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What Temperature is too Hot for a House? What You Need To Know!

unhappy woman feeling exhausted from heat sitting in front of the electric fan

Temperature is one of those things that comes down to preference. Factors like personal comfort and budget for the energy bill play into what temperature you choose to set your thermostat at.

After reading through several sources, we’ve discovered that 75°–78°F (23.8°–25.5°C) is the average ideal temperature for indoors during the summer. Anything higher than this, and you could run into issues.

The mid-seventies temperature balances energy savings on air conditioning while staying away from uncomfortable temperatures. However, if you have elderly folks or small children in the household, a couple of degrees cooler is probably a better bet for safety.

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Problems With High Indoor Temperature

Heat-related illnesses such as heat stroke or heat exhaustion are the most significant health problems related to high indoor temperatures. If temperatures in the home are too hot, heat exhaustion can quickly turn into life-threatening heatstroke—especially in the case of the elderly or small children.

woman exhausted from heat fanning herself
Image Credit: fizkes, Shutterstock

Symptoms of heat exhaustion

  • Extreme thirst
  • Dizziness
  • Lack of coordination
  • Nausea
  • Excessive sweating
  • Cold and clammy skin

Heat exhaustion can typically be treated at home as long as it’s noticed right away. A cool shower or sponge bath will help lower core body temperature. Even reducing exertion by laying down and loosening clothing can help. Also, drinking liquid such as water and fruit juices will help.

Symptoms of heatstroke

  • Fainting
  • Body temperature over 104°F (40°C)
  • No sweating
  • Dry and flushed skin
  • Either a strong, fast pulse or a weak, slow pulse (either one potentially)
  • Out of character behavior
  • Unconsciousness

If someone has any of these symptoms, it is a medical emergency—call 911 immediately. Once you’ve called emergency services, keep the person as cool as possible. Remove as much clothing as possible and circulate air with fans or air conditioning units.

Problems With the House

In addition to the health concerns surrounding the house being too hot, the contents of your house are susceptible to damage. While the structure itself won’t be damaged, the caulking and sealing around doors and windows begin to dry out in the hot, dry air.

This won’t cause immediate problems. However, over time you’ll notice the efficiency of your home’s heating and cooling go downhill. You’ll get more dust inside during the summer and have cold drafts in the winter.

Other things in your home could be damaged by heat as well. Some wood furniture or art will not hold up to the heat.

man in his bed near the window
Image Credit: Rachata Teyparsit, Shutterstock

Keeping Your House Cool Without Air Conditioning

So, we’ve seen the damage and problems that arise when the house heats up, but if we don’t have an air conditioning system, how do we keep it cool? Below we’ll share some things you can DIY to help beat the heat.

  • Cross breeze: If your home has windows on either side, opening both will help create a cross breeze that can help keep the house significantly cooler.
  • Close the windows: We just said open them, but only if you can get a cross breeze. Otherwise, if the air outside is hotter than inside, you’ll only be heating it—not cooling it down.
  • Install a window tint: The windows in our home can act as a magnifying glass. So, if you’re not able to shade them from direct sunlight, installing a window tint can help reduce some of the heat they absorb.
  • Bowl of ice: If you’ve got some small fans, you can position them strategically and put a bowl of ice right in front of them. Then the fan will blow cooler air instead of simply circulating hot air around the house.

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Closing Thoughts

Extreme heat is nothing to mess around with. An air conditioning system is a good investment if you live somewhere where temperatures skyrocket in the summer. Because as we saw above, if the temperature starts going much higher than 78°F, you could run into problems.

If you don’t have air conditioning, our tips may help. However, if the temperature outside is too high, these DIY solutions may not be adequate. For safety’s sake, it’s better to seek somewhere cool to hang out until the heat passes.

Featured Image Credit: aslysun, Shutterstock


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