Is the temperature of your home a constant battle between you and your family members? If so, you’re not alone. In fact, if you live with a member of the opposite gender, this phenomenon is downright commonplace. But why is that?
Men, on average, have more muscle mass and a higher metabolic rate than women, which means they tend to burn more calories and, as a byproduct, produce more heat. Additionally, women’s bodies tend to channel more heat toward their internal organs than men’s do, leaving their extremities running several degrees cooler. These biological differences help to explain why women are typically more sensitive to cold and fluctuations in temperature than are men.
It also explains why the temperature is such a battle in many homes, since conflict arises when one person wants to keep the ambient temperature in the home higher while the other person prefers a lower temp. So other than both of you changing the thermostat setting every time you walk by (not so great for your HVAC system or your electric bill!), what can you do? Check out our suggestions for keeping the peace, below.
Compromise with layers
If you’d like to go the most cost-effective, simple and practical route, then it’s time to layer up. The person who is always cold can wear warmer clothes and use blankets when they are indoors, while the hot-blooded person can dress in fewer layers and thinner clothes. This may seem like a painfully obvious solution, but many people are in the habit of reaching for the thermostat before they think to adjust their own clothing!
Use a space heater
In cooler seasons when the furnace is keeping your house warm, a small, energy-efficient space heater is an option to keep the chillier person toasty. Just be sure that you use a newer model with an auto-shutoff safety feature in case of tipping or overheating, and be mindful of where you place the heater. Always follow the suggested safety precautions!
Try a small fan
The problem does not go away when warmer weather arrives. One person is likely to feel that the A/C system is turned down too low, while the other insists they are not comfortable with it up any higher. In this case, try a small personal fan for the warmer person. If family members tend to spend a lot of time in different rooms and the fan just isn’t cutting it, you can also try using a small window A/C unit to keep cool.
Invest in a zoned system
If it’s time to replace your HVAC system and/or you would rather just solve the problem permanently, consider investing in a zoned HVAC system. This kind of system divides your house into zones which are controlled by independent thermostats, allowing you to personalize the temperature in specific areas and keep everybody happy.
Do you and your family disagree about the temperature in your home? Which compromises work for you? Let us know in the comments below!