Sunday, November 04, 2007

Living in a "low carbon" house

Our boiler failed yesterday morning. It's an old boiler and will probably need replacing soon.

We have British Gas cover and in this instance they were very good sending someone within an hour for an initial inspection in case there was any danger from gas or carbon monoxide.

Once given the all clear on that front another engineer visited in the afternoon. Not bad for a Saturday and much preferable to previous experiences of hunting for the small band of honest reliable boiler engineers on the open market.

Nonetheless the boiler in clinicial terms needs major surgery- a new gas valve to be precise. With a four month old baby we have been given "priority" but even that means Monday.

So with our "combination" boiler out of action we have missed a combination of hot water and heating. Fortunately it is a very mild November so far and a couple of electric heaters are more than adequate to keep young Luis warm. Kettles of hot water have been more than sufficient for general washing and I even attempted a completely cold shower this morning. I read somewhere that is supposed to be good for you. It certainly woke me up.

Overall my impression is that managing without hot water and central heating is not nearly as traumatic as some might imagine. In actual fact I find central heating a bit suffocating sometimes so it is refreshing to be able to decide which room to heat and which to leave cold.

I think I could live like this although I'm not sure about the rest of the Donatella household ! Anyway, without referring to the wider global warming debate, I think this could be viewed as a genuine way of saving energy. We've used viritually no gas all weekend and are still here and well ! With oil prices approaching $100 a barrel, maybe living without central heating will start to catch on ?! I suspect I am probably a minority voice here !

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