Too Cold

12 December 2007 · 13 comments

All the heat in my life is vanishing.

First, the heater in my car gave out on Tuesday morning. I’m sure this is a quick fix, but I don’t have time to take it in. I’m playing Santa for Custom Box, so I’ll need to wait a week or so before I can have the heater repaired.

Then this morning the space heater in my office seems to be operating at half power. It’s blowing air, but it’s tepid air. It doesn’t warm me. It’s bad enough that Nick has begun turning the heater off at night instead of letting it operate at a low level, but now the thing barely works at all. Brrrr cold.

I might be able to tolerate this lack of heat if my clothes kept me warm. But because of my current girth, few things fit. Normally I’d wear my long johns, but they don’t “go” with the sweater I wore today, for example. I need to see customers, so I can’t look like a total hick. (I do have my long underpants on, and that’s some consolation.) Also, for some reason my socks and shoes are providing no protection this morning — my toes are cold.

All of this could be forgiven under normal circumstances. If I could come home in the afternoon to take a hot bath, it wouldn’t matter. A long soak in a hot tub would warm my inner core. It’s not happening. For some reason, we’ve got plenty of scalding water in the morning, but when I try to take a bath at 4pm, all I get is the lukewarm stuff. Ugh.

I draw a lukewarm tub anyhow, and I sit in it, shivering while I watch old Star Trek episodes. Every so often I’ll run the water for a couple minutes in the hope that somehow it will have heated. Occasionally I get lucky. Occasionally there is hot water. But a lot of its effect is negated by the fact that even when the water eventually is hot, it starts out cold. The first water from the faucet is ice cold, and it stays that way for ten or fifteen seconds. Or longer if there isn’t actually any hot water.

I’m cold.

1 paidtwice December 12, 2007 at 09:55

Smart Wool socks… seriously.

I hear you on the lukewarm baths. Indeed. I have in the past boiled two huge pots of water on my stove and added them to the bathwater before getting in. It is silly but it does actually help. Especially if you use large soup pots.

2 Amy Jo December 12, 2007 at 10:06

JD–

I’m feeling your pain. Now that we’ve moved out of our living room and into our dining room, which has no finished ceiling, we are much colder, especially now that the temps have dropped so dramatically. I can’t seem to get warm despite many layers, wrapping myself in blankets, and the furnace running so much that I’m afraid we’ll have to take out a home equity loan to pay our next month’s gas bill!

Smart Wool socks rock! They are spendy but they really do keep your feet warm. Paul likes to wear the super thin ones you can get at REI. And boiling water on the stove to add to your bath water is a great idea–you’ll have to do some advance planning, but it would be well worth it.

3 plonkee December 12, 2007 at 12:56

This struck a nerve. I’m currently sitting wrapped in a thermal blanket at my lap top wearing 2 t-shirts, 2 sweatshirts, a dressing gown as well as a woolly hat. Only 3 months until spring.

4 SD December 12, 2007 at 13:32

Or, if you aren’t in the mood to haul buckets of water to the bathtub, turn up your hot water heater. You can also insulate the heater and lines if they run in a crawlspace. I wish I could relate to cold but we’re in some sort of random season timewarp in NC, it’s 78F outside.

5 pril December 12, 2007 at 17:05

ugh. the heater in my car doesn’t work either. The problem is the climate control system circuit board. Easy fix, right? meh. $300 for a new board, pay a shop another $100 or rip apart the dash myself.. I would pull one from a junk yard, but since it was a problem with the car model itself and not an isolated problem, i’d be back in a couple of weeks, most likely, for another one, another hour or two spent tearing out the dash. Your heater in your office.. may be an easy fix, actually. Make sure the air intake on it is free of lint, hair, etc. How far away from your bathroom is your water heater?

6 jdroth December 12, 2007 at 18:19

The bath water was hot this afternoon! Aw, it was wonderful. A hot, hot bath and an episode of Star Trek

7 kel December 12, 2007 at 19:56

i like using my hairdryer to warm up the bed before i get in. and sometimes afterwards too.

8 Mom December 12, 2007 at 20:18

I saw you in your car this morning coming the other direction as I took Noah to preschool, and the way you were hunched up and just your general demeanor had me guessing that your heater might not be working. I hadn’t remembered being cold on the way to Bend and back in your car, so I was a little bit confused and then kind of forgot about it until reading this. It’s good that the weather is in the 40’s this week, but any mother worth her salt would worry about her son getting chilled in winter weather in a car without a working heater in it.

Also, one reason why I buy a new car every four years is so that I can escape having parts that I obviously can’t repair (such as the heater, or anything else in the vehicle) going out on me.

9 Jeff December 12, 2007 at 21:09

JD,

I’ll stoke up the fireplace on Sunday and you can bask in its radiant glow…

10 mrs darling December 12, 2007 at 22:28

I say get a wood stove! Our wood stove keeps us snug and warm.

Maybe you need a water circulater on that tub. Hubby has installed one cause our bathroom is too far from the water heater. He has a timer on it that is timed to go on a little before he wakes up which is around 3 am. Then it goes off again until I get up at 6 am. About two hours later it shuts down until evening when Tink needs a shower. It’s instant hot water.

Upstairs the bath is directly above the water heater so we dont need a circulator thingy. But, alas, it doesnt get very hot cause our 6 year old takes baths up there and so husband has installed something in the “pipeage” somewhere that keeps it from ever getting too hot for 6 year olds. That makes it not hot enough for adults.

You could install solar you know. Before our remodel our water was heated by solar than put into holding tanks where it was kept nice and hot. On winter days, hubby flipped a switch and the water was piped into the back of the stove where it was heated by the fire before going to the holding tanks to be used. When the remodel is complete we intend on implementing that system again.

Using solar or wood to heat your water means you always have hot water but at very low cost. You cant beat it!

11 Will December 13, 2007 at 18:53

You could always look into a tankless water heater as well. One of my college friends had one installed in their house in San Fran and they love it. Unlike traditional water heaters, there is no tank, water is heated as it is needed. Long story short… Kris can’t steal all your hot water anymore.

12 pam December 17, 2007 at 14:33

You sound like such an ice queen!

you should have opted for the jacuzzi tub with inline heater – the water gets so hot i get light headed!

13 jenefer December 18, 2007 at 09:36

We love our tankless hotwater heater, too. Hot water forever for everyone. The bill really is about 1/3 less than before with longer showers. Unfortunately, the water bill is not less.

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