Lowering the temperature of your thermostat can do more than reduce your energy bill (although we think that benefit is so awesome that it still made the list). Dropping temps just two to five degrees can also help you lose weight and provide a better night’s sleep.
If you’re not ready take the temperature plunge 24/7 this winter, consider only dropping household temps at night or while you’re at work. Tests show that lowering your home’s temperature for at least four hours a day will make a difference.
Here are five ways that lowering your thermostat can improve your life:
Give houseplants a longer lease on life by dropping below 75 degrees. We’ll spare you the science as to why this works, but basically, plants need less water when they’re cool. This is especially handy if you’re heading out of town. The chances of coming home to lifeless leaves will be much less likely (unless you have tropical plants)!
Move over “diet and exercise,” there’s a new weight loss secret in town! To shed a few pounds, drop your thermostat below 70 degrees. You don’t want the room to be so cold that you’re shivering and uncomfortable, but cool enough so that a light sweater feels perfect.
Here’s how it works: When the temperature drops, your energy expenditure increases, so you burn more calories (roughly 100 more a day). Over a period of several weeks, that increased energy can translate into an extra 3,500 calories burned, which means one lost pound.
Your refrigerator and freezer work really hard to keep your food safe and fresh, so cut them some slack. When your home is cooler, these large appliances don’t have to work as hard to keep your food cool. This can translate into fewer maintenance problems and a longer appliance lifespan.
The lower your thermostat, the easier things are for your fridge and freezer, so try dropping the temps dramatically for a few days if you’re heading out of town. Just don’t go below 55 degrees Fahrenheit, or you’ll be battling frozen pipes!
If you want a better night’s sleep, lower your home’s temperature by about five degrees. This works because when you go to sleep, your “set point” – the temperature your brain needs to reach before going to sleep – is lowered. If your room is too hot, you’ll have a harder time reaching this point and falling asleep.
If the ‘ole energy bill is sucking up more cash then you’d like, look to your thermostat! Each one-degree drop can reduce your energy bill by 1-3 percent. Tip: To save even more money, drop your thermostat by five to ten degrees while you sleep. Not only will you get a better night’s sleep, you’ll lower your energy bill by 10-15 percent!