SPONSORED — In the Pacific Northwest, sunny skies and mild summer temperatures usually make out-of-towners green with envy, but in recent years, Seattle and its surrounding areas have seen a good share of rising mercury. If you thought the long, rainy winter would give way to a cool and pleasant summer, think again. According to Farmer’s Almanac, Seattle’s summer months are expected to be warmer — and possibly drier — than usual.
If you’re looking to keep cool, but trying to save some dough by forgoing that air-conditioning system, you could be doing yourself a disservice.
In fact, that hot, stuffy home could be costing you in more ways than you know.
Loss of sleep will cost you — and your employer
If you’re like many people, you sleep better in a chilly room, and that’s no coincidence. Research suggests that a cooler room makes for a better night’s sleep. In fact, according to the National Sleep Foundation, the optimal temperature for catching some quality Z’s is 60 to 67 degrees Fahrenheit. According to the research, cooler temperatures help to decrease the core body temperature, and that initiates drowsiness.
“It’s hard to fall asleep when you are too hot. Then you fret about all you need to accomplish tomorrow and the cycle of no sleep starts” says Scott Ballou of MM Comfort. “Remedy that by adding AC, sleep cool, comfortable and un-interrupted for the whole night. Your co-workers will wonder how you are so refreshed and productive each day.”
Think that good sleep is a luxury you can’t afford? Think about this: Sleep deprivation will cost you too, and not just physically. According to Fortune, lack of sleep costs the U.S. about $411 billion in lost productivity and 1.2 million working days each year.
A warm home could make you fat — and broke
When it’s 80-plus degrees in your kitchen, the last thing you want to do is preheat the oven, stand in front of the gas range or even heat up that frozen dinner. So what do you do? Get takeout, of course. Even if your excuse is a hot kitchen, that fast-food habit isn’t doing any good for your waistline — or your wallet. According to Credit Donkey, the average American already spends nearly $1,200 per year on fast food. If you’re using a hot kitchen as an excuse to spend that — or more — it might be time to fight the mercury.
Heat affects your metabolism in more ways than just convenient fast food. Sleeping in a warm home can affect your metabolism. According to a National Institute of Health study, participants who slept in a cool room (66 degrees Fahrenheit), showed a 10 percent increase in fat metabolic activity. The participants also had a 42 percent increase in brown fat — the “healthy” fat that burns chemical energy and helps to regulate body temperature.
Your health (and that of your loved ones) is at stake
You already know temperatures can affect your sleep health, but that overheated home could contribute to other health issues that will cost you — physically and financially. According to The Weather Network, heat exposure can cause myriad problems to the body, including dehydration, heat edema, heat rash, heat stroke, dizziness, confusion and even loss of consciousness.
Additionally, heat waves can be particularly harmful to animals that might be living under your (very warm) roof. Your furry friends lack the ability to shed their fur coats and may be more sensitive to the heat than you are. When you see man’s best friend panting and lapping up water like it’s going out of style, take it as a sign it’s time to invest in air conditioning.
“Central air conditioning can be added to most all homes that have a forced air heating system” says Scott Ballou of MM Comfort. “For those without a duct system, we can add a ductless system that provides great summertime comfort and lowers your heating bills in the winter.”
When it comes to staying cool this summer, your wallet and your sanity may both give thanks for your air-conditioned home.