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04 November 2010

What temperature do you keep your house during the winter?
Currently experimenting with 68 while people are home and 62 at night/empty
posted by apoch 04 November | 04:36
I'm doing 65 at all times, and it's chilly.
posted by Stewriffic 04 November | 04:49
posted by Obscure Reference 04 November | 06:39
On winter mornings, I'm happy to be in the low 50s.
posted by DarkForest 04 November | 06:43
About 68F.
posted by BoringPostcards 04 November | 06:54
We don't have a thermostat that can set a specific temp. All I can tell you is that my husband wants it too damn hot in the winter and too damn cool in the summer.
posted by gaspode 04 November | 07:05
Usually around 65, any higher and I start sweating. It is nice to have a furnace (boiler really) that works; we finally replaced the 1946 model last winter and our gas bill went down by 25% - 30%. And we got a tax break.
posted by octothorpe 04 November | 07:13
70 ish.
posted by chewatadistance 04 November | 07:28
22C when I'm there and awake, 20C when I'm away or asleep. I used to let it get a lot colder than that when I'm out, but now I have two cats who I think would find it too chilly.

For those in non-metric countries (Myanmar, Liberia, and the United States), that's about 72F and 68F, respectively.
posted by FishBike 04 November | 07:41
67. Sometimes I bump it up to 68 during the day.
posted by leesh 04 November | 07:43
My office thermostat is set at Ice Well, and the culture in here is that it can never be touched, or even looked at, so I tend to overcompensate a bit when I get home, low 70s (low 20s for the rest of the world except Myanmar and Liberia).
posted by JanetLand 04 November | 08:12
We have a Florida room, a south-facing room with windows that heats up a lot during the day. 3/4 of the year, this just means that our AC bill is much higher than it should be. During the winter, though, it means we only turn the heat on if it gets down to about the 30's out.

It is not a good tradeoff. It is absolutely not. WTF were they thinking? This is Florida! We don't need a room designed to heat the whole house! It only GETS down to the 30's for a couple of weeks, if that! We need buildings designed to cool, not to heat. I keep thick blankets stapled across most of the windows most of the year, in fact, just trying to keep the heat down.

I think I'm ranting. Sorry.
posted by galadriel 04 November | 09:03
We keep ours at about 70, but that's only because the well-insulated (brick walls) downstairs where the thermostat is stays warmer than the finished-attic-with-no-insulation upstairs does. Ideally It'd be 68 throughout.

galadriel, we put up this Gila window film on a west-facing window that got lots of afternoon sun and got unbearably hot in the summer and it helped a ton. We got the platinum level. It's a bit fiddly to install, but it works pretty well! You can get it at Lowes and probably other home improvement stores. The only thing is it makes the windows look more reflect-y -- almost but not quite mirrored -- from the outside. But from the inside it only darkens the view a tiny bit.
posted by misskaz 04 November | 09:26
Not sure. We have a hodgepodge system of a woodstove, plus different kinds of baseboard, wall, or stand-alone electric heaters other places in the house.

In Winter, we try to stay comfortable, but this can range in temperature. We also wear more clothes in the Winter.
posted by danf 04 November | 09:31
Misskaz, I've priced window film and it's something that we decided to put off a while longer; the blankets work well enough until then. Thanks tho.

I'm mostly frustrated that the original builder put this much effort into building this stupid thing in the first place--a whole room that captures and intensifies heat, and a house designed to contain heat rather than release it. In Florida. What was he THINKING? (For the record, he also lined the living room walls with unfinished rough-cut wood and one of the walls in the dining room is exterior brick. I'm not sure this guy did much in the way of rational thought.)
posted by galadriel 04 November | 09:42
I don't like it too hot unless I've just gotten chilled from being outdoors or something. We generally keep it around 62-65, and if it's over 60 at night I am too hot sleeping (down comforter + cats + partner effect). We have the thermostat programmed to spike up to 65 when I wake up in the morning, so I get a nice blast of warm air when I'm getting out of the shower...makes it easier to wake up...then it goes down during the day when we're out and about, comes back up to 65ish in the evening around dinnertime, and goes back down for bedtime. Very occasionally, if I am feeling super cold for some reason and a sweater and slippers aren't enough, I'll pop the heat up and enjoy a warm-air bath for 20 minutes or so. That's usually enough to take the edge off.

