Housemate’s Reactions

Yes, the heat is on. Sort of– it’s set on a pretty conservative digital-programmable-thermostat schedule for daytime, down to 45F/7C for sleeping, and still off altogether in my bedroom.

New Housemate valiantly tolerated heat-less-ness for several days, having agreed with me to a 2009 turn-on. You might expect that when the magic moment came she’d be ecstatic… but in fact, when I told her I’d thrown the switch, she said “Oh… I was sort of starting to get used to it… it was just the hat-head that was bothering me.” !!

Then, on the second morning of heat, she sent me an email from work asking if we could adjust the thermostat schedule to have the heat come on later in the morning. I fully assumed she meant earlier, and emailed back to clarify. But no– she did in fact mean later. She said it was too warm in her room, too early in morning (it was set to 62F/16.5C, starting 45 minutes before her alarm clock.) !! Needless to say, I readily agreed.

Then, last night, she had a friend over and they were hanging out in the kitchen bunker after I’d gone up to bed. A little later Housemate came up to my door, whispering to ask if I was still awake, and saying they needed help with the thermostat… because somehow they’d made it uncomfortably warm downstairs. Indeed, they had pushed the “WARMER” button a few times, and gotten it up to a scorching 67F/19C! We reset it back to 63, and I assured her that it would start to cool off soon.

Does this all prove anything? Does it show that just three days of living in the Cold House can start to re-set a person’s temperature expectations and needs? I’m not sure. There might be extenuating factors– for example, New Housemate hails from one of the Lower 48’s coldest cities, and might have antifreeze in her blood already. But I’d like to think there’s something to the adaptation theory.

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3 Responses to “Housemate’s Reactions”

  1. Johanna Says:

    Interesting theory. I cannot support. After the winter camping cold cold cold, returning to a house where the thermostat is set at 61F/16C (thank you sidebar converter) still prompted hat-head and long underwear in me. Now, back in my 64F/18C own house after a week of almost constant cooler temperatures, I am still wearing fleece, and feeling chilly.

  2. miss mouse Says:

    How do you feel, both physiologically and psychologically, when you are in public spaces (such as work, mall, library, grocery store, etc.) that have heat that is likely somewhat higher than what you have become accustomed to? What adaptations are necessary to remain comfortable in these settings?

  3. Turboglacier Says:

    MM,In such situations I feel physiologically a bit uncomfortable and psychologically a bit superior.At my office (where I have no control over the heat) I have a few times had crack my window to keep from sweating. At friend’s houses I generally feel that I am having a temporary luxury, but sometimes it goes beyond that– the other weekend at dinner party some friends got their house up to 87F– with a wood stove!– and that felt like heat stroke to me.Luckily, I have not been to the mall in at least six months, so I have no data on that…

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