Heat, please.

Winter came quick and the wind chill is 17° today in NYC.

On Wednesday Becki and I had spent a quite lovely day coworking together. Becki was diligently working on some stories for myyearbook while I distractedly worked on invoicing & leftover cleanup projects for some clients. But the kitchen was so chilly that we had to move the kitchen table into the living room and setup shop there. I learned that the landlord has the automatic thermostat set to go down to, I don’t know let’s say 42° on weekdays.

So I spent today sealing the kitchen windows. These circa 1920 windows woefully lack storm windows and hence are enormous cold air leaks. I resorted to the old Frost King Winterizing Kit– you know the kind where you use a hair dryer to shrink some extremely thin clear plastic sheeting which you tape to the window frame. It isn’t the most attractive thing in the world, but is better then nothing. Between that and switching the screens for storm windows in the outside doors, things are much improved.?

I still think I may have to resort to a space heater and begun investigating who manufacturers some of the better ones. DeLonghi, based in Italy, makes some of the better, inexpensive oil-filled radiators. I imagine that space heaters like these are even more popular in Europe where homes are often a few hundred years older and draftier and heating units equally antiquated. They go for about 50-100 bucks, not so bad considering the dollar/euro. Besides these heaters are made in Italy and therefore better-looking, or at least more interesting to look at then any American products.  Of course, they all use 700-1500 watts dependent on the setting. This is normal for space heaters, but still a huge energy hog for something you may have on for days at a time.

One alternative I found is the Econo-Heat panel heater which uses a mere 400 watts and is also about a hundred bucks. Overall people seem to like it, my only concern is that some Amazon reviews talk about the product cracking and charring after a few months of use. Not so good. I may try it out for a cold room on the fourth floor of the Philly house. Heat barely reaches that 4th floor room from the enormous 185k btu oil-furnace, so this could be a good addition. We’ll see soon enough.

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