DH's frugrality keeps the house cold - has he crossed the line? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 93 Old 12-11-2007, 02:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Just wondering if this seems extreme to anybody. Our family lives in Wisconsin, it's very seasonal here, meaning temps get pretty cold in winter. This winter DH has taken to keeping the thermostat in the low 50's. When I complain that it is cold for me and DD he says to turn it up 3 degrees. That doesn't even take us to 60 most times! He says 3 degrees will feel like a heatwave. I think we should choose a steady daytime temp and a steady nighttime temp. I'm pretty hearty, so 60-62 during the day would probably be fine with nighttime temps in the low 50's. I have yet to see what our financial savings is as we pay on a budget plan, though theoretically we should be saving a lot!

I understand the how/why he's doing this, but in my opinion he's pushing it too far. Just want to know if I'm justified in asking for some steady temps. And please don't tell me to put on a sweater. We're already wearing hats, sweaters and standing in front of our gas fireplace.

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#2 of 93 Old 12-11-2007, 02:20 PM
 
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I keep mine on no higher than 55 all the time, day and night. I do not have children though, so I am not sure if that makes a difference.

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#3 of 93 Old 12-11-2007, 02:21 PM
 
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I don't think you are asking too much for it to be 62 or 63 during the day. The low 50s is really chilly! I usually put mine at 67 during the day and down to 61 at night, so my place is downright balmy compared to yours! And boy, I still need to cover up with a blanket when I sit still for too long!

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#4 of 93 Old 12-11-2007, 02:21 PM
 
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That's WAY extreme, IMO. But then again, I live in Texas and set my theromostat at 68.
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#5 of 93 Old 12-11-2007, 02:25 PM
 
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There is no way that would fly in my house. That is just too chilly, especially when you come inside from the cold and are chilled. Our is set at 68 and 64 at night, on a good day.
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#6 of 93 Old 12-11-2007, 02:27 PM
 
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I keep mine on no higher than 55 all the time, day and night. I do not have children though, so I am not sure if that makes a difference.
I think what might make a difference is that you live in West Virginia and the OP lives in Wisconsin.
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#7 of 93 Old 12-11-2007, 02:31 PM
 
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I think it is extreme. We do 65-68 during the day/evening and 60 at night.

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#8 of 93 Old 12-11-2007, 02:32 PM
 
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Pinecone, we are in MA but it gets very cold here too in the winter. We are keeping our thermostat low this year too -- much much lower than in the past because we simply cannot afford to pay for oil -- at least until the baby arrives -- but the low 50s seem very cold. We are close to 60 during the day and maybe 55 overnight when everyone is snuggled in their beds but if you are dressed like you are outside and still uncomfortably cold it seems like you need to make a compromise somewhere. For me if I am too cold it is painful so it is really not fair to make someone live like that. Maybe you could reach an agreement that you keep it warmer during the day and pile on the blankets at night to let it get lower? All the best to you!
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#9 of 93 Old 12-11-2007, 02:34 PM
 
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Can you afford the heating bills? IF so then I wouldn't stand for that at all.

I grew up in a cold house and it was so miserable.I was constantly uncomfortable and to this day I sit on my hands (habit to keep them warm)

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#10 of 93 Old 12-11-2007, 02:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks! Now I know I'm not being unreasonable. By the way, DH thinks keeping the air conditioner at 78-80 in the summer is the way to go.

I appreciate my husband's money-sense, but he can get pretty rigid in his concept of what makes sense (cents).

Thanks again.
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#11 of 93 Old 12-11-2007, 02:40 PM
 
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Wow, the low 50's is really low. When our budget is feeling really tight, we set our thermostat to 57. We have two small children and an old house though.

Is money that tight? There are programs to help subsidize heating costs. I don't know what is available in Wisconsin, but since you guys get some heavy weather, I would think that there must be something to help out if you need it.

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#12 of 93 Old 12-11-2007, 02:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Can you afford the heating bills? :
Yes we can afford the bills. We just try to live sparingly so that we can save earnestly. DH wants an early retirement.
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#13 of 93 Old 12-11-2007, 02:41 PM
 
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Turn up the heat, and tell him to stuff it. Nicely. It's for the kids, right? Actually, I wouldn't ask, I would just do it.
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#14 of 93 Old 12-11-2007, 02:43 PM
 
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Yeah, that sounds extreme to me.

OTOH, when I had the thermostat at 67 a few weeks ago and DD1 complained that it was too cold (she was in a thin LS t-shirt and a cotton skirt, no leggings or socks) I told her to put on some more layers or snuggle under a blanket- there were 4 other people in the house at the time who were perfectly comfortable.

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#15 of 93 Old 12-11-2007, 02:50 PM
 
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Yes we can afford the bills. We just try to live sparingly so that we can save earnestly. DH wants an early retirement.
Early retirement is great, but if you're miserable until then, it's not worth it.
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#16 of 93 Old 12-11-2007, 02:51 PM
 
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This is actually one of my pet peeves. I think that out of anything you can spend money on, being acceptably comfortable in your own modest home is one of them. I will let go of all the other "stuff" that people think is necessary, but being able to be warm enough or cool enough to live a comfortable existance is like denying food and water.

The thing that I remember the most about my childhood is that I was always freezing in the winter and suffering in the summer due to a heating/cooling frugal parent. "Put on a sweater" should have been tatooed on my head---and the sweater didn't really help. Forget the darn sweater, how about just turning the heat up enough so that people are not shivering in their home?

We keep our thermostat at 65-67 during the winter, and that seems very appropriate for our house.

