08 December, 2009

Heating, clocks, technical innovations

Heating is a current priority as we're in the middle of a cold snap. Okay so it isn't as cold as last year in Wales when I experimented on the family and insisted on heating the barn with one wood-burning stove. But the body has a short memory (unlike Tom who is very prompt at reminding me how awful the experiment was and may indeed bear a grudge).

So it is cold right now and we have the heating on. There isn't much in this apartment. There's a two-way gas fire at one end of the house, a large wood-burning stove currently not in use in the kitchen and a rather flashy thermostat controlled gas stove thing in the sitting room. The fires are controlled by thermostats but sadly not clocks so we have to turn them down or off at night and then on again in the morning. I don't think our limited heating is unusual and this is California after all so presumably we won't need it most of the year. But I do wonder why there are no clocks linked to it.

Our first temporary house here had central heating which was basically a series of air vents at floor level all over the house, and a bloody enormous hair dryer in the garage which blew hot air out of the vents. Very very loudly. No clock so if the temperature went down at night the hair dryer would burst into life and wake everyone up. Well not everyone, but me, which is what counts, obviously.

This is another of those things that I find inexplicably inconvenient and old-fashioned. I don't like having to remember to turn stuff off or up and down. Perhaps Americans like uniform temperatures in their homes even when asleep in bed. But if they do why isn't their heating quieter? Even the gas fire in our bedroom is like a small aircraft taking off when it gets going.

Mind you, I have now got a very snug dressing gown and slippers so it could be worse. And apparently this weather isn't going to last which if this was Wales, it would. For months probably.

3 comments:

Gary Jen and Ruby said...

time to commission the wood burner then ?

mountainear said...

Why do I imagine that the New world is going to be light years ahead of
cold, blighted Blighty?

Am really enjoying your voyage of discovery. Love that bread loaf from previous post.

Doug Cutting said...

You can easily replace your thermostat with a programmable one. Most modern US houses do have these. http://tinyurl.com/yew5yr2