As the Idaho weather shifts from cold to warm, many of the students at BYU-Idaho start having the annual dispute with their roommates – where to set the thermostat.
Each person differs from each other, especially in such a diverse culture as BYU-I, and thus each person has their own preferred room temperature. Some prefer warmer temperatures, and others prefer cooler temperatures.
While serving as a missionary, Se Jin Ki, a junior studying English, preferred the thermostat at a higher temperature.
“I preferred it super-hot, like 80 degrees,” Ki said. “I didn’t like waking up cold.”
Michael Loveless, a senior studying art, preferred the thermostat set low.
“Me and my siblings are all very warm-blooded, insulated individuals, so we’re used to, like, 68 degrees,” Loveless said.
These kinds of differences leave little wonder as to why these disputes happen. Annie Shaw, a sophomore studying public health, prefers a lower temperature. She said this dispute occurs in her apartment “more than you’d think.” Fortunately for her, she has a solution.
“When it’s hot I usually go turn the fan on or open the window,” Shaw said.
Madilyn Greene, a sophomore studying exercise physiology and Shaw’s roommate, prefers a higher temperature. Like Shaw, she has a solution as well.
“If I’m cold, I usually get a blanket,” Greene said. “I don’t change (the thermostat).”
Unlike Greene, however, Shaw said if she comes home to find the thermostat “ridiculously high,” she will change the thermostat.
Finding solutions to this dispute becomes important if one does not wish to spend their semester living in an uncomfortable temperature.
Kensington Manor’s managers indirectly solved these disputes in an attempt to cut down on the maintenance repairs they were paying for. They did this by limiting how high or low their tenants can set the thermostat.
Justin Erekson, a freshman studying accounting, was one of the maintenance workers hired by Kensington and had a hand in setting the limits.
“People overuse the heaters and air conditioners,” Erekson said. “If it’s too cold, they’ll burn up their heater. If it’s too hot, they’ll freeze their air conditioning.”
Tanisha Shedden, a junior majoring in marriage and family studies, also encounters this dispute with her husband.
“Sometimes he likes it really cold and sometimes I like it warm,” Shedden said.
Thankfully, they have figured out a few ways to resolve it. “If one of us is just really cold or one of us is just really hot, then we ask the other person (if they can change thermostat),” Shedden said.
Occasionally, Shedden said her husband will simply open a window in their bedroom and stay there to enjoy the cooler temperature while Tanisha enjoys the warmer rooms.
Loveless said he has had numerous roommates during his time at BYU-I and has had this dispute many times.
“There’s been semesters where you’ll get someone who … is used to having their home 74 to 76 degrees,” Loveless said. “Then you come in and you got me and my siblings who are all very warm-blooded … so we’re used to 68 degrees.”
Loveless said that when these two groups of people constantly change the temperature of the thermostat, they need to have a conversation about it.
“Let’s find a nice compromise in the middle where we’re not sweating and you’re not freezing,” Loveless said.
Blake Solomon, a junior studying agriculture, lives in The Pines, which has another solution: multiple thermostats.
“We have individual (thermostats) for our rooms,” Solomon said. “Then one massive one for the living room and kitchen at home.” This has cut down on a lot of potential disputes for residents of The Pines.
There are many possible solutions to these disputes. Ki said he no longer changes the thermostat when he feels it may be too cold. Instead, he uses his blanket to warm up.
Solomon said he will simply open a window if he becomes too warm.
Most students do agree, though, that all roommates should reach an agreement or compromise on where the temperature of the room should be.