General Question

wtfrickinfrack's avatar

Is it healthy to keep your house cold all the time?

Asked by wtfrickinfrack (1345 points ) February 7th, 2010

My grandmother has pretty severe asthma and finds it difficult to breathe when she gets overheated in the least. Because of this she keeps her house as cold as possible 24/7. She is always wrapped up in a blanket and shivering (and all of her guests, might I add). Is it healthy to be this cold all the time?

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13 Answers

marinelife's avatar

No, especdially for the elderly who are subject ot hypothermia.

She could get an allergen filter for her furnace or heat pump and be better off.

filmfann's avatar

You sure grandma just can’t afford the gas bill?
I am keeping my house in the Mountains at 50, and this winter it has still cost $200 a month in propane.

Spinel's avatar

No. She’s only taxing her system and (especially at her age) that kind of strain ain’t healthy. In the long run, the cold atmosphere could damage her health more than her asthma.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

It’s not unhealthy to keep the heat down if you don’t have other adverse health problems. I’ve been keeping the house at 63°F all winter in Connecticut (didn’t even turn on the heat until November, and I expect to have it off by April). Yeah, I dress warmly when I’m home, and the dorg sleeps under the radiator, but we haven’t had a cold all winter.

john65pennington's avatar

Inside colder temps may help to keep the germs and bacteria away from her. older people become cold really quick and i am surprised that she keeps the temp that low. does her asthma really play that big a part in the low temp?

CyanoticWasp's avatar

@john65pennington it’s possible, if she has forced hot air heating and “impaired” housekeeping (that’s what I’m claiming for myself now—I like that term a whole lot better than “lazy”). If she’s got a combination like that then every time the hot air blows then dust is raised, and asthma is aggravated.

At least that’s one possible explanation.

dpworkin's avatar

My house is consistently cold, even with the furnace running all the time. It’s about 48–52 downstairs, and about 58–62 upstairs where I tend to hibernate, but I’m only 60 and in relatively good health. I would ask a physician, because as long as she doesn’t become hypothermic, the chill might actually be therapeutic.

JLeslie's avatar

If she is comfortable and not getting sick it seems ok. Some people like to breath in the cool air even if they have to pile on blankets, but I would check and make sure that it is not that she just is worried about the bill as someone suggested above. I am freezing if it is at or below 66 in the house, I hate it, I would need to be wearing at least two layers and three blankets at that temperature if I was sitting still, and the air would feel cold going into my lungs. If I were cleaning and moving around I might be able to tolerate it. At 72 degrees I am comfortable in the winter, but I rarely get to enjoy that temperature because I think about the heating bill (I have the money though), wasted energy, and if my husband is home he will give me a hard time. Generally I keep it at 68.

HungryGuy's avatar

I have the exact opposite problem. My mum keeps her house sweltering hot in the 80s. I keep my house cool all year ronud, 60 at night, and 70 by day (winter and summer, no deviation). When I visit her, I have to run my bedroom air conditioner, even in the midst of the frigid winter! (It must be odd to walk down the street through waist-high snow drifts in a parka, boots, ear muffs, and the whole deep-freeze shebang, and hear an air conditioner buzzing…)

Anyway, to answer your question, she needs a HEPA filter, an Ionic air cleaner, and a UVB sterilizer in her HVAC system. That’ll eliminate all the nasties, and she can be comfortable!

JLeslie's avatar

Also, maybe it is the dry air that affects her, heating your home is very drying. Get her a humidifier.

thriftymaid's avatar

No, gramma should keep her thermost on at least 60. Old people don’t realize how cold or how hot they are sometimes. Help her with the bill—that’s probably part of this.

Response moderated
brittybrat87's avatar

Never should it be that cold.
Put some HEPA filters in her house.
Or give her the breathing machine that helps.
I even have to do that when i get my asthma

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