It has been almost 8 years since I've had central heat, when I was living with my parents before I came to college. Every place after that has been drafty, poorly insulated, heated with gas that left large pockets of cold interior that you winced when walking over on your way to the warm spots. I once had a waterbed and flannel sheets, so that it made it that much harder to go into the kitchen, and it was the time I learned what bathrobes and slippers were for. Old houses and cheap apartments have their charm and low cost, but there are always drawbacks.

For us in New Orleans, 40 is freezing and it not normal to hit 40 even in the deep of what others call winter. A cold front came in over the weekend, and I was far from prepared. My apartment has one small useless gas heater in the wall in my living room (WTF), and that's it. Even if it works at all (and I've had it on all morning to no avail, even though that room is tiny) I will likely have that on plus a small electric heater that I bought several years ago when the hotel room I was renting had no heat.

But for the night, I just put on another blanket, slipped on the only pair of real pajamas (flannel) I own, and made do. I was warm enough, as long as I didn't leave the bed. Some people can sleep in a cold room, and a lot of people prefer it that way. My back can't take it (I have scarred muscle tissue in my lower back from a car wreck I was in at 15), but my wallet just hasn't seemed to have taken anything else but cheap housing.

Luckily so far, this apartment doesn't have nearly the Thermos Bottle effect my old one did, one that it is common for places with no insulation: the inside is significantly hotter or colder than it is outside (how does it know?). My distorted reasoning tells me that if, in the summer, it is not hard to cool this place without central air, then in the winter, it should not be hard to heat it without central heat. We'll just have to see about that. I've got at least 6 months to find out.

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