10 November, 2008

Still no central heating

I'll admit it, I very nearly weakened during half term. It could be something to do with the very cold frosts, or that we had five windows replaced on the coldest day so the temperature of the house plummeted, or that we were in a lot of the time with the children and I just noticed the cold so much more. But I didn't and actually things are going quite well this week.

I have learnt though that it takes forward planning. You need to remember to turn on the heater in your bedroom a little while before you take your clothes off to get ready for bed. And that the children prefer their hot water bottles to be in the bed waiting for them. And that on dark and stormy nights (and as I'm in the Black Mountains, I get a lot of these) you're amazingly pleased with yourself if you've remembered to bring in enough wood for the evening.

And the other thing I've learnt is that you use a house differently by season if you live this way. We tend in the warmer months to live in the kitchen which is large and convivial and has windows facing east and west for lots of light. But now we've moved a table into our sitting room which has the wood-burning stove so is always warm, and we're eating, playing, and right now I'm typing here.

So I think it's going rather well right now though admittedly apart from being very wet, it isn't that cold yet. However, I think I may slacken the rules for guests. Is it terrible if I turn on the heating for a couple of days over Christmas when the in-laws come to stay? What do you think?

10 comments:

elizabethm said...

I think you are doing marvellously and do understand absolutely about the forward thinking. We have given in now and have pretty minimal central heating for an hour morning and night, just enough to take the chill off the room. Still working mainly off the woodburner and still interested to know how you manage the bathroom which is the place I really miss some heat!

Kate said...

Please turn on the heating for me if I ever visit from Australia!! But not too hot....so many British people have their homes soooo hot I want to open all the windows..... just take the chill off for the in-laws and tell them to bring warm, indoor clothes.Thanks for dropping my blog recently.... it is nice to read your comments.

Earthenwitch said...

Yes, bathrooms are a bit parky when you heat only the rooms you live in, as it were, but I tend to think it broadens the mind. Or something. :)

We're still on a woodstove alone, but our house is tiny; the heat goes up the stairs if we open the door off the room where the stove is, and it also seems to go along the house too, even reaching, to some extent, the kitchen extension. Good for you for persevering with it, though, and yes, I really identify with having-brought-wood-in smugness.

Eliane said...

I'm really quick in the shower and get dressed in my bedroom which is warmer. When the girls infrequently want a bath I can heat the room using a freestanding heater in the lobby area just outside. And thankfully, small children don't seem to notice the cold the way their old mother does!

Must get wood in now for this pm.

Amanda said...

We had last winter (our first in Canada) with no central heating - just (expensive) electric room heaters (which we only put on when really desperate) and two wood-burners (one of which was not 'to code', so we didn't light it until 2 January (when the temperature dropped to -15°C and we were past caring about building codes!).

We put in a geothermal system over the summer, so have gone the opposite way to you and now have the equivalent of a central heating (and cooling) system. It's getting colder outside now, so we've set it to keep the house at 16°C, and we have the kitchen stove on during the day and the living room one alight at night. Seems to be working well so far, but we've not got into 'real' winter yet.

As for your in-laws, I think the question is "Do you want them to come back?". If you do, then I would put the heating on, if not, then let them suffer!

Eliane said...

Amanda, geothermal sounds very green. We're on oil, though to be honest it's probably the cost that puts me off the most rather than the unsustainable nature of the fuel.

Soilman said...

Was just hearing on the radio about Britain's lowest carbon footprint woman. Has no heating - of any kind - EVER. Wears lots of clothes. Never cooks ("I eat seeds, nuts and fruit") and jogs everywhere. In her sixties, I think. Boasting about how healthy she is compared with her contemporaries.

Daft old bat. In her place, I'd beg God every day for merciful release from a life of torture.

For God's sake don't get THAT bad, Eliane!

Eliane said...

Soilman, I absolutely guarantee I will never be that mad. Am sitting in a warm (fire and electric heater) room, drinking red wine, haven't been for a run in weeks and have just finished beef stew. As someone said, living like that wouldn't necessarily make you live longer, but it would certainly feel like it!

Nicki said...

If/when I next visit I'll be a hardened Canadian and so would like to think I'll be fine. In truth because it gets so cold here (-16 plus wind chill to -30 in Halifax last winter)the heating isn't really an option, it's a necessity. In fact in our contract with the landlord we aren't allowed to let the house get below 65 deg F (about 15 C ?). But I do applaud your general theme - most houses are too warm - but making yours freezing may not be the answer. You could use the central heating but keep the house at a steady 18 or 17 degrees which long term will use less fuel.

Eliane said...

Hi Nicki, actually the house is fine. We're just using different heating - I get the woodburning stove going first thing. The house is warm in parts and cold in parts. The problem with the heating is that there isn't a thermostat in the house to control it. Some of the radiators have thermostats on but not most. So when it's on, it's on and it burns oil like there's no tomorrow. We had to buy oil three times last winter, but haven't bought any since the spring for water heating. So we're fine. But if you do come and visit, I may make an exception just for you! Oh, and the inlaws.