...

One of the more annoying aspects of living in NYC is that old apartment buildings are all hooked up to a central furnace, with little ability for people in individual apartments to control the temperature of their apartments. The supers always overheat the building to compensate for the fact that a lot of heat dissipates on the journey from the lower floors to the upper floors.

Consequence? Those living on the lower floors either sleep drenched in sweat, or keep their windows open.

PatCA said...

"So you've all abandoned the germ theory of disease because you think the thermostat setting in your house governs whether you become ill?"

Even here in CA, my ENT told me to lower the temp at night so the heat doesn't go on and dehydrate the inhabitants, and to use a humidifier at night as well.

Dry nasal passages=congestion=breeding ground for germs. I went from 5 sinus infections/year down to one!

Simon Kenton said...

Ms Althouse wrote:

"some of it is a matter of growing hardy and activating the body's own heating mechanisms."

When the Finns fought the Russians to a standstill in the winter of '39-40, killing 40 Russians per Finn, they did it with 2 wool blankets each for their winter kit. As Ms Althouse points out, if you tough it out with a blanket or two for 3 nights, you reset your metabolism. This was confirmed with a bunch of college kids at the high altitude research station in Colorado (10,000 foot altitude). It freezes every night in the summer. They gave the kids each a sheet. After three days of whining and sleepless toothchattering, the kids began to eat like stevedores and slept fine the rest of the summer.

It is the easiest of all the weight-loss mechanisms - a lot easier than jogging at -10F, infinitely easier than jogging on a treadmill and watching CNN. (You could make a teleological sort of argument that time spent on a treadmill watching CNN is leveraged at least 5 to 1 at cutting back your time in Purgatory.) And it works so long as you can resist the body's response to ramp up caloric intake.

Ann Althouse said...

David Walser: You are a weenie for putting air conditioning on when it's not even in the 80s!

Ann Althouse said...

Simon: I love the idea of a weight-loss program that's all about resetting the amount of cold you tolerate. It's so hardy, and you can continue hardy eating. I recommend drinking a lot of ice water too, so the body has to burn calories to reheat from the inside as well.

nina said...

Can we accept that people react differently to heat or to cold temps? I hate being cold. Most of us Europeans are warned that Americans are insane about AC use in the summer. And it's true -- I freeze everywhere then.
I like warm, but not hot spaces. I could live in the 72 - 85 range year round and be happy. You don't mind feeling cool, I don't mind sweating. I never have colds. I am not fat even though your theory promotes the idea that I should be. I exercise quite a bit. Etc. Etc. My range may make you feel ill with discomfort, but why do all you "proud to be cold" types demand that I should live in your range?

BeckyJ said...

John(classic) - hysterical!

We have the same problem year round. It gets worse in the winter time. I base my assessments of the temperature outside the covers by how burrowed in the 2 cats (no dog...yet) get. The colder the temperature, the deeper the burrow.

Maxine Weiss said...

Air control.

It's the final frontier.

Air control, and others trying to control how others control their own air.

Humidifiers, de-humidifiers, fans, air conditioners, air purifiers, heaters, air fresheners...

Can't people just let the air be?

Must the air be manipulated so?

Peace, Maxine

Ron said...

Some of you keep your homes remarkably cold. I guess I'm in tune with the classic room temperature becuase 72 works for me. I feel comfortable without being warm, but I admit to using ceiling fans a lot. Problem is I hate wearing socks and shoes in the house so I'm anything much colder will put me off and on edge. 74 is often too hot for me. But a huge part of it is the humidity. I live in TX right now. Used to live in SD and slept in a basement that was always cool...but it was a particular kind of cool. Liked it.

Maxine Weiss said...

Well, there you have it:

It's a hosiery problem more than anything else.

Peace, Maxine

stoqboy said...

I use the air conditioner in the summer primarily to lower the humidity. It's set at 80. In the winter, night time lows are 60, and day time highs are 68. I would move them lower (55 and 64) if it weren't for my co-inhabitents. The previous owner finished the basement, so I can't get at the piping to do zone control (heat downstairs, cool upstairs).

knoxgirl said...

Gotta agree with Sippican and Nina on this one.

Why is it a contest how cold you keep your house at night? Seems to me everyone has different preferences and experiences.

We had a casual discussion about this at work once and I remember this one woman, being all, "I turn my heat down to 55 in the winter" utterly disgusted that the rest of us needed to be at least in the mid-sixties. Whatever!

Ann Althouse said...

Nina: "why do all you "proud to be cold" types demand that I should live in your range?"

I'm not demanding, just recommending. And I'm not saying keeping cold is the only way to keep from getting fat. You may be cold because you're thin. Your body is trying to get you to add a layer of fat and not shiver any more of it off! It senses danger.

