Saturday, March 13, 2010

A Thank You Note to My Neighbors for the Gift of Free Heat

catI woke up the other morning and thought, "It's too warm in here, better lower the heat." When I went to the thermostat, it turned out I'd forgotten to turn it on the night before. Even though it had been in the 40s that night, my apartment was still too warm for comfort.

The Green Miles lives in an apartment building in Ballston. A great deal of the apartment's efficiency comes from the building's design -- 10-story, densely-packed, concrete & brick, double-paned windows & doors, lots of natural light & bonus heat from the sun. That design gives it a great deal of temperature inertia -- it stays warm in the winter & cool in the summer.

But this afternoon it's 55 degrees & cloudy -- and with the heat off, my apartment is 73 degrees. Clearly, I'm getting a major boost from neighbors whose love of paying to keep their apartment extra toasty is spilling over into my unit. My apartment gets a similar boost of cool air in the summer from their ravenous air conditioning consumption.

I could complain about how much money they're wasting. And I could brag about how keeping an eye on the thermostat in this efficient apartment has kept my heating bill at a ridiculously low $20-30 per month this winter. But instead, I'll just say thanks for helping me save a few dollars that I can then spend on something I enjoy.
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