How hot do you like it? How cool can you live with? What are you willing to pay for? Are you and your roommate in agreement about how high the heat should be turned up, the air conditioning turned down? Is the thermostat an area of contention? You might not have thought it would be important, thats why should figure out your comfort zone before sharing housing.
Your Cold and Hot Comfort Zones
The temperature of your home is a basic issue. Like breathing, you only notice the temperature when it is uncomfortable. In general, most people are comfortable when the room temperature is between 68 degrees and 72 degrees. But people are different in how they experience cold and heat. Some wilt as soon as the temperature gets to 80 degrees, others go out without a coat in 30 degree weather. I know one guy who wears shorts all through the Vermont winter.
Some of the difference has to do with how your body creates heat – your metabolism, Factors that affect metabolism are age, food, and physical fitness/activity. The older you are the slower your metabolism, the easier it is to feel cold. If you are hungry and/or not eating food that your body can convert for heat over a period of time, you are likely to be colder. The more fit you are, the warmer you will be.
And then there are clothing preferences. If you like to hang out in in tee shirts and shorts when the outside temperature is 10 degrees, you will need a thermostat set higher. If however, you are happy wearing layers of clothing, you might be comfortable with a thermostat set to 60 degrees.
When sharing a house, you and your housemate(s) must be in agreement about how to heat your home. This may require compromising so that you can live comfortably with each other. It’s good to talk about this in your interview. It can be hard to remember when the weather is balmy and winter seems far away.
Don’t Do Thermostat Wars!
If you don’t compromise you might get yourself in that awful place where you sneak around resetting the thermostat. Not a good idea. It just makes people unhappy and mad. Communicate with your housemates, and find a compromise.
Check out this article about living in shared housing: What the Fair Housing Act Means to You In a Housemate Situation