I may receive commissions from purchases made through links in this article. Full Disclosure
With the weather turning cooler, you might be thinking about reaching for that thermostat but not so fast!
Did you know that there are reasons to keep your home cold (by not turning up the thermostat)?
I think we are all aware that using the heater less means more money saved and I’ve shared how to keep warm without cranking up that thermostat but there are actually a few other reasons to keep your home thermostat set just a bit lower this season!
Reasons to Keep Your Home Cold
Okay, like I said saving money because you are using the heater less is a bit of a no brainer. That said, as a frugal person, I am a bit in love with the idea.
You can save 3% off your heating bill for each degree you lower your thermostat! Drop your thermostat just 3 degrees and you can knock off about 10% off your bill!
Save the Earth
This is also likely to not come as a surprise. Turning your thermostat down 2 degrees can save 2000 pounds of carbon dioxide each year. Not too shabby!
Find yourself in need of better sleep? Sleep in a slightly cooler room. As it turns out, your body likes to be a bit cooler when it sleeps. A cooler room means you’ll fall asleep quicker and you will sleep more deeply!
What’s a good temperature to keep your bedroom at? Anything in the 60-67 degree range is great; outside of those degrees your body will spend extra energy trying to get comfortable and you’ll spend the night tossing and turning.
Burn More Calories
If you are looking to shed some pounds, then dropping the temperature is an easy way to loose some weight. Obviously, a cooler house isn’t going to have you shedding pounds like crazy but it can add up!
Your body has to use more energy when it’s just a bit chilly in your home; all that energy used means calories burned. Some say you’ll burn up to 100 extra calories each day if that thermostat is turned down.
Now I will add that you won’t burn calories if you bundle up. Bundling up and staying warm defeats the purpose so it’s up to you if you really want to loose those pounds with the help of a cold house.
Did you know that bugs prefer warmer temps to breed and live? This is especially true of disease carrying bugs but it applies to most if not all bugs that I can think of.
Lower your thermostat and it will keep the bugs and rodents away. Both bugs and rodents seek out warm places. Keeping your home on the cooler side, deters these unwelcome guests. It’s a simple thing but I for one am always happy to deal with less pests.
Now you don’t want to keep your home too cold or you will likely get sick for other reasons but by keeping your home a few degrees cooler, you can make it harder for germs to breed…. maybe.
As I dig deeper, I find evidence to the contrary or rather that you’d have to keep the house super cold in order to deter germs. So perhaps a cooler home does nothing to germs, but maybe it does; I’d like to think it does but that’s probably just wishful thinking.
Much like putting an ice pack on an injury, cooler temps in your home can reduce inflammation. Since the cooler temperature effects your whole body, it can help reduce overall inflammation.
You won’t see much help for a sprained ankle by living in a cool house (you’d still want an ice pack for that) but it should still help if you deal with inflammation on a more broad level.
Whether you are working from home or your children are doing schoolwork, keeping the workspace at cooler temps means more productivity. Keeping that thermostat lower means you won’t get too cozy.
Of course, don’t set it too cold or you will be too busy shivering to be productive. Interestingly, some studies say that you want that classic temp of 68 degrees but this study done in the 70’s shows that kids did better when in temps around 62 degrees.
Of course, I’d be curious if there were other factors such as what the kids were wearing, what they eat, etc that might factor in because so much has changed in the last few decades. Still dropping your temperature on the thermostat for more productivity is worth a try!
Of course, what temperature you set your thermostat at will vary depending on your household and their needs.
Obviously, homes with infants should keep things a bit warmer because babies haven’t built up the tolerance and strength yet. Although… there are countries that believe otherwise and actually have their babies take naps outside in the snow!
I’ll let you decide on just how cold you need to keep your home. My thermostat is set at 64 day and night. Personally, I’d like to drop it down a bit further at night but my husband likes things warmer.
How low do you keep your thermostat?
I really do sleep better in a cooler room ♥
II keep my temp completely off at night all throughout the house. I sleep very well. In the mornings and later afternoon I turn the heat on to 68. My electric bill is really low right now but I don’t know for how much longer winter hasn’t really hit to hard yet in KY. I have been sick with Bronchitis for a month now do to know if keeping it cool in here is good. It is supposed to cut down on bacteria.
Great post, Brittany! We like our house cool, too, even in our frigid Minnesota winters. Before kids we turned the heat down to 55 at night (it was a few degrees warmer in 2nd floor bedrooms), and had it up at maybe 60 during the day. Always turned down when we no one’s home. We had warm, cuddly blankets and clothes (bottoms, too — jeans don’t cut it!) and used space heaters if we were going to be sitting still awhile, which didn’t happen that often. You actually get used to it — your body adjusts and you don’t feel cold. We’ve eased up a bit with kiddos, but it’s still pretty cool, and the kids don’t seem to mind at all.
