I am grateful for Central Heating

We had to get our central heating system (furnace and ducts) replaces in March when we were informed that the ducts were insulated with asbestos. Our old furnace was this massive metal box you could have incinerated a human body in, but it was also a “gravity furnace,” which means the only reason the heat it produced reached our upstairs living area was because heat rises.

So we got a new smaller furnace that blows heat into the house and we started using it earlier this month.

We weren’t using it in November at all (we kept forgetting to run it for a couple hours when we weren’t home to burn off or blow out any dust in the furnace and ducts) and by the end of the month it was getting cold. Getting out of bed was HARD when it was so much warmer under the covers than in the rest of the house.

Now the heat kicks in half an hour before we wake up, bringing the temperature up from 58* to 63*. By the time I need to get up, it’s TOO hot to stay under the covers.

The woman in Guatemala that I Skype with to practice my Spanish has no central heating. She doesn’t run electric heaters either because electricity is so expensive. They just had a cold spell and it was a cool 50* in her house for two weeks. I can’t even imagine, especially since the only hot water she has is heated electrically (so not very much at one time or to a very high temp) at the shower. All the other water in her house comes out cold. Really puts things in perspective.

I am very grateful for central heating — and hot water! — which make my mornings a lot more pleasant.

What modern convenience are you thankful for these days?

11 Comments

  1. Heat.
    Hot running water.
    Western mattress (2 weeks sleeping on 1/2 inch compacted cotton on the floor was such a reminder.)
    modern ovens and stoves.
    Electricity.
    Trucks, cars, buses, trains, planes.
    Computers.
    Net neutrality……. oh, well…………….

  2. Definitely heat and hot water because I’m always cold!

    But, I’ll say the internet- last week we were without it for 25.5 hours. Yes, I timed it- why? My husband and I BOTH work from home. Being without internet for over a day meant that in order to work we had to find free wifi. Normally, not an issue- there is a Starbuck’s right across the street. EXCEPT, this outage? Took out our entire community! Our very lovely nice fiber internet is part of our HOA fee. Our HOA covers about 2/3 of our town. The entire community was out because as we later found out some idiot didn’t know where to dig in the next town over and hit all the utilities, knocking out a water main making that necessary to fix before they could repair the fiber. We were literally sitting in 30 degrees in a Taco Bell parking lot at midnight to work……

    1. I would go crazy without internet for a day or two, and I don’t have to do work from home! That must have been awful!

      1. It really was! And we’re only a couple hours from you so winter I know could be a lot worse, but I’m a California girl and 30ish nights in a car in the Taco bell parking lot? Not my idea of fun!

  3. Here I am thinking we’re roughing it setting our heat at 65 at night.

    I’m always grateful for hot water. I love my hot showers and baths.

    1. I think 63* inside when it’s only 48* outside is a lot warmer (or FEELS a lot warmer) than when it’s in the 30’s or below outside. We definitely wear warm clothes inside during the winter (sweatshirts and robes if necessary) but we don’t keep it so cold that our hands or faces feel cold. Having said that, we do sleep under MANY warm blankets at night so we don’t have to keep the heat on (it’s set to 58* at night). It’s only really an issue when one of the kids wakes up and I have to go deal with them in the cold.

    1. Oh god. I lived in an apartment with those electric baseboard heaters for a decade. Not my favorites. Our TV room was already so small, and then in the winter we’d have to pull the sofa off it a foot so we could run the heater and it made the room basically unusable. Those things require so much wall space, and they don’t even heat well.

  4. I miss central heating. Our house (a rental in Oregon) is mostly heated via wood stove, although the bedroom has heat.

    Hot water! Water! Internet!

    1. In college, our snowboarding club’s cabin always had a wood or pellet burning stove. By the time we went to bed the place was toasty warm and we were all passed out on top of our sleeping bags. Then the fire would die down and we’d wake up in the wee hours of the morning, freezing our asses off, scrambling to get under the covers to stay warm. I hope it’s not like that for you! I’m glad you have heat in your room!

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