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At What Temperature Should You Turn On The Heat

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There is always a great debate when it comes to at what temperature should you turn on the heat. Everybody is a little different when it comes to their temperature comfort zone, but there are a few rules you should follow.

These rules include what the temperature is inside your house, how well insulated your house is, and your health and age.

(You can read how I got myself drowning in debt here and how I got out of it here and here.)

The Outside Temperature

After a long, hot summer, it may seem that when it hits 70 degrees outside it is cold. That’s not really true. It’s just that you’ve gotten used to 95 degree days and the sun shining down on you like it’s going to burn a hole in the top of your head.

So, before you turn your heat on for the winner, throw on a sweater, and see how that helps. 

If the outside temperature gets below 65 or 66 degrees during the, you are most likely going to have to turn the heat on as nighttime temperatures might be in the 40s.

The inside of your house is going to not get any warmer than the outside if you don’t heat it.

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How Well Your House is Insulated

The better your house is insulated, the longer you can wait to turn the heat on. 

For example, I live in a really old house that is very well insulated. I can leave my heat off for at least two or three weeks longer than folks I know in brand new houses.

As they say, they don’t make them like they used to. The reverse is true in the summer months.

I can wait until mid-afternoon before I need to turn the air conditioner on. 

It certainly saves some money.

How Old You Are

There’s no getting around it. The older you get the colder you get. 

When you age, your body’s metabolic rate decreases and it becomes much more difficult to maintain a normal body temperature. Not to mention, your skin gets thinner, so you might just feel colder as well.

This means if you are a senior citizen or live with one, you will need to turn the heat back on sooner rather than later. 

If you have dual controls so one part of the house can be warmer than another part, that will make all ages in the household a little happier.

That’s how my house works. Imagine a house with two sides but has an inside door that leads from one side of the house to the other. My mother lives with me but she lived on the other side of the house.

She can control the heat on her side and I can control the heat on my side. It’s a good thing as it feels like a blast furnace is running on her side. I couldn’t stand it for long.

How Much Money You Want to Save

The fact is, that once you turn the heat on, your utility bills go up and up and up.

If you are looking to save money, keep the heat off as long as you can stand it. Get a couple of space heaters and heavy sweaters and tough it out until the last possible moment.

Depending on where you live, this might get you 2, or 3, or even 4 extra weeks in the fall before you have no other choice but to turn the heat on. 

The same is true of the spring. You can turn the heat off sooner.

Once you are forced into turning the heat on, you can save money with a programmable thermostat. It lets you keep your home warmer when you are home and then automatically lowers the temperature during the day when you are at work and the kids are at school.

This can save you a great deal of money on your energy bills.

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Your Health Issues

If you have any serious health issues, you will need to take them into consideration. Be sure to talk to your doctor about how the heat and the cold affect you. 

Also, some medications can make you feel hot or cold, so if you have a change in medication and all of a sudden you are having issues with temperatures, it wouldn’t hurt to ask your doctor about that as well.

Then be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions.

Related Questions:

When Do You Turn the Heat Off in the Spring?

Once spring rolls around, just reverse the process. Turn the heat off as soon as the inside of your house stays at least 66 degrees during the day.

It can be a bit colder as well if you can stand it and don’t mind wearing a couple of extra layers of clothing.

At What Temperature Do You Set Your Heat At?

It is generally recommended to set your heat between 68 and 72 degrees. Of course, the higher you set it, the higher your utility bills will be.temp reading 68 and woman in socks

When Should the Heat Be Turned on In An Apartment?

The time to turn your heat on in an apartment is the same as in a house.

One advantage you have in an apartment building is that you have other apartments next to you and possibly above you.

That will help hold the heat in and give your apartment more insulation.

Also, if you live on the second floor or higher, your apartment stays a bit warmer as warm air rises.

Do You Turn the Thermostat Up or Down for Heat?

If you want the temperature to go up in your house, meaning you want the house to be warmer, you turn the thermostat up.

The opposite is true for air conditioners. If you want the inside of your house to be cooler in the summer then you turn the thermostat down.

At what temperature should you turn on the heat is really going to depend on how comfortable you are being cold. 

Just be sure to take into account the inside temperature of your house, your health issues, age, and whether or not you want to save money on your utility bills. Just don’t let anyone shame you into turning your heat on or keeping it off. You need to do what is right for you.

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