Being sick is like inheriting a well-stocked misery kit. When it happens, the last thing you want to do is make your condition worse by staying in a home that’s either too cold or too hot. So what temperature should you keep your home at when you’re ill?
The answer may depend on what type of sickness you have. For example, if you have a cold, the Mayo Clinic says the warmth will help loosen congestion in your chest and nose. But if you have a fever, you might feel more comfortable at a cooler temperature.
The general rule of thumb seems to be: If you have a cold, keep your home warm. If you have a fever, go ahead and crank down the AC.
If you have a cold, the Mayo Clinic recommends setting your thermostat to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. But if that’s not comfortable enough for you, aim for 68 degrees.
If you have a fever, the National Sleep Foundation says cooling your room can help you feel more comfortable. They recommend setting the temperature between 60 and 67 degrees.
Fever and Sweating
A fever occurs when your body temperature is above its normal range, which is about 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit (37 degrees Celsius). When you have a fever, your body is trying to kill the virus or bacteria causing the infection by making your internal temperature less hospitable to them.
To help your body lower its temperature, you’ll probably sweat a lot. That’s why it’s important to keep your home at a comfortable temperature when you have a fever. If it’s too hot, you may not be able to stop sweating, and if it’s too cold, you may start shivering, which can actually raise your body temperature.
There are other things to keep in mind when you’re setting your thermostat, too. If you have young children or elderly family members who are sick, they may need a different temperature than what’s comfortable for you.
You should also take into account any other health conditions you have that could be affected by the temperature. For example, if you have asthma or allergies, cold air can trigger an attack. And if you have heart disease, extreme temperatures can be dangerous.
The Bottom Line
When you’re sick, the best temperature for your home may depend on what type of illness you have. In general, it’s probably best to keep your home on the cooler side if you have a fever and on the warmer side if you have a cold. Either way, the most important thing is to listen to your body and do what makes you feel the most comfortable.