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Why Do Men and Women Fight Over the Thermostat?

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It’s the age-old argument that’s introduced strife to many a relationship: the temperature of your home.

No matter what, we can’t seem to bridge the gender gap when it comes to the thermostat. So why are women always reaching for extra layers while men complain about how warm the house is?

Well, apparently it’s not just another gender stereotype. Turns out that genetic differences between men and women cause us to feel cold differently.

We’ll explain some of those differences, why they lead to some nasty thermostat wars and what you can do to avoid bickering over the thermostat…

Genetic difference #1: Women store heat at their core

According to scientists at W.L. Gore, women have a more evenly distributed fat layer which allows them to pull warm blood back to their core organs. And this explains why a woman’s core temperature is, on average, higher than a man’s. In fact, because of this, female bodies are more effective at storing heat than male bodies.

But if this is true, why are women always colder than men? 

Well, when all the blood is pulled back to the core, that leaves little warmth for a woman’s extremities. And ultimately, our extremities determine when we are cold or hot. So when a woman’s hands and feet experience a drop in temperature, they feel cold immediately.

Genetic difference #2: Men have a higher metabolic rate than women

The body’s metabolism is responsible for producing heat energy. And because men have a naturally higher metabolic rate than women, their bodies are able to produce heat at a higher rate.

And that means that men don’t feel the cold as easily as women do. But that also means that men have a lower tolerance for warmer temperatures than women.

Other factors to consider

Not everything is determine by your gender when it comes to feeling warm or hot. Other factors that affect how easily you feel the cold include:

How to prevent thermostat wars

Well, it’s settled. For the most part, women will always feel the cold more easily than men do. So, how do you avoid fighting over the thermostat without sacrificing anyone’s comfort?

Well, 2 options include:
  • Upgrade to a programmable thermostat
  • Zone your HVAC system

Let’s look a bit closer at both of these options...

Solution #1: Upgrade to a programmable thermostat

A programmable thermostat automatically adjusts your home’s temperature according to preset temperature schedules.

So, let’s say your spouse leaves for work every day at 8am, comes home around 5:30pm and likes to keep the temperature around 70 degrees. You, however, stay home throughout the day and prefer a toasty 78 degrees. You can program your thermostat to automatically adjust to 78 degrees at 8am and to drop back to 70 degrees at 5pm.

You get to enjoy your warmer temperature throughout the day and because the programmable thermostat automatically adjusts back at set times, you won’t ever hear your spouse complain about the temperature.

Related: 3 Simple Steps to Finding the Perfect Programmable Thermostat

But of course, a programmable thermostat doesn’t necessarily offer a compromise when you both are at home and prefer different temperatures. So, let’s look at how a zoned HVAC system solves that problem…

Solution #2: Zone your HVAC system

A “zoned” HVAC system allows homeowners to enjoy different temperatures in different areas of the house. How?

Zoned system systems make use of motorized “dampers” in the air ducts that cut off cold or hot air to certains areas. 

For example, if you enjoy warmer temperatures and spend the majority of your time in the kitchen and living room, you can set the temperature for those areas to be warmer (say 78 degrees) while all other areas of the home are set to a cooler 70 degrees.

Want to learn more about HVAC zoning? Just check out our blog, “Is a Zoned Heating/Cooling System Right For You?”

Learn more about our HVAC zoning options

At Cool Today, we can help you zone your existing HVAC system for increased comfort and long-term savings.

Just contact us today to learn more.

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