just right (mostly)

I’ve written enough blog posts now that I’m starting to worry I’m repeating myself and I may not even be aware of it. Sigh.

Well, at any rate, we’re still learning how to heat the house without the convenience of traditional systems like forced air. When you are heating with passive solar and/or the masonry stove, you can’t control the temperature exactly. There is no turning the dial of the thermostat or programming the digital thermostat to start heating up the house to x degrees at 5:30am or reducing the temperature to y at 10:00pm.

Last winter definitely had some snags. There were a number of days when the temperature indoors was pushing 80 F. That was when we started a (big) fire in the morning and then the day turned out to be sunny. By early afternoon, it can easily be 78 F inside, even if it’s near or below freezing outside. Oops.

We finally figured out that we really had to pay attention to the weather forecast in the morning–partly temperature, mostly the forecast for sun (or not) that day. We got better as the season went on, moderating the frequency and size of fires to match the weather. But there were still some days when we opened one or more windows to let fresh air in. After all, 78 F is pretty ridiculous (although Biscuit disagreed).

After a full round of winter last year, we’re much more skilled this year. Deciding to light a fire depends on two major considerations: the temperature in the house first thing in the morning, and the weather forecast for the day (again, temperature but mostly sunshine). If it’s in the upper 60s in the house in the morning, but sunshine is expected, we don’t light the fire.

Today is a perfect example. It was 68 F in the early morning, but it’s now 70. No fire even necessary!

The humans are definitely happier when it’s a reasonable temperature in the house, but Biscuit prefers when it’s warmer. After all, he was “worshipping” the stove yesterday–sitting right in front of the door, looking inside–despite the fact that it was in the upper 70s F inside.

[shakes head]

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