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To think that if you keep your house at 16 degrees..

(105 Posts)
PosyNarker Wed 18-Sep-13 20:29:57

You ought to tell your guests prior to a 'black tie dinner party'?

Somewhat inspired by a Good Housekeeping thread. I get that people are really struggling, but interested in the MN view because I'm visiting this friend shortly and he's now a lot better off!

I was invited to a dinner party by a good friend who is relatively, if not indecently well off (est £40k pa). He's was at the time single man in a rented flat.

Anyway, he invited a group of us round for aforementioned dinner party and given our social group it was all a bit tongue in cheek but people did dress up. He served goose (ffs), home made pate and a selection of wines. We also took some fairly decent wine given we knew what he was planning.

All very lovely except...he doesn't believe in spending money on heating. It didn't occur to me that he wouldn't turn it on, especially as he knows I'm a bit of a hot house plant, so I duly turned up in the LBD and sat in my coat all night.

AIBU to think that if you invite others over and keep your house at a radically different temp from 20-22 degrees, you ought to warn them in advance? Or not specify black tie?

I am going to visit him soon and wonder if I ought to be asking about the central heating before I go!? He's not particularly an environmentalist (although that's part of it), but he genuinely doesn't feel the cold the way I do (shorts for casual unless snowing, that type of thing).

PosyNarker Sun 22-Sep-13 21:46:34

Sorry - disappeared offline for a bit. Glad I was not being totally U. To be fair, he is a really good mate, so I did ask him to put the heating on and we have ripped the piss out of each other a bit since he also thinks 22 degrees is decadent grin

Everyone is a bit different, when I go to GPIL I need to open all the windows, shut off the radiators etc or I'll get no sleep. She is fairly elderly and feels the cold though, so I wouldn't ask her to turn down the heat in the whole house for us.

Oh and not sure why a few folks seems to think I think 40k is indecently well off. I earn more than that myself and I don't think we're indecently well off, just mentioned that it's not a money thing. I have visited friends I know to be skint and yes, I took the jumper and kept my mouth firmly shut about heating.

TooExtraImmatureCheddar Thu 19-Sep-13 16:44:59

I think it's quite rude not to heat the house when you have guests - I always turn the thermostat up for them. Sometimes when it's windy the heating doesn't make that much difference and I have to get jumpers/blankets for people, but I do try to keep it warm enough. If we light the fire the living room is usually toasty.

I have been a) the friend who begs the hostess to turn the heating up (in my defence it was freezing, we were all wearing thin dresses and there were a 2 month old and a 10 month old in the house too), and b) the guest who goes to her bedroom, turns the radiator off, opens the window and pants. My SIL really feels the cold and wears padded quilted coats indoors, to the point where my PIL get silly about it and whack the heat up to about 25. I have been known to sneakily turn the radiators in the living room off because neither DH nor I could cope.

My thermostat is currently set at 18. The heating comes on early in the morning for us getting up, goes off at 7am once we leave the house. Comes back on at about 5.30 and goes off again at 7pm once DD is in bed. I do turn it on or light the fire during the day if we're here all day, though. I've got today off and when I got up the thermometer in the kitchen said 14.5, so I felt justified in turning it on!

IsabelleRinging Thu 19-Sep-13 16:41:42

I doubt the difference between 16 and 21 degrees makes much difference to the survival of germs. And besides, being cold makes you more likely to succumb to a virus than being warm, why do you think we catch more colds in winter?

curiousgeorgie Thu 19-Sep-13 16:22:18

40k is definitely not indecently well off. At all!

Mumsyblouse Thu 19-Sep-13 13:43:12

People experience temperatures so differently though. I went to a friend's house a while back and in the evening, I was extremely chilly. In the end I had to ask my friend for a blanket/extra jumper. She was fine with it and didn't feel the cold, she also wears thin tops and a tiny cardi when I'd need to be in a snuggly dressing gown to be warm.

I think it's extremely rude to have people over for dinner or a formal occasion and not think about the fact they might be in fairly light thin clothing and whack the heating up. But if it's an old friend and you are over for a coffee, I think it's fine to keep your coat on if you are chilly. Hopefully they will take the hint!

16 would be like a torture to me, I'm cold most of the winter and I hate it. I find it quite funny that people on here say 18-21 would make you stuffed up- this is the temperate of most offices and many people's homes and indeed the weather for half the year. In many colder countries, they have the thermostat at about 23/24 and in my husband's culture it would be considered rude not to heat your house very well when you have guests (but it's a very cold country so it's a bit different).

MrsDibble Thu 19-Sep-13 13:23:25

22 does seem very high.

I think it's true that 21 is recommended for elderly and infirm.

16 isn't that cold, but if you were cold you probably should have asked him at the time if he could put the heating on.

That said, black tie dress code is probably an unusual state of affairs and one would normally turn the heating up a bit if planning a dress code that involved people wearing almost nothing.

I wouldn't have my house at anything like 22 degrees of the time because it encourages germs to breed. Anecdotally the Mums I know who live in old houses like me and don't overheat seem to have families with fewer colds that those who have really hot houses. BUT I would expect my family to wear jumpers in the house during the winter - it's quite annoying when people go about in a t shirt / cotton jumper and then say they are cold. If he has told you you need to wear something as silly as black tie (silly for the women if it's cold) then he should have taken that into account.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Thu 19-Sep-13 13:18:03

No we don't get sick much. The windows get opened daily and are open a crack in the bedrooms at night unless it is below freezing.
The DSs and I all have mild asthma so make sure we haven't got damp and condensation is a big part of keeping the house nice and warm.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Thu 19-Sep-13 13:14:58

16 degrees is freezing.

