He Said, She Said: The Temperature Wars

Have you ever had a disagreement with your significant other over the temperature in the house? Whether you’re female or male, the answer is probably yes.

For years, my husband has been after me to install air-conditioning in the house. For years, I’ve resisted because I love to open the windows in the summer and let the natural breeze cool the house.

But last month, I finally gave in, and we now have a monstrosity of a unit outside our back door. And that’s when the temperature wars began…

He Said, She Said

He Said: (comes home from work, sweaty and hot) “It’s roasting in here. Why isn’t the air-conditioning on?”

She Said: (wearing t-shirt and sweats, and after a day inside, non-sweaty and cool) “It is. Give it a little while and you’ll adjust.”

He Said: (checking the temperature on the thermostat) “What’s the point of having air-conditioning if you’re going to keep it this hot? What a waste of money.”

She Said: (trying to be understanding) “If it’s set any lower, it’s too cold downstairs.”

He Said: “The temperature down there is only 20C (68F). How can that be too cold?”

She Said: (just the tiniest annoyed) “Trust me, it is.”

Ten minutes later, there’s a significant temperature change in the house. Upon checking the thermostat, she discovers the temperature has been lowered.

She Said: (pulling on a sweatshirt) “22 (71F) is too cold.”

He Said: “How can it be too cold? In the winter 22 is warm.”


One hour later, she’s sitting in the downstairs family room reading, covered with a blanket. It’s so cold, she has to get a tissue because her nose is running. She heads upstairs to the dining room where he’s playing Solitaire on his PC…

She Said: (grumpy as all get out) “It’s freezing down there. It’s freezing up here, too. The air-conditioner has been running for a solid hour without stopping.”

He Said: (bundled up in a warm sweater) “How do you know? You can’t hear it inside the house.”

She Said: (seething) “The furnace room is right across from me. I can hear it run and it’s not clicking off.”

He Said: “Not possible.”

She Said: (stomping away, heading back downstairs to the good book she’s reading) “I’m not stupid, you know. Go sit in the family room for a while and you’ll see what I mean. It’s so cold, I’m ready to haul out my winter jacket.”

He Said: (actually, he just ignores her, which pisses her off to no end, and makes her regret installing the stupid air-conditioner)

Finally, she goes outside to warm up, but because it’s still hot enough to fry eggs on the pavement, she’s soon all sweaty. She gives up and heads inside, grabs a second blanket and hauls it downstairs…

Two hours later, he comes down to the family room…

He Said: (hands in pockets, looking smug and righteously right) “It’s nice down here.”

Then he goes back upstairs.

At bedtime, the air-conditioner gets turned off. The windows upstairs stay closed because, you know, you’re not supposed to open the windows when you have air-conditioning.

The residual heat from the day is trapped inside the house and the temperature in the bedroom climbs. Despite the fan above the bed, it keeps getting hotter, until she finally heads outside to cool off…or maybe just cool down.

She Said: “Stupid air-conditioner. Stupid men. One of them has to go.”

Do you have He Said, She Said moments in your household, too? If so, I’d love to hear about them!

About Sheila Seabrook

Author of contemporary romance and women's fiction.

Posted on July 9, 2014, in Blog Posts and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 16 Comments.

  1. Too funny! You need to get one of those thermostats that you can program. It keeps the fights to a minimum. 🙂

  2. Oh, the air conditioning wars. Living in the south, we go straight from heat to air. Our house is freezing year round and I’ve learned to live in sweats and we have blankets in every room. I’d go with Tracy’s suggestion and program the thermostat, but be sure you’re the one setting the program!

  3. I can’t really relate since here in the Bay Area it’s rarely too cold or too hot. But my husband and I don’t exactly feel the heat the same nor the cold. He’ll leave the back door open and have shorts on and I’m under my little blankie shutting the back door at least half-way – a compromise, right?

    • I envy you your moderate climate, Patti. My favorite temperature is about 70F. Anything lower is sweater weather. Anything much higher…well, I guess it’s air-conditioning/blanket weather now. 🙂

  4. Sheila, I couldn’t stop laughing. Although I now live alone, the memories of the temperature wars between my mom and dad, then my brother and his wife and back in the day … the kids and me.

    I once asked my aging aunt why she and my uncle had separate bedrooms. “Well dear, we started out snuggle together in one small bed. I was always cold and your uncle was always hot. Then during my change I couldn’t stand the heat of his body and we went with separate beds.” She giggle. “Now, that we are very old, your uncle is always cold and I’m always hot.”

    Good luck to you and your hubby. I don’t think anyone ever wins the temperature war 🙂

    • We’ve never had temperature wars in our house before, Florence. During the winter, we have to turn up the heat or we all freeze. And during the summer, when it got too warm, we all roasted. I think I’m going to move to the Bay Area and live with Patti. 🙂

  5. Oh Sheila – this is too funny and so true. We don’t have air conditioning in our house either and most of the time that’s okay. Our downstairs is always considerably cooler than our up, as the downstairs used to be a basement and is entirely cinder block. Usually, this is fine as we spend most of our time downstairs.

    We did buy a portable a/c unit that vents outside for our bedroom as we both like it pretty cool when we sleep. We have to keep the bedroom door shut and turn it on about 2 hours before bedtime in order for it to work properly, but so far, it’s seems to be working.

    That said, my office, where I write on my days off, also happens to be upstairs, which means that on those particular days, it’s sweltering in the office. It is so hard to write in the summer because the room gets to be about 90 degrees (there are 5 windows in that room, 2 face west). Here’s where our argument comes in:

    Husband tells me to go downstairs to write.

    Problem – there is no internet connection downstairs (or cell service – remember it’s a former basement). Whenever I’d have to look something up, I’d have to haul the laptop back upstairs, connect up the internet, do my research then traipse back downstairs.

    Plus, I have to haul all of my books – dictionary, thesaurus, emotion thesaurus, etc., downstairs with me, all of my notes, my workbook, my picture boards, etc. etc. That’s a no can do. I’ve already got everything set up and within reach in the office set-up upstairs. I think we’re going to need to get another one of those portable a/c units for the office, too. Hubby doesn’t see the need. Ergo – the “he said, she said,” problem.

    Take care and bundle up my friend. Good husbands are hard to find.

    Will you be in San Antonio for RWA this year? I’d love to meet you if you are.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

    • My office is upstairs, too, so during those hot summer days, I’d have a portable fan running at full blast just to stay cool. The papers on my desk would be fluttering and flying in the gale force wind, and I’d be so distracted trying to contain the paper that I wouldn’t get any writing done. LOL! But every time I thought about moving the office downstairs, I’d think of how cold it is down there during the winter months. I’d need an electric blanket just to keep the icicles off my nose. LOL!

      Sadly, Patricia, I won’t be in San Antonio this year. I’d love to attend the conference and meet you and tour the area…someday. 🙂

  6. ALL. THE. TIME. You hit the nail on the head, Sheila!

  7. My temperature wars with my husband have always been more about money than comfort. We’ve come to an understanding that anything lower than 68 in the winter is too cold, and anything above 77 in the summer is too warm. (Here in Raleigh, we couldn’t afford to keep the house 68 degrees in the summer! We’d have to mortgage the house just to cool it.)

    • We’ve had those money wars, too, Andrea. 🙂 And even up here, 68 is too cold in the winter except for sleeping. It seems like the most comfortable temperature in the house, both for summer and winter, is about 74 or 75.

  8. Janna Qualman

    Hilarious. No such arguments for me of late, since there’s no “he” in my household, but I commiserate. And I side with you! 😉

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