Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Does your house have heat?

Simultaneously satisfying the needs of many family members living under the same roof can be a very daunting task. Everyone has his or her own preferences regarding the indoor weather conditions, and although there is one thermostat that has the same number for the entire house, heat is rarely spread uniformly throughout living quarters. Additionally, the level of heat necessary for bodily comfort varies from one person to another as well. Since it is rarely possible to please everyone, members of the household must make compromises and sometimes knowingly sacrifice some personal comfort for the ideal goal of keeping the peace. To this end, I frequently endure below normal room temperatures during the winter months in order to accommodate those around me in the best way possible.

I generally do not have a large amount of sensitivity toward heat or cold. If there were to be a crowd of people in an uncomfortably hot room and the amount of time necessary for each one to actually notice the discomfort was then documented, I feel quite confident that my timing would definitely fall in the upper quartile. Some summer days have gone by in which the living room reached 80 degrees Fahrenheit before I even thought of turning on the air conditioner. Even during the dead of winter I can frequently be spotted taking a stroll without wearing a coat. However, even I can sometimes have preferences when dealing with the houses thermostat. When waking up early in the morning, placing my foot on a 60 degree floor is exponentially harder than placing my foot on a 75 degree floor. Also, keeping an empty stomach while trying to lose weight becomes much more difficult when residing in very cold climates. Although I am willing to bend my needs if it will help the comfort of others, the temperatures that I endure are probably far beyond the threshold of pain for your average folks.

Today I was sitting on the couch in the living room when I finally noticed that it was unusually cold. I told my father that my feet were freezing, and I thought it was a little cold in the room. My father informed me that I was correct, and that he had set the thermostat to 60 degrees. Because my parents room has much better insulation, and the idea that heat rises in general, the temperature that it can reach in there is generally much higher than that which is set on the thermostat. My father and younger brother both don't like the stuffy and hot feeling that is caused by an overworking heater. Since it had become very stuffy in his room during the previous night, my father decided to lower the heat just a drop. Apparently that extra drop in temperature had pushed beyond my tolerance level. I informed my father that this kind of weather in the outdoors would cause most people to wear spring jackets at least. My complaining paid off eventually, and the heat was raised to 62 degrees. Once the thermostat was adjusted and I actually heard the steam running, I assumed the room would soon be much warmer, and I was once again oblivious to the cold air in the room.

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