#27 Hot or Cold

Hot or Cold.

Where once a three a.m. rise would have been to put another log on the fire, now it involves putting another blanket on top of the pile already there. The chill of the winter house permeates causing sleep to thin to awareness of cold, proof positive that thermostats do not work.

It is not discussed, how the succession of winter months brings cold into living spaces starting at the edges of rooms then working its way into the center. The theory of house heating methods lie in the form of presumptions simplistic and false. You want the room to be X temperature you set the thermostat to that desired temperature and when it gets below that measurement the mechanism triggers the furnace to fire, distributing the resulting heat until the measurement is once again reached and the fuel firing is shut down until the next call for heat.

Only how does that explain why different layers of blankets are required on different nights? While the thermostat is set at a night-after-night constant still every night is a juggle as to which bedclothes are needed. The flannel sheets, the cotton blanket, topped by a thin but sturdy quilt works when nighttime temperatures hover in the mid 40’s but if it dips to the 30’s I will be awakened in the deep hours to pile on polar fleece. If it dips to the 20’s I’ll need wool and below that it’s time for the down comforter. In terms of the thermostat this makes no sense.

This process works in the reverse as well. Feeling particularly chilly at bedtime I might have added a layer but if the nighttime temperatures rise I will struggle out of sleep, hot skin tingling, to throw off blankets which will  added back as I cool. Up and down, rarely a night happens where bedcovers and room air temperatures move together in harmony.

So what is it with thermostats?


Two Theories of Home Heat Control .
*Note: Written in 1986, a fascinating explanation of why there are thermostat battles between members of the same household.
Explain That Stuff: Thermostats.

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