22 October, 2008

No central heating update

As you know, we ... oh all right... I have decided that we are going to heat zonally using wood and portable heaters rather than centrally heat using our oil-fired boiler.

It is possible that last weekend, I should have warned my guests. They survived but I'm sure they would have been grateful if I'd told them to bring woolly jumpers. And maybe thermals. We had fires which kept the sitting-room beautifully warm but otherwise we didn't really do much in the way of heating. I think I may be getting used to the colder temperatures in this house as I really didn't think it was that bad, but my guests did.

It is interesting. I have been dipping into Leo Hickman's A Good Life recently and in the section on energy, there's a diagram showing how average temperatures have increased since 1970. In 1970, the average was 12.6 °C, in 1990 it was 16.9 °C and in 2001 it was 18.9°C. Now while I can believe that between 1970 and 1990 most houses that didn't have central heating probably acquired it which may explain some of the increase of over 4 degrees, that doesn't explain the increase of 2 degrees the following 10 years. The fact is we are clearly expecting our houses to be warmer and not expecting to have to put on jumpers, thermals and so on. And this is unsustainable and probably not that good for us anyway.


Warning all future guests, bring jumpers, slippers and warm socks. You will have heaters and I'll keep the fire going but expect it to be a bit nippy occasionally.


Anonymous said...

Hi Eliane

Wanted to comment on your post about your sister and say how touched I was by it. I'm so sorry.

Elizabeth Musgrave said...

We are still hanging on to heating via the woodburner and electric blankets. As you say, you do get used to it and then realise your guests are shivering. We are not aiming to do without all year though, that sounds quite a challenge to me!
I often notice with friends in the city that they wear t shirts and light blouses all year round, one even wears shorts indoors all through the winter so of course they have to keep their houses warm. Perhaps between the two of us we can start a trend!

Anonymous said...

Good for you! We have a woodburner in our sitting room, and that's the only heating in the entire house; admittedly, the house is minute, but still - it works fine. Heat goes around the house from the stove, and if it's cold in rooms where we aren't really being, then we just stick a sweater on, or try not to hang about too long! People so underestimate the charms of the cold room, warm bed scenario.

Joanna said...

I love the idea that my huge cold house has zonal heating, it makes it sound as if we made a decision to live like this. But I love it - either very hot, or shivering, and putting on coats to move about indoors. And I forget to warn guests, too. I've just had to replace a couple of electric blankets, and the new ones are much more efficient than the old, heat up in the time it takes to brush your teeth. And I'm really glad there are other people out their living their lives happily without central heating