I really dislike houses where the air is super warm. My parents keep their place at an eternal 72, which I find suffocating. I have to remember to pack t-shirts and light clothes when I go see them in the winter, instead of my usual winter duds of woolly pants and sweaters.
posted by Miko 04 November | 09:54
No idea on the temperature; landlord turns on the heat and it seems to be the same temperature pretty much all winter. This time of year, it's quite warm, so I crack the window.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero 04 November | 10:09
80°F. It's the only way the rooms will stay around 72°F. Thank God/Whomever I don't have to pay for heat.
posted by Melismata 04 November | 10:38
My house is also designed to trap and hold heat and I am all about it. Yay mid 1940s passive solar design! Since I put in the new windows and painted the house, caulking all the cracks, it's been unreal. We haven't had to turn the heat on yet this year, even though we've already had a couple of frosts: the house is staying right around 70 which is actually a little warm for me. The thermostat has been sitting there ready to turn on if it drops to 60 but it hasn't happened. Yay! After years and years of old houses with little heat freezing my fingers off and wearing coats in the kitchen, I'm delighted and do not complain.

I feel guilty, even: this is just amazing, being warm while my friends suffer. Asheville houses are mostly not built for cold weather despite the fact that we have a full winter and a long hard freeze and usually snow every. single. year. Yet the builders back in the day did not grasp it or thought they were building summer houses or people were tougher or maybe it's just that heat was way cheap back then.
posted by mygothlaundry 04 November | 10:54
We're in California, so heat's not a huge necessity most of the time, but when we turn it on we set it to 69 or so, 67 when we sleep. This seems to keep it at about the same temperature as when we set the thermostat in our previous apartment to 64, so I'm not really sure what the actual temperature in the house is.

We've mostly only needed the heat on really windy days and nights, or when it gets down to the low 40s or below. I suspect we might use it more when rainy season starts up, because damp and cold is a chilly combination.

In other words, it's rather subjective around here.
posted by occhiblu 04 November | 11:09
Our house thermostat is typically set during the winter to 69 when we're there and 55 when we're not, or we're sleeping. I have a part-time job in an office that is kept unreasonably cold year-round (right now I'm wearing a long-sleeve t-shirt, wool sweater, acrylic sweater and an alpaca-wool sweater. And I have a space heater running full-blast under my desk.) My internal thermostat is horribly broken.
posted by workerant 04 November | 11:37
Our landlord controls (and pays for) the heat. Apparently other apartments in our building run a lot cooler. Every winter, our landlord comes around to remind us to put down our storm windows, and every year I invite him into our apartment where it fluctuates from the 60s to the high 80s (Fahrenheit) and remind him that we can't turn down our radiators. And every year, he says "Huh, right. I'll see what I can do about that."

In the off-season, he installed a new furnace and altered the flues, but it still pumps out crazy heat for us. I'd love to keep it cooler in here and keep oil consumption down, and I'm sure he'd love to save on heating costs... but until then, we spend the winter alternating between sweaters and tank tops.
posted by Elsa 04 November | 12:37
last winter we were keeping the house temp in the sixties (62-ish) during the winter, with the back bedrooms dipping into the upper fifties range. It seems to be a more consistent 65ish now that we've done some improvement, and we're not even done with that yet.

We live in a little one story mid-50's brick ranch. The windows had been updated to modern double glazed prior to the mister buying it 3 years ago, but thanks to an energy audit last month we discovered that there was No. Insulation. At. All. Period. in the entire house. As in: none.

Well, that explains a few things...

the mister and I, along with several contractors, have been engaged in various home improvement projects ever since. it took the 2 of us a single day to remove all the interior trim on the windows and install spray-in foam insulation, caulk and seal the windows and replace the trim. The foam didn't cost us much at all, I think that entire hardware store trip was less than $100 for all the goodies to do an entire 1000 square foot house.

the difference is, frankly, bizarre. Even without any further upgrades, like having the attic or wall insulation done (yet... it's on its way this week), we've only had to turn on the furnace once despite temps at or below freezing for much of the past 2 weeks. The house is still cool, but comfortably cool, not shivery cool, and it maintains heat much, much better. Cool, too - we have had to open up all the doors and windows on some of the warmer sunny days to let the house warm up inside. Since we both prefer to live and sleep cool anyhow, we don't bother with turning on the heat until well below most people's comfort levels. With the windows now properly sealed, we've taken to sleeping with the bedroom window open even on truly cold nights.

Last fall, we started using the woodstove early in October, once our first truly dreary day hit. We've had a few of those already this fall, but it hasn't been necessary yet.

We also don't get much passive solar gain on our house due to a large number of mature trees surrounding it. That's okay tho because it means we don't have to bother with AC in the summer; it stays quite cool inside despite a solid month of mid to upper 90 highs.

We are replacing our old furnace and water heater this week with a new tankless water heater and modern ultra-efficient heat pump. We're also reconfiguring the thermostat and installing zones in the house to keep it from getting hot / cold spots. Also, the bathroom's getting a subfloor heat unit installed.

