Let’s face it – no one expects you to whip out the thermometer and make sure the water in your flower vase is the right temperature. In all honesty, it’s not a bad idea. In fact, the right temperature can make a BIG difference in a lot of situations! Here’s the 411:

  • That vase water. The temperature should be between 90 and 100 degrees. Cecilia Heffernan, author of Flowers A to Z, says warm water travels better up the stems, allowing the blooms to hydrate and develop properly. The water should feel like bathwater. There are some exceptions, though. Spring-bulb flowers, such as tulips and daffodils, should have a slightly cooler soak. Think pool water.

  • Filling a fishbowl. The water should be room temperature – or between 65 and 75 degrees. Water that’s cooler or warmer can leave your kids’ goldfish floating sideways. If you can’t find your thermometer, put some sink water in an open container and leave it overnight. It’ll hit room temperature by morning.

  • If you plan on painting the inside of your house - adjust your thermostat to 77 degrees. Basically, if you’re comfortable standing around in a tank top, you’re close enough. At this temperature, most latex paints take only two hours to dry. This means that you can move the furniture back into place sooner.

  • Then there’s your bath water – keep it between 96 and 104 degrees. Even though you can adjust to higher temperatures in about three minutes, they’re still bad for your skin. Water that’s too hot can break down the skin’s protective barrier, which guards against pollution, germs and bacteria. So, dip your hand in the tub. If the water’s too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for the rest of your body.  

  • When getting some shut-eye, set your thermostat to around 68 degrees. Dennis McGinty, chief of neurosurgery for the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, says a good rest requires your body temperature to drop – but not too far. Don’t wanna mess with the thermostat? Then poke your arms and legs out of the covers. You’ll lose heat without becoming uncomfortable.