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#17 of 93 Old 12-11-2007, 02:53 PM
 
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We keep the thermostat at 50 during the night/day but do kick it up to about 58 in the evening when we are home - but it rarely drops below freezing here. And somehow, putting the thermostat at 58 heats the place up to about 62 which is really comfortable for us. I don't know which is off - the thermostat or our thermometer..

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#18 of 93 Old 12-11-2007, 02:56 PM
 
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I think it is a little much. I'm in Canada, and we keep the thermostat at 15 (59ish) except for a couple hours at bed time and when we wake up where we put it up to 17 (62 or 64?)

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#19 of 93 Old 12-11-2007, 03:11 PM
 
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yeah I would not have that. DH thought I was nuts having the heat set at 67. In fact a mainstream board am I on just had a thing about what your heat is set on and I was the lowest! Most people were at about 73ish. DH did turn the one upstairs where the kids sleep to 69 because the little one does not keep on a blanket and he was cold.
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#20 of 93 Old 12-11-2007, 03:16 PM
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I'd find somewhere else to cut. We keep ours 15/16 (60ish) and if we're still cold with a sweater on then the heat goes up. I don't understand why one person gets all the say when others are getting cold. Is he controlling generally?
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#21 of 93 Old 12-11-2007, 03:19 PM
 
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Turn up the heat, and tell him to stuff it. Nicely. It's for the kids, right? Actually, I wouldn't ask, I would just do it.
I agree.
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#22 of 93 Old 12-11-2007, 03:35 PM
 
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My general rule of thumb is if my nose is cold, its too cold.

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#23 of 93 Old 12-11-2007, 03:44 PM
 
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By the way, DH thinks keeping the air conditioner at 78-80 in the summer is the way to go.
This doesn't really make sense to me. I grew up in the swampy deep South without air conditioning. It is bad, but it can't be THAT bad so that 78-80 would be needed when you are keeping the winter temps in the 50s.

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#24 of 93 Old 12-11-2007, 03:47 PM
 
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With a house that cold, why not just live in a tent in the backyard? You could start a fire and possibly be warmer sitting by the fire. Those kinds of temps wouldn't fly in our house. I'm literally cold-blooded (I have low basal body temps), and get cold (even with socks, shoes, sweatshirt, fleece pants and a hat) when the house gets to 65*. That's why I adore that we heat with two wood stoves - radiant heat rocks.

Btw, I seem to remember that you should keep your house above 53*-55* or so (*especially* when it's like 0-20*F outside) to keep pipes from freezing. I know that was written into every single rental agreement I've ever signed. So to have a house even colder than that? Yeah, not so much in my world.

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#25 of 93 Old 12-11-2007, 04:02 PM
 
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We keep ours at 67 day and night. My old grandma is already wrapped up in many layers and my kids are wearing sweaters. I always walk around with two shirts and two layers of pants on, and socks and slippers. Can't imagine setting it in the 50s. I mean I can do it if I'm doing vigorous exercises, but not for sitting still.

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#26 of 93 Old 12-11-2007, 04:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Funny thing. DH just called me at work to say he's researching programs for replacing our furnace. He must be catching my heating vibe. We've had a bad year financially, so we may qualify for some assistance with this. Though overall we're financially secure. It would be great to qualify for some kind of help as we want to go from forced air heat to boiler heat and upgrade our old house to underfloor heat. That would be so awesome!

To answer a PP, I don't think it is that DH is so controlling. He's just willing to push it to see when I'll push back. There is no doubt that tonight we'll be discussing this and I'm confident we can come to an understanding. I'd like to keep it at 55-57 for night and 62 during the day when we're home. We have a programmable thermostat so it should not be a big deal.

Thanks for all the support. I haven't felt that I was in temperature crisis yet. But definitely getting there. In my part of Wisconsin it has been cold, but not yet below zero. The worst of winter is yet to come.

Much gratitude for all your replies. I'm ready!
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#27 of 93 Old 12-11-2007, 04:31 PM
 
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Another suggestion is to pick a room or two and install baseboard electric heat. That way the rest of the house can be 55 and you can all pile into one room and have it be warmer.
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#28 of 93 Old 12-11-2007, 04:32 PM
 
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To answer a PP, I don't think it is that DH is so controlling. He's just willing to push it to see when I'll push back. There is no doubt that tonight we'll be discussing this and I'm confident we can come to an understanding. I'd like to keep it at 55-57 for night and 62 during the day when we're home. We have a programmable thermostat so it should not be a big deal.
I'm glad you're figuring it out. Your plan sounds really reasonable to me. I'm in MN, and we have our thermostat set at 65 during the day and 55 at night. I would even be okay with dropping the furnace further at night, since we stay warm under blankets. To be more frugal, I'd like to drop the daytime temp below 65, but I'm afraid we'd be so cold as to be uncomfortable.

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#29 of 93 Old 12-11-2007, 04:33 PM
 
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Phew! I grew up in a house where 58 was the norm and I spent my entire childhood FREEZING. Now, we keep ours at 65 in the day and 55 at night. I'm very cold blooded so I freeze regardless! : Today it's actually 50 degrees outside here in the 'Nati and I'm in a long sleeve thermal shirt with a t-shirt over top and a sweatshirt on and I'm cold.

Fortunately, we have a wood burning fireplace in our family room and that's where I spend a lot of my day if I'm home.

Now in the summer, I keep the AC on 74 with the ceiling fans running. I close all the blinds, though, and keep it cave like. It makes a huge difference in the bill. Summers can be brutal here -- 90 degrees and up with 90% and up humidity.
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#30 of 93 Old 12-11-2007, 04:34 PM
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I find that if we keep the temp too cold, we get sick. When your body is cold you immune system is weaker. Keeping a comfortable temp will keep you nice and healthy. I agree with a pp that the place to spend money is on heating your home.
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