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January 20, 2005

Maybe We're Economizing Too Much on Heat

Maybe we should be spending more on heat this "winter."

I mean, it's one thing when the dog takes up residence sitting on the heating vent. But when the fourteen-year-old does the same?

Posted by DeLong at January 20, 2005 07:27 AM

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It will be good training for the medium term future.


Posted by: sampo at January 20, 2005 08:08 AM

If we were allowed to drill in ANWAR, you
would be warm by now.

Posted by: Richard "Dick" Cheney at January 20, 2005 08:24 AM

No doubt this is your way of soliciting witty comments from those in colder climes....

Posted by: John at January 20, 2005 08:24 AM

Space heaters are a useful thing.

If we were all-out drilling in ANWR right now, you wouldn't have to worry, because your house would be underwater.

Posted by: Ken Houghton at January 20, 2005 08:47 AM

If we'd started drilling in ANWR twenty five years ago, the way the Republicans wanted, the oil there would be gone by now.

Posted by: walter willis at January 20, 2005 08:57 AM

And we would be drilling o/f/f/ t/h/e/ c/o/a/s/t/ o/f/ in international waters off of California.

Posted by: Ken Houghton at January 20, 2005 09:08 AM

put a hat on!

Posted by: c. at January 20, 2005 09:13 AM

Do you have a fireplace? If so, get some wood delivered, get some starter sticks or blogs from Home Depot, and get some lose twigs from the yard. And to top it all off, use some newspaper, too. Each time you see an article about the alleged Social Security crisis or the wonders occuring in Iraq, curl it up and throw it into the fire.

It's relaxing to watch and you might save a little on the heating bills.

Posted by: Brian at January 20, 2005 09:19 AM

You can come to Boston and shovel snow -- that warms you up and dogs love to play in the snow.

Even my old bassett hound even though the way he drags I don't see how he enjoyes it.

Posted by: spencer at January 20, 2005 10:09 AM

Never buy anything at Home Depot. It sux massively.

Also, drier lint makes a good fire starter.

Posted by: Mark at January 20, 2005 10:16 AM

i used to live in europe. no central heat. the kitchen had a stove and the living room too. but no stove in the bedrooms. we used a bed warmer thing! and we slept with the windows open. this is healthy, my parents said. sometimes a snowflake or two would drift in as well. so quit your complaining!

Posted by: sammy at January 20, 2005 10:36 AM

Brad DeLong writes:
> I mean, it's one thing when the dog takes up
> residence sitting on the heating vent. But when
> the fourteen-year-old does the same?

(So why is he trolling in his own blog? Aw, never mind.)

Left coast blue-staters like yourself have clearly failed to build character and instill strong moral values in your children and your pets. It is the fire of moral values that burns deep within my non-bleeding red state heart that keeps me warm when the temperature falls to 3 above zero (All-American Fahrenheit, thank you very much).

Should this message be in error, I'd just tell the 14-year-old to wear a sweater. :-)

Posted by: Jonathan King at January 20, 2005 10:43 AM

Ah, Berkeley. The fog has a way of seeming friendly and cozy outside and damp and frigid inside. And no homeowner wants to turn on the heat because, after all, we live in California! I live in the Northeast nowadays, and every single time I visit my parents' house in the Bay Area I'm freezing.

Brad, have you double-paned your windows? If you live in an older house, double-paning can really make a difference.

The problem with fires in the fireplace is that they suck heat out of the rest of the house. So they're great while everyone's gathered around, but they're lousy when the teenagers slump off to their noctural activities in freezing bedrooms.

But you know what? I spent a LOT of time sitting on top of the heaters (wrapped in a blanket) in my childhood Bay Area house. It seemed normal then. (We also commuted to school in a car without heating or defrosters, so we drove to school wrapped in blankets with the windows open...but we knew that wasn't normal.)

Posted by: Jackmormon at January 20, 2005 11:02 AM

Install a heat pump. Nobody sits on a "heat" vent when you have such a furnace because that's one of the least comfortable parts of the room. You will never find our cats or dog anywhere close to a vent when the heat pump is fired up.

Posted by: hoosierflash at January 20, 2005 11:22 AM

Time to make some caramel rolls and make your house nice and warm... eating is always a good thing to do when it gets cold.

Posted by: nanpotnan at January 20, 2005 12:20 PM

..."You will never find our cats or dog anywhere close to a vent when the heat pump is fired up."

This is very true. They prefer warm air.

Posted by: bncthor at January 20, 2005 01:02 PM

Get thee to the mountains and recieve their good tidings!
Just came back from Tahoe. Skiing was great. Warm. Lots of snow. Not good snow that the kids like, deep and fluffy but good duffer snow. Stay away from Reno as it is locked in ice fog in the mornings. Get out and get some exercise or chop wood. Warms you twice.
Our kids would sit over the heat vents too. We shut off the heat to every room except the family room so that was the only place that was warm in the morning or evening.
The place now has double panes and is much more comfortable and the street noises are less annoying.

Posted by: dilbert dogbert at January 20, 2005 01:54 PM

I live in an area where the high temp can be -20c (as it is today) and the one and only time I visited Vancouver in Feb I found it hard to take for the same reasons cited above for Berkeley.

It was a nice change with all those green leaves and all, but I'm not sure I'd like it all the time.

Posted by: stevem at January 20, 2005 02:23 PM

I thought you had a great big tree lying in you back yard. Fire wood!( Of course Oak needs to have about 3 years to dry before you can use it but that's a mere detail.)

Posted by: big al at January 20, 2005 02:30 PM

It should be noted that we have 60F/15C in Berkeley today.

[That's the high. Where we are the low this morning was 41]

Posted by: ogmb at January 20, 2005 03:57 PM

Since you ARE an economist, have you had an energy audit for your residence? Someone else already suggested double-paning, but I read somewhere recently that even if windows, doors, and walls are well-insulated, much heat can escape upwards through holes in the attic, pushed out by the pressure difference.

I second nanpotnan's idea of baking. (If you're too busy, you could just turn the stove over to your children, if you trust the Fourteen-Year-Old not to be too absentminded and to ask important questions about safety when necessary.)

Wouldn't it be nice if one could save some of that abundant California summer (warm season even...) sunshine to warm a house through the cloudy winter? Imagine...

Posted by: James S. W. at January 20, 2005 07:31 PM

The Chinese are building mass produced pebble bed reactors (you couldn't make them melt down if you tried) which are probably going to cost 1c per kilowatt/hour. I think even the dog could afford that.

Posted by: Neil Craig at January 21, 2005 02:55 PM

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