Is it better to be too hot or too cold?
May 2, 2022
Being too hot beats being too cold
I used to think that being too cold was better than being too hot, but I’ve come to realize that it just isn’t the case. Being too hot is definitely more tolerable than being too cold.
One of the biggest arguments for why it’s better to be too cold is the fact that one can pile up blankets and turn on a fireplace to remedy it, while saying when it’s too hot, there is little to do about it. That’s not true. People can jump in a pool, have a cold drink or enjoy ice cream and popsicles. Even just a quick breeze can provide relief. Plus, we can use air conditioning, fans or open some windows.
Feeling too cold is also a lot more harrowing of an experience. We involuntarily shiver and hug our arms to our chest to retain as much warmth as possible. Sometimes even a heavy jacket isn’t enough to keep a person comfortable. Depending on the extremity, one might even turn purple or go numb. The cold feels bitter and stinging. I’ve seen pictures of people with frost gathering on their eyebrows and eyelashes, which looks absolutely unbearable. I’d rather tolerate a bit of sweat than freeze.
Beating the heat can also create good memories. It’s probably quite easy to imagine the smell of sunscreen, chlorine or saltwater, the sounds of kids playing with their friends in sprinklers and the taste of one’s favorite popsicle flavor. That isn’t to say cold days don’t provide their own memories, but recalling when those memories arose from the task of warming up seems more difficult.
The summer months feature the most prominent heat, but the warmth doesn’t always deter people from going out. On the other hand, when it’s too cold, it seems like people are more inclined to stay inside. It takes too much effort to layer up and people are reluctant to leave the comfort of warmer interiors. I know that for me, when I see the temperature has dropped below the forties, I’m not voluntarily going outside to hang out. When the temperature is in the upper seventies and maybe even the eighties, I consider that a more inviting day.
Being cold also costs more. We have to buy winter gear, blankets and pay for heating. A lot of energy goes into keeping the temperature up. Additionally, the CDC states that more deaths occur from being too cold than too hot, reporting about twice as many extreme-temperature related deaths were due to excessive cold from 2006-2010.
Finally, this may not be a common topic to consider when debating temperature extremes, but it’s interesting how winds and breezes contribute to whether it’s better to be too cold or too warm. When it’s cold out, wind gusts are dreaded, as they only further the chill and cut through our coats. On warm days, a breeze is welcome and appreciated. The fact that when it’s too hot, nature doesn’t actively try to further my suffering makes me enjoy a hot day a bit more.
Obviously, it’s usually preferable for temperatures to be in a good, tolerable middle ground. If given the chance to choose the weather, I wouldn’t pick extreme heat or extreme chill. When given the option between the two, though, I think being too hot is a better experience than being too cold.
It’s better to be too cold than too hot
Sunburns or snowball fights? Sweating or sledding? “Red lips and rosy cheeks” (Taylor Swift, “Wildest Dreams”), or watching our planet fall into absolute shambles as global warming ultimately sets in?
The debate between being too cold and too hot is obviously an extreme scenario because everyone’s parents are strict about keeping the thermostat at a solid 72 degrees. But you’d be mistaken to choose being too hot as the best option.
The universal argument between parents and their children about the thermostat is a completely reasonable one to have. It costs more to heat your home than to cool it. Some homeowners even pay double for heating than they do for cooling. Keeping the house on the cooler side may be worth it to have the extra cash to fill up your tank given the recent gas price increase.
When you do find yourself stuck in a scorching hot room, there isn’t much you can do to alleviate your suffering. First you open a window, which doesn’t provide nearly enough relief if you are sitting on the far side of the room. Next, you take off your hoodie to see if that helps, but it doesn’t.
What can you do from there? Nothing.
You can’t remove much more clothing because not only will you get some looks, but there is only so much skin that can appropriately be shown in school. The already-limiting dress code is dreaded even more so during the summer season as students don’t want to sweat under the heat. Additionally, the more you bundle up for winter, the more opportunities you have to accessorize your outfit. Adding a cute scarf and hat not only looks cute, but is very cozy.
When I go outside during hot weather, I am terrified of getting a sunburn (which I am unfortunately easily susceptible to). The amount of effort I put into hiding in the shade and reapplying sunscreen every few hours takes away from the experience I’m having. Since more than 90 percent of skin cancers are caused by sun exposure, I don’t take this subject lightly. The downpour of sweat doesn’t help the situation either. All in all, not fun.
There are plenty of activities that occur during the cold and are memory-making experiences. Building snowmen, sledding and snowball fights are a part of almost everyone’s childhood. As your skill set increases, snowboarding and skiing are both exhilarating ways to spend your time. If you simply must stay inside, the cold weather creates a very relaxing environment. Whether it be cozying up with a good book, working on a puzzle or watching a movie as the snow falls outside, there is no shortage of cold-based activities.
Finally, to get as serious and hard-hitting as possible, global warming is upon us. The temperature rise per decade has increased since 1981 and it will likely continue unless change is made on a global scale. It just may be in your favor to prefer the heat as our planet is only getting warmer. I’ll just enjoy the remaining cold that I have, thank you very much.
The most popular temperature preference is definitely a comfortable room-temperature, but as the temperature outside fluctuates and thermostats struggle to maintain a complimentary environment indoors, that isn’t always the case. The cold is much more tolerable, inexpensive and enjoyable when compared to the heat. Therefore, it is most definitely the better option.
As Elsa once said, “The cold never bothered me anyway.”