Don’t Touch That Dial

I woke up this morning freezing in my bed even with three sets of covers.

No it is not mid winter… it is the middle of summer.   I think one of the questions to ask a couple before they even consider ‘togetherness forever’ is ‘At what temperature do you keep your thermostat?’     Better yet ‘When do you think is a good time to turn on the air conditioner for the summer?’; or in winter  ‘Can you turn down the heat?’

How about ‘Who has the final say on the control of the thermostat dial?’   Alas, these are the real challenges of marriage.

In my teens , we lived in a house with only one air conditioner located in a window in the back study.   Our house was built in the early 20’s and was designed to be “one with Nature”.  We had windows that would open not only one way, BUT two ways to allow a cross breeze.   Clever Builders.   Added to that were trees that offered shade in the summer and protection from the wind in the winter.

One day Dad, a civil engineer, installed an attic fan.   This started a whole series of mathematically placed fans and open doors, positioned with just the right angles, to allow for the flow of air.  Mind you, this was before computers with all of those red and blue arrows that show you which way the air is flowing.   Our air flowed nicely from the dirt cellar all the way upstairs.

Dad’s system worked until ‘someone’ closed the wrong door or opened the wrong window.   Sort of like ‘touching the dial’ today.   Sigh.

Well, I thought we had solved those problems in our new home when we installed central air, heat pump, thermal windows,  AND ceiling fans in ALL the rooms of the house.   The design intent was to use mathematical science of air and movement to create a harmony within the whole house.

You know, trying to work with Nature to create a flow, like in days of old.   Be eco-friendly, use less electricity. Be “Green”.

What we left out of the equation was the human variable of who’s  â€˜in charge’ of all the fans and the new fancy digital thermostat, a  device that has its own built in “brain” and is “smart” enough to turn everything on and off without daily attention from man.

Hmmmm…”Man”, maybe that’s the problem.

Me?  I just wear sweaters in the summer and shorts in the winter.


  1. The one paying the bill should control the temperature.