I was always amazed (and HOT) when I went to friends’ houses and their heat was up at 70 degrees and everyone was wearing short sleeves. That costs big bucks in a climate like ours and is a huge waste of energy. Our geothermal heating system helps, too, since it keeps temps more even rather than fluctuating all the time.
Thanks for an informative post — hope it inspires some readers to put on sweaters and keep the heat down!
Yes! Your body does adjust! Your body gets used to that being it’s normal environment and adjusts so that you no longer feel cold. Although I think that’s mostly true if you are in that cold house most of the time. If you go to work in a warmer space for 8 hours a day and then come back to your cold home, you will feel like the house is cold. (Something I discovered with my husband. I was fine in our cold house but he worked elsewhere and thought the home was frigid.)
Good article, Brittany! Wow, you keep your thermostat at 64 degrees! I could do that at night, but I don’t know about the daytime. I usually keep it around 70 during the day. It’s interesting that you said that keeping the house cooler can help with inflammation. Hadn’t heard that before but it makes sense. I’ll have plenty of opportunity to test out some of these theories as we’re moving from the South to New England next month. I am looking forward to sleeping in colder temperatures.
Brittany, your essay is excellent! Wow, your thermostat is set at 64 degrees! I could do it at night, but I’m not sure about during the day. During the day, I keep it at 70 degrees. You said that keeping the home colder can assist with inflammation, which is intriguing. That was new to me, but it makes sense. As we go from the South to New England next month, I’ll have lots of opportunities to put some of these beliefs to the test. I’m looking forward to sleeping in the cooler weather.
Hi. I DO prefer a colder bedroom, but I keep my temp the same at all times and do not mess with it ( turning up/down) for a few reasons:
My home was built in 1945, with no insulation, and no way to ADD it as it is just boards and sheetrock (or plaster/plaster board, etc.).
There are MANY gaps, allowing cold air/wet/moisture in. To keep it cold would allow for the dampness to ruin many things.
Turning the heat up/down constantly is non productive, as with no insulation, it just isn’t realistic…keeping it at a steady 68* is better…and I don’t have a newer thermostat, so 68* is average/approximate.
Good article, though. I do find many places keep the heat WAY too high for comfort. Shopping malls and stores are the worst offenders, as when it is cold, people come dressed warm with coats, and spending awhile in a VERY WARM store isn’t comfortable after just a few minutes.
My apartment is set at 69F, but I have my windows open in my room as soon as the overnight temps are above freezing, and I will frequently open the windows just to air out the place. Living room windows stay open as soon as it is ~50F. I’d rather put on a sweater than turn the heat up. (I live in Alaska, and as soon as it’s consistently above 45 at night, the heat goes off).
That’s amazing! And yes! I open the windows and air out the house in cold temps too! Much better to air things out then keep warm yucky air in!
Great reason! I had only thought of a few of them. I’m married to a German and lived in Germany. Culturally they insist on a cooler house. They believe it is the healthiest.
Apart from the bathroom which has no thermostat in any case, I don’t have the heating switch on upstairs at all. Can’t stand hot bedrooms like it cool and go to bed with a hottie even in summer (ease my poor back😉). If it’s cold I put on thicker pjs or an extra blanket! As for rest of the house heating doesn’t go on until November and later the better and goes off in March end of!!! My philosophy is if you cold put on a jumper, if your wondering around your house in shorts and tshirt in winter your heating too high and your wasting money. I live on the west coast if Scotland so it’s regularly cooler and wetter than the rest of uk but you get used to it and the scenery makes up for the weather.
In the winter (heating season), I set the thermostat at 17C (62.6F) during the day and 13.5C (56.3F) at night. A couple years ago my furnace died. It was a few weeks before I had a new one working. I used a space heater at my desk, lots of clothes in the kitchen and my usual duvet in the bedroom. I was perfectly content and it really cleaned out my colon. The cold temps made my blood recede and benefit my inner organs.
Very interesting information from everyone. We live in northern Florida. We have had some really colder weather than usual. 40-50 all this week in the day time and the 20’s at night. Like I say we are in North Florida only 35 miles from Georgia. My husband likes it warmer than I do. We always sleep with our temp between 60-64 but he pumps it up when we get up to 72 or 73. Which just kills me. I would rather put on more clothes and stay warm than to have the heat up so high.. I just today tried to explain the reasons for a lower temp. So I found this article to show him, thanks for the information.
