Saturday, April 12, 2008

We're Havin' a Heat Wave

"We're havin a heat wave
A tropical heat wave
The temperatures rising, it isn't suprising"

And my musician friend says his brain automatically finishes the verse for him as:

"Walkin' in a Winter Wonderland!"

It was 91 degrees on the coast highway this afternoon at 2 p.m.

When weather gets extreme, I'm always reminded about the tenuous state of our relationship with Nature. Just 5 days ago, it was in the low 50's, and I sat at the computer with icy hands.

Our house was built in the '60's, an era of cheap electrical power, when people saw our rosy future powered by safe, technologically advanced nuclear plants. The house is uninsulated. Ten years ago, we replaced the largest of the single-pane windows with low-E double-paned windows, but the bedroom windows and other smaller windows are still made of 3 - inch wide horizontal jalousies. The house is cold in the winter and hot in the summer.

Actually, it's even hot in the winter, too - our large, unshaded living room windows face southeast, and around 4 p.m. no matter what season it is, they take the full blast of the sun.

Unlike many Southern Californians, we don't have central air conditioning. Our electric furnace dates from the 60's, and I always think of it as a giant toaster in the basement, because it just heats up and fitfully blows hot air upward into this uninsulated house, where it dissipates.

We don't turn on the heat much. When it's super cold, we light a wood fire in the fireplace. We use small electric heaters to heat the rooms we're in - the ones that look like little steam radiators on wheels. And in the summer, we cool one room with a window air conditioner, and barricade ourselves in that room on the hottest days.

Todays heat reminds me that sumer is coming.

As the season turns, I think again about how wonderfully suited our house is for generating solar power, with its southeast exposure, it's exposed roof. Each year I wonder whether this will be the year we can find the time to research it, plan it, afford it.


JCK said...

Keep up the blogging. You will be addicted and as you wend yourself around to other sites and comment there, you will find that they will come. Thank you for letting me share in this exciting time of beginnings for you!

Rightwingsnarkle said...

I came here because SadlyNosians stick together. I adde you to one of my rolls.

Rock on.