Friday, May 17, 2019

Winter has arrived

The sheet that I have slept under for many months will be washed tomorrow and put away, and I will sleep under my doona cover.

My ceiling fan remote control has been turned off, reverting to basic turn overhead light on or off at the switch.

While the air con has alternated between cooling and heating over the last few weeks, and a good bit of time just being off, I think it is now firmly on heating.

Adding cold water with my shower taps has passed. I now need to back off the cold.

We don't suffer extreme cold in Australia and we are not very well prepared for cold. I don't have really warm hats, coats and gloves. I don't have clothes that would keep me warm much below 10 degrees (50F) Our buildings are poorly insulated, so even though our weather is generally not extreme, well it can get very hot but usually dry heat, but not normally for long, we spend a good bit on energy to heat and cool our homes.

Australia has gone from open fire and stove heating, with some coal produced gas space heating, to oil space heating in the 1960s, to natural gas space heating in the 1970s, to ducted natural gas central heating in 1980s and now to electric reverse cycle air conditioning in the 2000s. There are still lots of gas central ducted heating units in homes though, and the residents are paying a very heavy price.

Each year in autumn and spring there are a few sweet weeks where heating and cooling are not needed. The longer the better. This is reflected in our own power use.

This is a graph of our electricity use for the year past. I really wish it was for 18 months. As you can see, we need a lot of heating when our usage peaks in July. It slowly declines to a low point in October in Spring. There could be an anomaly in this graph as February is often our hottest month, but given our power consumption, it wasn't. Our summer wasn't very hot.



At 62. I've lived for a while on this planet. The climate had changed. I suggest, you read Daniel Bowen's well reasoned post about climate change before you vote in Australia's Federal Election this coming Saturday.

30 comments:

  1. The climate changed last night to what it was during the day yesterday. It was fine all day...and then it rained throughout the night. Now it's changed again...and the sky is clear.

    The temp plummeted in a matter of minutes here last Friday evening, as predicted all week by the Weather Bureau. I threw another cover on the bed...a hand-crocheted (not by me) woolen "blanket" which is as wide and as long as my king-size bed. Remy and Shama were in heaven upon my doing so.

    The temperatures have risen again since last Friday night, but not my two furry rascals. Other than to feed and use their ablutions block, they've rarely risen...they love the colourful woolen blanket!

    I dare not take the crocheted "throw" off "our" bed. War would break out...and I'd be kicked out!

    Yes...I know...I don't rule the roost around here!!! :)

    I've already cast my vote...postal...week before last. No battling the madding crowd tomorrow...I can stay in bed, reading the paper, instead.

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    1. Haha, one cold day and your cats have decided winter has arrived and their minds are not for changing. All the pre-poll, not postal, voting that has happened this election is interesting.

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  2. From the look of my above comment...it looks like I've begun to write a book!!! Sorry! :)

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    1. Lee, if I can deal with my mother's closely written ten page letters, I can deal with long comments and I don't mind at all. Actually, that was when I decided to start my own blog, when I found myself writing excessively long comments on other blogs.

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    2. Same here, except I didn't decide, I got told, or should I say encouraged. Anyway, it seems this river is running dry lately.

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    3. River, nice weather today for you. Get out with your camera.

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    4. Ha Ha, I actually did have my camera with me.

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  3. I'm not 100% sure but I think Perth may have more moderate extremes than Melbourne Andrew, but yes I totally agree the climate is changing. We have a gas fire which does go on now and then but have never used the reverse heating on air conditioner. I'm more likely to cosy under a quilt.. could be a sign of my Scottish heritage 😀😀

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    1. Grace, they breed 'em tough up in those highlands. I think you are right. Our extremes are more extreme, but we don't have the relentless summer heat you have.

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  4. Our summer was extremely hot and our electricity bill reflected our heavy use of the air conditioner. We do have it set at 26 degrees and use it only sparingly.Luckily in winter we heat the house with our wood heater using fallen dead trees for fuel. The climate has definitely changed and the figures published by the Bureau of Meteorology bears show clearly what we are experiencing.Our river is running dry and still no frosts this year. We have prepolled and hope to see action on climate change happen.

