Carless in L.A.: Thermostat Wars

Thermostat

Photo credit Shari Weinsheimer

Somebody was joking recently about their thermostat at work being set to hypothermia. I added that our household thermostat is at the same setting. My husband says it’s not. I said it is. The thermostat wars are on again!

The problem is that we’re both right. He sets the thermostat to a nice, cool, but livable 68 degrees – which is considered appropriate for those of us wishing to conserve our natural resources. Well, I’m sitting here in my office with teeth chattering, a hoodie covering my sweatshirt, sweatpants on, as well. I’m freaking cold, dammit! Here’s the catch – the house thermostat got bumped up a while ago to 71 degrees.

My internal thermostat

The problem is my age. I’m at that stage of life where my internal thermostat is running haywire. I used to be a freaking polar bear, running around in shorts until the temperature outside dipped in the mid-60 degrees. 68? Totally comfy. Not since the hot flashes started. You’d think that would keep me comfortable when it gets chilly out.

No, the exact opposite has happened. Unless I’m up and around, I start getting chilled at 72 degrees. Much lower than that, and we’re talking about a bone-deep chill that does not go away without a hot shower. Or a night spent wrapped around my husband, which is only fun for a short time, since neither of us sleeps well when wrapped around each other.

What’s a reasonable, conscientious person to do?

I’d like to keep the house at 68 degrees, but I’m miserable. I tried a space heater. Even the one with the best “green” rating from Consumer Reports still costs more to run than it does to heat the whole house. Granted, our house is pretty small, but you’d think I was blasting the BTUs on this puppy – and I’m not. I don’t mind bundling up some, but when I have to wear gloves and a hat to write at my desk inside, I’m sorry, that’s too cold and uncomfortable.

So I set the thermostat as low as I can and wait as long as I can to do it. I wait to use my space heater until the late hours of the night so my husband isn’t so warm, he can’t sleep. I don’t like the idea of carbon credits, but fear I’m going to have to cash a couple of my carless points in for this one. I don’t know what else to do. Sigh.

Anne Louise Bannon

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