If you have elderly people in your home or you’re responsible for some elder person’s well-being, you have to pay close attention to your Indianapolis home temperature in summer and winter.
Elderly people are unable to regulate their body temperatures as well as younger people for a variety of reasons. Often, they have health conditions such as hypertension or diabetes that make it more difficult to feel warm. They may take beta-blockers, which decrease heart rate and reduce blood circulation. High cholesterol may reduce blood flow to extremities. Thyroid conditions often inhibit one’s ability to regulate temperature. Further, older people lose fat and muscle mass, which help to maintain core temperature. The list of issues goes on, but what do you do to maintain a comfortable temperature?
What’s the Right Temperature?
No one temperature fits all, but there are some general guidelines for the elderly. You may have noticed that your elder is inclined to crank up the heat to 90 rather than put on a sweater, for instance. This can be a harmful practice, in that it can be dehydrating, as the elderly should stay hydrated to prevent urinary tract infections. It’s best to not exceed the mid-80s with the thermostat. On the other end, the elderly may not be comfortable if the thermostat falls below 72 degrees.
Supplementing the HVAC System
Some elders will be hesitant to maintain a comfortable temperature for fear of running up utility bills. They can maintain a comfortable temperature more efficiently by doing the following:
- Ceiling fans can push heat down from the ceiling in winter, and when blades are reversed, lift heat up from floor level in summer so you don’t need to use as much heating or cooling.
- Air seal the home. Close cracks in walls, around pipes, cables, wires, and electric switches with insulation, caulk, and weatherstripping.
- Have annual maintenance performed so the HVAC system runs efficiently.
Also, look into government agencies and charities that help the elderly with their utility bills.
For more on home temperature and the elderly, contact Mowery Heating, Cooling and Plumbing of Indianapolis. For over 40 years we have served Indianapolis and surrounding areas include: Brownsburg, Fishers, Carmel, Westfield, Noblesville & More!