I’ve been privately bitching for awhile now why I am constantly finding that everywhere I go I find myself cold inside public buildings. What boggles my mind is that I am not the only one. I always see other ladies crossing their arms to warm up. What is missing? Is it because store managers are all super hot? Who decides the temperature of a building? My theories on why it is so cold in public builidings in America.

  1. Americans are fat. Common sense, many people have about 30 pounds more insulation than me. There is of course the dual effect of having to carry around more weight and having that weight warm you. Thus, fat people need it to be cooler. Simple
  2. Most places are centrally air conditioned. In our house for example, the thermostat is set to 75. We have a pretty big house and so the main floor is normally 75, the basement is probably closer to 65, and the upper floor is closer to 80. And the biggest problem is that the thermostat is located on the main floor. There is currently no technology to sense temperature differences between floors and redistribute air accordingly — at least not on the residential scale.
  3. Americans don’t like to sweat. Sweating is one of the body’s natural cooling mechanisms. And as countless anti-antiperspirant ads can testify, sweating is BAD. It is seen as an embarrassment and is avoided whenever possible. Keeping the environment around your body cool is a convenient shortcut to avoiding sweat at the cost of overriding your body’s natural cooling system and further strengthening the air condition addiction.
  4. Poor insulation. Houses here are not constructed out of stone and cement like they are in Europe. They are constructed with wood and insulated with fiberglass fibers. Our roofs are lined with fiberglass/asphalt  shingles instead of clay shingles. The problem is because the fiberglass shingles are primarily darker colored and absorb more heat, whereas clay is generally a lighter color and absorb less. All this means is you have to crank up the AC to achieve a stable temperature, driving up costs. If point number 2 isn’t addressed, you can have very cold places in a building.

I, for one, would strongly support any legislation that says a public building should be set no lower than X and preferably 5-10 degrees lower than outside temperature. Not only to please my own thermal needs but to save electricity. I can’t imagine how much money we’d be saving as a nation if people could just bear a good sweat every now and then.