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    1. Cheryl, so our summer was on the cool side, whereas yours was hot. Sydney at least is often the reverse of Melbourne, hot here, cool there, vice a versa, which is why electricity flows back and forth so much. I believe the capacity to conduct the electricity is now inadequate, but you would know more about that than I do. Once conservative business umbrella organisation wants a Royal Commission in the Bureau, accusing it of doctoring figures to make climate change look worse. What nonsense. Are their restrictions on you collecting firewood? I know there are some here.

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    2. No restrictions Andrew we only collect firewood on our property.

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    3. Go on Cheryl, brag a bit. We only collect firewood on our large acreage. 😉

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  5. We don't suffer extreme cold in Australia and we are not very well prepared for the cold that we do have - quite true! So in winter I leave only one room heated i.e the kitchen family room where we spent 100% of our awake time. It saves a fortune.

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    1. Hels, we do shut off the spare room in the summer, but as I dry clothes on the clothes horse in the winter, we mostly have the door open to allow heat in to dry them. I don't like places too shut up though. While I don't need my bedroom heated, the heat that goes through into my ensuite is welcome.

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  6. How interesting that they tell you cost per day. $2.90 sounds quite a lot, but I imagine everything you have runs off electricity. We mostly heat the house with wood; electricity being just for light and appliances. I have no idea how much I spend. The bank has been instructed to pay whatever they demand.... I don't look!

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    1. Some years here we have been paying $7 per day for electricity. But our appliances are more efficient now and the $2.90 would include a pensioner concession discount, and I put a lot of work into screwing our power company for a better deal.

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  7. I've got my aircon set on heating now as well, but don't turn it on until I feel a bit of chill as the sun begins going down and I turn it off when I go to bed as I'm always too warm when I sleep. Daytime heating doesn't happen here until July or sometimes August, then I still turn it off when I go to bed, until the day comes when I feel shivery from early morning chill, then it stays on overnight for a few weeks.
    I've heard lately that the cost of gas bills will be going up, another thing to fight the governments and companies over. Gas heating used to be so much cheaper. If it gets too expensive, I'll become one of the great unwashed who only shower if they're going somewhere special.

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    1. River, we have the heating air con on during the day when home. I suppose we could rug up and be warm enough but we don't. We don't leave ours on overnight and turn it off if we are out for more than an hour, unless it is really cold.

      In winter we probably don't need to shower every day but for most it just a habit.

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  8. Like you, I love those weeks in spring and fall when neither heat nor air conditioning is needed. It's not just the cost, it's the guilt.

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    1. Jenny, don't feel guilty. Your governments should be proactive with renewable energy and the citizens must demand that they act, as we here seem to be doing at this election when we vote.

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  9. We have not evenput our air conditioners in yet this year. It has been a very cold Spring for us, and our electric bill proves this.
    We did spend 1/3 more this winter on heating oil, as it was dreadfully cold and Jack simply cannot handle the cold any mor. I am not far behind him.

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    1. Maribeth, oil seems such an expensive way to heat, but I guess you don't really have other options in such cold.

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    2. Our home heating oil in not processed too much, so although it is expensive, it is not as expensive as it could be Yes, we have very cold temperatures. In January we can go down -26 celsius or more and stay there for a week or more. We call that the Montreal Express. When that happens, I just don't go out.

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    3. Must be like less refined bunker oil that ships burn to generate power while in ports, Maribeth. Yes, go on. Blame the Canadians.

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  10. Thought I had commented but it appears I didn't, must have got distracted after reading.
    We A/C on at night 16 deg (heatpump) same dooner only a light one, our house is warm facing the sun with big windows.
    Not feeling cold this year so far, I'm different every year! Then it hasn't been that cold as yet, we are temperate climate much like your city.

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    1. Margaret, I long ago discovered that temperature settings vary so much with air con and heat pumps, that is pointless me saying you must be freezing at that 16 degree setting. North facing for the winter sun. That is ideal. We know what happens before you get too cold. You disappear.

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  11. I thought summer had come here. We had two weeks of nice warm weather, warmer than average, but this quickly reverted back to rain and temps that remain in the 60's (F). We had a very very long rainy dreary winter, with snow and floods, way more water than usual. I was so ready for warmth and dry. We got but a small taste and back to rain and the usual 50's and 60 degree temp range. We don't wear coats here when its in the 60's, unless to ward off rain.

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    1. Strayer, it does get depressing when you have weather like that. It is rare here to have sustained weather of any kind.

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