Our thermostat is set to come on at 20 most of the time, although we do turn it up to 22 if it feels really chilly.

valiumredhead Thu 19-Sep-13 13:11:18

Oh I don't know, people who hate the summer are told to be quiet and not complain all the timewink

MistressDeeCee Thu 19-Sep-13 13:04:23

My uncle was like this. In his case he would never put the heating on because he was so mean. As soon as we grew old enough not to have to do the dreaded family visits his house & sit there shivering for hours, we were off.

People can heat their house as they like, or not. But its pretty bad form not to take those youre inviting into your home into account. Then again that requires being thoughtful and some people just arent, their home is their castle & theyll stick to their guns at whatever cost. Id be subtly mentioning how cold it was last time/will heating be on. A real friend wont hit the roof due to that question. Anyway if you sat there with coat on last time, he should know. Whether he takes a blind bit of notice, is another matter entirely.

DeWe Thu 19-Sep-13 10:00:44

It's warm compared to my df. He keeps it at 13. Be thankful.

HopeForTheBest Thu 19-Sep-13 09:48:25

Thesimplethings I think there's a difference between recommended night/sleeping and day temperatures.

ethelb Thu 19-Sep-13 09:42:17

WHO recommend 18-21C to reduce mold and condensation, which worsens the respiratory diseases.

And I do hate, hate, hate the assumption that people who are cold should just put up with it a though feeling cold is some moral weakness.

MrsOakenshield Thu 19-Sep-13 09:42:12

oh, and I hated the hot weather too! I just don't like extremes, I guess.

MrsOakenshield Thu 19-Sep-13 09:39:28

we don't get sick much. We don't have the heating on overnight unless it is absolutely bitter, and the radiator in DD's room is adjustable so I often keep it off in her room, especially if she has a cold - though she does like to be warm than not (she's 3, not a little baby, so feel more relaxed about her room being a bit warmer). I try not to have the heating on in the day if it's just me and DD, but at the weekend when we're all home and it's getting cold we stick it on - it goes up to 20/21 degrees then switches off. DH really really feels the cold, even bundled up, and our house is old and daughty, whatever we try to do to minimise it.

I grew up in a cold house with miserly parents who wouldn't put the heating on much and all it did is give me memories of being cold a lot and determined that I wasn't going to live like that if I could afford not to (they easily could have afforded not to).

LividofLondon Thu 19-Sep-13 09:31:08

There is no way I could sit in a room at 16 degrees dressed in black tie gear, I'd get very cold pretty quickly. My thermostat (at the top of the stairs) is set to 20 degrees, with the bedroom radiators off completely, and I still have to wear a couple of layers to stay warm if I'm not moving much.
OP I don't think you'd have BU to ask him to turn the heating up in the dining room. Seriously, a guest should not have to sit at dinner with their coat on and it would only have been one room for one night. Surely he could've done that. But if you know he lives in a chilly house I'm a bit surprised that you didn't tell him you wouldn't be dressing up because you'd not be warm enough. Then just turn up in jumpers, fleeces and ugg boots wink

livinginwonderland Thu 19-Sep-13 07:27:25

Our heating isn't on yet (can't afford it) but even when it is it's only set to around 15-16 degrees. We can't afford to have it on higher than that, and even when it is on, it's usually for an hour in the morning and a couple
of hours in the evening.

I would find 22 degrees to be far too hot to just sit and eat or whatever. The key in this house is lots of blankets, hot water bottles and extra socks! It's cosy smile I also use DP as a hot water bottle as the man seems to radiate heat.

Editededition Thu 19-Sep-13 07:23:56

If this man is a genuine friend - just ask!
'Are you planning on putting the heating on, or do I need to wear a sweater' is not a rude question in any way.

I would actually say that, given the weather fluctuations at the moment, it is not even a weird question to ask. There are a couple of people I would make the enquiry of, if visiting in the past week.

Retroformica Thu 19-Sep-13 07:11:44

Didn't he room get warmer over the course if the evening?

goodasitgets Thu 19-Sep-13 02:57:26

I'm torn on this! If everyone was cold I would turn the heat on/up
It's 16c in my house now, I have a vest and pj bottoms on and I'm comfy
But my friends feel the cold, so I always put the heat up and make sure there is blankets/socks/extra duvet if they come over

CoolStoryBro Thu 19-Sep-13 01:41:12

As an aside, do those who do keep their houses that warm in the winter, do you find you get sick much?

CoolStoryBro Thu 19-Sep-13 01:40:19

Our heating thermostat is currently saying the temperature in our house is 21°. The heating isn't on (and wont be for a while) and I'm wearing a vest and thin pj bottoms. Tonight we will all sleep with a window open. I can't imagine ever heating the house to be this warm!

Morloth Thu 19-Sep-13 01:19:56

16 degrees is not cold inside.

I wouldn't think to tell people, much the same way they don't tell me if they are going to have theirs up and stifling.

Our aircons keep the house at 16 in winter and 25 in summer.

I like to still feel the seasons.

Jan49 Thu 19-Sep-13 01:16:36

If you are too hot at 21/22 degrees how on earth do you cope in the summer when it is 22 or more on most days? Weird!

In winter I wear winter clothing so I'd feel overheated in a house heated to 22C. Whereas if it was 22C on a summer's day I'd be dressed for summer. Also on a pleasant summer's day you'd have windows open whereas someone who felt the cold and heated their house to 22C in winter is probably not going to have the windows open.

NoComet Wed 18-Sep-13 23:59:26

I think I would have been heading straight home, before I lost the feeling in my feet.
16oC equals socks and boots, not anything I'd wear with a posh frock.

I have learnt to wear two pairs of socks to my no shoes, wooden floored DFs in winter.

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