Monday, October 24, 2005

Running Hot and Cold

Running Hot and Cold

Yesterday, we turned on the furnace at home. I'm nervous about it, since the unit itself is over 20 years old, and combined with our leaky, warped 100+ year old doors and windows, it does cost a lot to run. Meanwhile, at present there is no way we could afford to replace the entire unit. It doesn't help that its tied in with a pretty much non-functional 20 year old central air conditioning unit. We get by ok in summer with room units, though.

Meanwhile, in 1970s-era Eliot Hall at WashU, many offices (including mine, of course!) are freezing cold with no heat at all. The management promises it will be warmer in a couple hours, since they've finally turned on the heat today. In the computer lab where I am now it is a good deal warmer, since of course the concentration of heat-generating machines makes it often a very warm place, indeed. Last week, I had to turn on the three room a/c units there, because the room was too warm under the afternoon sun. We don't want those expensive machines (or their users) to bake, after all.

While I can understand the need to cut down on energy costs, even for a big wealthy institution, it still sucks to be that cold while you're trying to grade exams.

With a $4 billion endowment, you'd think we could at least get some heat! ;-)


Michael Allen said...

We are going to turn our boiler on tonight. We had been holding out due to a pipe relocation we wanted to get done, but the wether overtook us. The boiler is probably 25 years old, and has not been on in two years. Should work, though -- the water intake has adequate flow and all of the parts are there. The pipes all look good and show no damage. radiators are good, too. We'll see! If it doesn't work, there's almost no way we can afford to replace it this year...

Anonymous said...

jeez, you whiners. When i moved myself, my three cats and my new wife in my old house for the first time, we heated the house using old gas space heaters. I even bought a new one from Grainger. This was also the winter that people recall as the coldest in a hundred years, or, as my wife refers to it, the winter we lived without heat, just portable heaters in the form of cats.

Michael Allen said...

Hey, we don't even have a radiator or even pipe stubs in our bedroom. The cats will come in handy here, too.