Monday, January 18, 2010

Speaking of the Devil

Arie den Boer Aboreteum - Creature in the Night

In my last blog post, you may recall that I told you about our method for controlling the temperature in our apartment by keeping the windows open and adjusting the fan speed according to the temperature outside. This system worked well even when the temperatures were more than twenty below zero this past month. If you recall, I even pondered if the landlord even reads his heat bill, sees the all the windows open in the building on the coldest day of the year and puts two and two together. Well in short, he must have.

This past weekend, my wife was on call and so I drove up to the urban jungle with Little Abbey to spend the evenings with her. When I arrived on Friday evening, I opened the door and was assaulted with a blast of heat and a kiss. The latter one is a good kind of assault and I suppose I had gotten used to the former with time. However, my wife soon mentioned that the heat wasn't working so she had closed the windows to conserve heat. Sure enough as the evening passed, I watched as our thermostat thermometer, which up to this point had been all that it was good for, passed from ninety degrees down to a cool seventy-six degrees. I normally have our house set for sixty-eight degrees but when you are used to ninety, even seventy-six seems almost chilly.

Though no heat was being produced, our water heat pipes were making a large banging noise about every ten minutes or so and it put me in a nostalgic mood of sorts of some of the many apartments I have had in the past that had made similar noises, especially on the upper floors, as lower floors had their heat kick on and off creating a kind of water hammer effect. After a few minutes of thinking about this, it finally hit me that the heat may be working and what I am hearing is exactly that effect. I walked over to the thermostat and looked to see that it was set exactly where I had left it back when we first discovered that we had no control of the heat, at fifty degrees, the lowest setting. So I turned the dial up past seventy degrees and as soon as it hit seventy-six degrees, the current indoor temperature, I heard a distinct click. I walked over to the registers and put my hand on the pipes. Within seconds I started to feel the heat encompassing the cold pipes. We had heat and more importantly, we now have control of said heat.

So for the first weekend in a long time, I was able to sleep in a room that was a pleasant temperature, I couldn't hear the dogs, sirens or helicopters landing on the roof of the nearby hospital and most of all, I could breath my stale recycled air over and over if I wanted too. Perhaps a little carbon dioxide would help me sleep a little better as I was probably not used to falling asleep with so much fresh air around. Now if I can find a muffler for the air conditioner before summer...


Sage said...

Okay, I started this post thinking I was going to be reading about a squirrel getting into the open window and wondering why you didn't title it "The Squirrel who came in from the cold" :)

Ed said...

Sage - I was looking over my blog and saw that I hadn't put a picture up lately and I have quite a few left from my time at Arie den Boer so I just killed two birds with one stone.

R. Sherman said...

Huzzah! Congrats on being able to better maintain thermal equilibrium.

I've always liked hot-water heat, but the incessant banging on the pipes with pressure changes drove me insane. In college, I lived in an apartment where the pipes would go into full 100 piece bell choir mode at 4:30 AM virtually every day in the winter. It was like waking up with daily hangover.


Beau said...

The squirrel has to fit into the story somewhere... :)

Eutychus2 said...

Congratulations on the heat control. I think I've figured out where the squirrel fits in ... he's listening to the pipes also and giving thanks that you're keeping the carbon dioxide

Eutychus2 said...

Thanks so much for the 'DILBERT' strip, I love it.

TC said...

What happens if the heat doesn't come back on at all? Think it will stay comfy or become too cold?