Actually the entire bathroom's getting ripped apart and redone, which is great, it was hideous and laughably poorly laid out. The new tiny tankless water heater is going out in the (newly finished/upgraded) garage workroom next to our (new, fancy) washer and dryer, and the furnace can live entirely in the crawlspace with a small PVC exhaust running up thru the wall. All this removes the need for a large awkward closet in the bathroom to hide the water heater itself, as well as the furnace flue pipes and the dryer vent. The boys went to work with mallets and the Sawzall a couple nights ago to remove the closet and make room for our large new vanity. Yay! Destruction!

I can't wait until it's done. We'll have a shiny Thanksgiving party with our new warm cozy house :)
posted by lonefrontranger 04 November | 12:45
I don't ever really pay attention to the actual temperature indoors. We use electric oil-filled heaters on the low setting as soon as it starts to get too cold for comfort (late October/early November).

We don't fire up the furnace (an ancient in-the-floor contraption) until the cold becomes otherwise unbearable (usually January) and even then I don't look at the thermostat.

Rather than being rigid about keeping things at a certain temperature, I just make adjustments based on comfort level. Life's too short to not be comfortable in your own home.
posted by amyms 04 November | 13:41
65 when we are at home, off at night/empty. We use cats as nighttime space heaters. Year round, the house tends to be colder inside than out so I'm always bundled up indoors only to have to strip off several layers whenever I leave. Although we've replaced almost all of our windows w/ double paned, weatherstripped, bought a new furnace and have more than enough insulation our house is just inefficient at retaining heat: trying to bring the temp up even a few degrees requires so much fuel that we no longer bother.
posted by jamaro 04 November | 13:58
We have a thermostat that can set a specific temp, and my dear wife sets it exactly the same way Mr. Gaspode does.
posted by fogovonslack 04 November | 14:22
If it feels too cold in the house we turn the baseboard heaters on (in the living room and my den*) to 17C/62.6F. That seems to make the house nice and toasty but not too warm. I'm not sure what temperature the house actually is when the heat is on though. Right now the thermometer on my desk says 18.4C/65F and it feels a little too cool.

We don't turn the heat on night since both of us like to sleep cool. Unless it's very cold inside, like 10C/50F, then the living room gets turned up to 15C/59F. Again, I don't know what that translates to in actual inside temperature but it keeps the ice off of the duvet.

*The mister's office and our bedroom baseboard heaters never get turned on. His office is always warm due to several computers running at once and the bedroom would be too hot with its baseboard heater on.

I am so glad the mister and I are mostly on the same page temperature-wise.
posted by deborah 04 November | 15:21
8C right now and I haven't put a jacket on yet. We don't have insulation let alone central heating in a Japanese apartment. We have an oil heater if it gets really cold at night, but mainly we just put on extra layers. We usually get snow too a couple of times. It's good to feel the weather.
posted by gomichild 04 November | 17:22
Very cool during the day (low 60s) and 68-70 for a few hours when we are home in evening, or during the weekend hours we are around.
posted by bearwife 04 November | 17:56
67F with a setback to 58F when I'm off working or in bed sleeping. Often 67 is too warm and I'll temporarily lower it to 66F.

The cat has a pillow with a heating pad set on low.
posted by warbaby 04 November | 19:58
I live and work in a Toronto townhouse where the thermostat is set to 17-19 (63-65) throughout the winter. The gas furnace hardly ever switches on as the house is so well-insulated by the houses on either side. I do run a small electric heater in the bathroom before my shower, though, as I can't control temperature room by room. I love a cold bedroom for sleeping, and like to have the window open a bit except when it's truly bitter.

My cats were fine with the winter temperature. It's the hot summers that made them hang out in the bathtub. (No water: just the cool ceramic would do the trick.)
posted by maudlin 04 November | 20:23
I live in a house that was built in the late 1800s. Nobody ever bothered to put heat in the upstairs until I put in an electric baseboard heater in my computer room - I only use it when it's super cold, like -20 windchill outside. In the winter my bedroom is 45-50 depending on what it's like outside. I really love being able to pile blankets on the bed. It's cozy and comfy to me.

I have a window air conditioner in my bedroom. I can deal with being cold way better than I can deal with being hot.
posted by fluffy battle kitten 04 November | 21:08
When I'm home and awake, 65 or so. When I'm away or sleeping, 50 or 52. There are 2 zones, which is nice; I can get out of bed to 65F, and not heat the whole house. I have a woodstove, and it gets the living room well into the 70s. cozy. I really hate being cold, but have found that I can acclimate to a slightly cooler home.
posted by theora55 05 November | 08:54
64-66 during the day, 60-62 at night. In US-Colorado.
posted by tortillathehun 05 November | 17:53
What's your trick for staying productive? || A big step toward the "invisibility cloak" made famous by Harry Potter.