And don't call us "cold." The body warms itself if we're comfortable in a cool room. It's the people who complain that they're cold in a cool room who are cold, if someone must be called cold.

reader_iam said...

I see the conversation has gotten a bit heated.

OddD said...

Huh. Heaters you say?

Here in L.A. we have to keep the windows open in the night just to keep it liveable during the day.

I think it was NASA that discovered the brain operates best at around 68 degrees.

Which explains a lot, here in L.A.

Palladian said...

Heat is the enemy. I can't tolerate being in rooms that are much above 70 degrees, especially if there is no ventilation or air circulating. I live in part of a 19th century factory building that has been little altered since then. It has no insulation, save for the facade of cast iron and the bricks behind it and plaster lath interior walls, and no heating other than an overhead blower which was installed when I moved in. The blower easily heats my space up to a comfortable winter temperature of 63 or so. Since it is so noisy, I try to have it switch on as infrequently as possible. In the summer, I run the air conditioner pretty much constantly; it becomes intolerable to me if I don't. And as cliched as it sounds, it really is the humidity that's the problem.

I find it very hard to work or think or read in rooms that are too warm. Something about the cold invigorates the brain, which is why I pine for autumn and winter. It's the best time to get any work done.

Palladian said...

Oh, and I want to mention that I would open the windows more, but the air quality in the particular part of New York City where I live is so bad (especially in the summer) that I can't stand it. The window sills get covered with fine black sooty residue if you leave the windows open for a day. Which is one of the reasons I'm going to relocate to the countryside.

nina said...

In the summer, when the warm breezes blew in through my open windows, dinner guests would often feel free to say "turn on the air conditioning! It's so warm in here!"
In the winter, when I go to a Wisconsinite's home, I am often cold. I know I have no right to demand warmth. My nose is cold, my hands are cold, but I stay silent. Such is the power of the the "cold temps" lobbyists.
I find those on both coasts (and those in Europe) much more reasonable in this respect. Something about pushing hardiness out here in the Midwest brings out the shivers in me.

Ann Althouse said...

Nina, if you stay silent, how are you so sure people wouldn't accommodate you? I think most people would rather hear about it than know you were just thinking it and feeling bad.

The main thing about heat that might make people think the hottest person gets to dictate is that when you're hot, there's no remedy. There's no equivalent to putting on extra layers. This is a big reason to prefer cold: you can put on more clothes. On the other hand, if it's cold enough, it'll kill you, and the discomfort stirs up actual primal fears of freezing to death. Getting too hot is comparatively meaningless. On a primal level, it's just a message to slow down, rest, and drink water. Not too scary.

Derve said...

See, this is why October is the best.

You got the hot afternoons, the cool evenings, even cold overnights and mornings.

And that's not even mentioning the crispness factor.

Midwest October makes you want to pull out the Bradbury. He got it right temperature -wise.

Revenant said...

On the other hand, if it's cold enough, it'll kill you, and the discomfort stirs up actual primal fears of freezing to death. Getting too hot is comparatively meaningless.

Don't more people die from heat than cold these days, at least in the United States?

I'd always thought they did. Maybe I just *wanted* to think that after living through too many Southern summers as a kid.

Cant Sit Still said...

Thanks for the validation! My partner is a fan of your blog, and now you are my new hero for posting that. And, John (classic), it is complicated in our zoo, too! That was so much fun to read. Thank you.

Kev said...

"One of the more annoying aspects of living in NYC is that old apartment buildings are all hooked up to a central furnace, with little ability for people in individual apartments to control the temperature of their apartments."

The same thing happened at my apartment in college, just north of Dallas. Even worse, the apartment manager had to switch it over from heat to A/C and vice versa--once in the fall, and once in the spring. So we'd get that first September cold front that would bring temperatures down for a few days, and without fail, one resident (usually female and from an Asian country, which means she was used to much higher temperatures at home) would get cold and beg the manager to make the switch. Being the nice guy that he was, he'd usually comply, and the rest of us would swelter until November, when it finally got cold again.

Even worse was that there wasn't a thetmostat at all--just an "off" switch and three different levels of "on-ness." During the heating season, that meant that we had to warm the place up when we got home at night and then turn it off before bedtime. We only made the mistake of letting it run all night once; I woke up that night about 4 a.m., drenched in sweat and with the driest throat I'd ever had in my life.

Kev said...

One more thing--I've tried to set the house at 68 in the winter to save on my heating bills, and, while I survive it, I haven't really acclimated yet. As others have said here, the shock of that temperature at 6 a.m. tends to put me in full cocoon mode, and I end up hitting way too many snooze alarms before I finally go to the shower. It may have to do with the contrast; I set the (programmable, thankfully) thermostat to 78 during the summer (which lasts a long time here in Texas) because anything above that is just too humid.

But you're right--I don't get many colds, though I'd always attributed that to the Vitamin C that I take every morning.