Expert Alert

How to stay warm while keeping the thermostat low

Image of the word SAVE on a digital room thermostat wearing wooly hat next to an image of Professor Missy Bye
Professor Missy Bye. Credit: Getty Images/University of Minnesota

MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL (11/01/2023) — Dressing for winter means more than a high quality coat and solid snow boots. A bit of extra consideration for your inside winter wardrobe can make a lower thermostat setting tolerable and even comfortable — resulting in your family saving money and energy. 

Missy Bye, a professor in the College of Design at the University of Minnesota, provides expert advice on clothing selections to keep you warm inside this winter. 

Missy Bye, Ph.D.

“Keeping your thermostat low not only helps the environment by saving energy — it also saves money and is better for your skin!

In order to stay warm with a lower thermostat, focus on layers of clothing — tops and bottoms — that will trap air to keep you warm. Layers can be adjusted depending on your activity level. 

Keeping your head and wrists covered will go a long way to retain body heat as will clothing with closed necklines. Vests — indoor or outdoor — can make great layers without adding bulk. Warm socks or two layers of socks with indoor shoes or slippers will help keep your feet warm.

Pick materials with wool or wool blends, which can naturally trap air. A base layer that wicks away moisture — usually olefin or polyester — will prevent you from getting chilled when your activity level changes.”

Missy Bye is a professor in the College of Design. Her areas of expertise include apparel technology including sizing and fit of wearable products, human factors in the design of wearable products, and the relationship between design, manufacturing and sustainability.

About the College of Design
Located in a major design city and in one of the largest research universities in the U.S., the University of Minnesota's College of Design encompasses a full range of design disciplines — including landscape architecture, architecture, retail merchandising, and the design of interiors, graphics, apparel, and other products. Faculty, students, and staff aim to advance the quality of manufactured objects and our natural, built, and social environments through sustainably resilient, socially responsible, civically engaged, and human-centered design collaborations. Learn more at

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Media Contacts

Amelia Narigon

College of Design, Twin Cities