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View Diary: How Hot Has It Been? (and why you should be alarmed) (232 comments)

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  •  Old farmhouses across the US had no insulation (6+ / 0-)

    and used 10-15 cords of wood (20-30 tons) for heat every winter.

    But yeah, we have a roofed porch on the south and west, and some trees near the house that shade it in the morning, blinds on windows that get the most sun, plus a well insulated roof so the hottest it gets in my loft office is about 80F when it hits 100F outside. And that warm only in the late afternoon, when I'm usually somewhere else anyway. The house was built in 1996.

    It hit 90F today (our first hot day this year, and 10% humidity), but around 6PM or a little after, the wind switched and is coming from an altitude of 7000 ft. It was in the 70s by 7PM, when we opened all the windows (closed all day when it's hot) and it will still be in the 50s tonight. Happens every day except 1 or 2 during the summer.

    I actually need more blankets in summer than in winter, as the house drops into the low 60s and sometimes cooler at night.

    One of the coolest (no pun intended) old farm houses, though, is the Octagon House in Watertown, WI, built in 1854. It was 3 stories tall with a cupola on top. The walls were stone, then an airspace, and then the plaster interior walls, and there were vents top and bottom which allowed convection to draw cool air from the cellar up through the walls and out the top vent. I've been in the building in summer when it was in the 90s and humid, and it was comfortable even with a dozen people touring with just a fan blowing out in the cupola.

    However, even that house has a boiler in the basement with a firebox that could take logs probably 6 feet or more in length. It gets to 25 below zero around there in the winter sometimes. But for 1854, central heating was something new, too.

    It's never too late to have a happy childhood - Tom Robbins

    by badger on Fri Jul 06, 2012 at 08:59:22 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  I was talking about a certain *sensitivity* to (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cliss, kyril, Steven D

      natural cycles, weather, and the environment--not whether or not people building 100 years ago had access to modern technology...

        Most houses these days aren't built with sun angles, compass points, and prevailing wind patterns, these days, because most builders either aren't even aware of such things, or simply do not take them into consideration, because--in general--our society no longer thinks they are important to consider.

      •  Sorry--got interrupted mid post, and (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kyril, Steven D

        hit "send" before I edited: Most houses, these days, aren't built with sun angles, compass points, and prevailing wind patterns factored into their siting and construction, I should have said.  

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