There was an informative article a few weeks back in the New Jersey Star-Ledger about “no-heat” challenges, in which packs of loonies band together in an attempt to outlast each other before flipping on the furnace in the autumn (or winter, as the case may be.) I will nominate the various people who organize such challenges as Heroes of Cold House Journal– they include Fern over at Wild Blue Yonder, Deanna at Crunchy Chicken, and probably many others. I’m pretty sure that I lack the charisma to actually attract/motivate/brainwash hordes of others into joining in on my experiment (I did try– made a Facebook page last year for the purpose– a dozen or more friends “joined”, but most openly confessed they were only following along to mock me.) Anyway, I’m glad there are people out there who are actually organizing others to try living less-hot.
I was interested (and a bit amused) to read in the article that Fern, even while organizing a Challenge, had herself “dropped out in mid-October.” The article reported that “She and her two cats were just too cold in their Connecticut house.” Fern was quoted as saying “My indoor temperature was about 56, and that was as cold as I could get… You’re only human.” Amusing only because early-to-mid-October is when average (normal, non-no-heat-challenge-participating) people around here (Maine) seem to start turning their heat on. This furthers my evolving belief that what you tolerate as “comfortable” temperature-wise has a lot to do with your expectations, what you see going on around you, and what you’re accustomed to. I have absolutely no doubt that 56º feels colder in Connecticut than it does in Maine, and colder still in Maryland.
Also, along the same lines, after a week or two of dank, rainy, 50ish degree weather here, we finally returned to seasonally normal weather. Now there’s snow on the ground and it’s a crisp 24º outside. And I can report that 52º inside definitely feels warmer this week than it did last week– I think because, in comparison to outside, it is.