I am a 70-year-old man who lives alone in a well-insulated but ventilated static caravan in Scotland. I love being outside. Not needing to appear sexy I dress for the weather outside – typically I wear 2 long-sleeved thermal vests, a body warmer I bought to climb Mont Blanc, a huge scarf, two light jerkin-type cardigans, a hose coat, thermal underwear and trousers, large woolly socks, a woolly hat and cycling gloves. I see no need to shed clothes when I come inside my static caravan; the inside temperature rarely rises above 10 degrees Celsius (I have a thermometer: outside it’s around 1.5 degrees C. I feel toasty: if I get too warm I can unzip, layer by layer down to my thermal vests.
No sign of mould; haven’t had any cold symptoms or respiratory problems for at least a couple of years even though I was asthmatic and catarrhal as a child and growing up.
I’m breathing in cold air, yes: but does that mean people in the northern parts should not go for long walks? And do eskimos die young?
I would love for someone to explain to me why having a cold house is dangerous if you dress up properly.
With love and thanks for a great book!
Pete, that is very inventive, but maybe an arctic thermal suit could help you reduce a few layers. I don’t mind a cold house, but below 10 is too cool for me.
Like Pete I love to be outdoors in the winter (walking, cross country skiing) but my house is almost as cold as our Michigan winters . This is the second winter that I am keeping the main part of my 5 BR (1880’s,) insulated house at 42-44 degrees F, with the exception of one small bathroom at 62 degrees, my bedroom at 52 degrees, and the kitchen at 58. These 3 rooms all have portable electric heaters which are turned down or off when I’m at work. The entire house has steam radiators with oil/steam boiler which is very expensive– I could easily spend $500 a month to keep the house at a constant 68 degrees. This works well for me because each room can be closed off from the rest so I don’t heat the other 4 bedrooms and several other rooms unless the temperature inside falls below 38. I dress in many layers, always with a warm wool sweater, long underwear and 2 pairs of socks. You do get used to it. I also sleep much better in the winter under a wool blanket, down comforter and several other blankets. I have an electric blanket that I turn on for 2 hours before bed but turn it off when I get in. I am using the money I save on heating oil to quickly pay off a loan.
for “book” in my last post read “blog” !!
In the summer and winter, I like the house at 66 during the day and 65 at night. I am a hot box.
Great information. Also a mom of 5 kids (one of my identical twins is also named Brittney. Me and my husband fight over the heat all day and night. We’re from Pa and it’s cold but I sweat the minute I walk in from work. Cause moms with 5 kids can’t sit down and relax. We’re going well into the midnight hours. Like they say at work if your cold your not working hard enough
When menopause hit I was running outside every night at 8 pm to cool off. I finally realized to just turn the thermostat down and leave it. Now I leave it at 52 during the winter and with a sweat shirt on I am fine, I suppose you do get use to it. I also have not been sick at all since doing this. Maybe one cold and have been doing this for 15 years. At 53 the heat runs much more than at 52….seems to be the break point. And it saves a ton of money. Plus my heat pump last much longer. Personal preference I guess but I am happy at 52.
I would feel so good if my husband didn’t insist on keeping our house above 80 degrees F at all times, sometimes warmer. I am always hot and sweating. However he is freezing if the temp gets below 80 F. What can I do? Help please!
Make sure he has a doctors visit soon to ensure he’s not anemic. 80 degrees indoors is way too warn😳
I keep my place at 80f. But that’s for the AC and not the heater. I live in a very hot climate where it’s regularly 110f+ outside. I can comfortably wear my daily clothes and at night, am plenty comfortable sleeping in a t-shirt and underwear plus a ceiling fan on low. During the colder parts of the year it’ll get all the way down to 70f inside and of course the fans go off and so does the AC. 80f is more than acceptable if you’re used to it.
How fascinating to know that bugs will stay away if cold temperatures are maintained. My sister will be visiting soon, and my nephew dislikes mosquitoes. I just hope my sister enjoys sleeping in the cold as I do.
You forgot that food lasts longer!
It took some trial and error to perfect my system, but I absolutely LOVE cold sleeping! During the winter here in SoCal my house temperature is about 51-59 degrees when I get up in the morning. I’ve slept deeply and well under several layers of blankets, and feel so rested; no aches in my joints at all. The one indulgence I permit myself is to have the heat lamp on in the bathroom; that’s one room where I can’t stand being cold.
During the heat of the summer I have my AC set to 61 and run it 24/7. Yes, my electric bills are sky high but if my system burns out I’m just going to buy another one. My house is not very big and I figure I’m worth it! My sleep is very poor if I’m warm at all.
Thanks for the informative article. I learned a few things. 🙂