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2015-04-09 12:50:07
Thermostat Wars - Chris Prickett Archives
As the Phoenix area is getting hotter, the thermostat is adjusted. Here is an article from our archives to keep you cool and laughing.
 
Thermostat Wars
 

I guess I should be thankful that, most days at least, the biggest conflict at my house is the thermostat setting. Ok, I’m thankful. Now that that’s out of the way, I’ll consider myself free to whine with unfettered impunity. I now bring you (thermo) STAT WARS!

 

Regardless the season, my darling bride and I always seems to be separated by degrees. I’m more comfortable when the indoor temperature is around 70 and she likes it somewhere between “warming drawer” and Death Valley. While I consider 75 a comfy compromise, I don’t like to see $400 cooling bills, so I generally keep my grumbling to a minimum, at least during the summer months. Throughout prime A/C season we have reached a conditional truce that keeps the house at 82 during peak times and 76 off-peak.

 

As a stipulation of this fragile détente I was permitted to purchase programmable thermostats, thus ensuring that at least between the hours of 7pm and 11:59am, I could enjoy cool comfort without having to resort to flash freezing my boxers. I successfully installed the new thermostats (only about $30 a piece) and all was right at Casa de Prickett...for about two days. Upon waking up at 2:00am in a sticky pool of my own perspiration, I made a bee-line to the digitally enhanced, “night-glow” programmable thermostat, thinking that I must have accidentally set it to “bake”. It was then that I found out that I was sleeping with the enemy!

 

After a thorough interrogation that would have made Dick Cheney blush with pride, the double agent spilled the beans: after I go to sleep, she cranks the sucker back up! Apparently this has been going on for some time, but I always assumed that I was going through that wonderful passage of middle age euphemistically referred to as “the change”.  What was the excuse for this blatant breach of inter-marital diplomacy? She did it for the kids! Since our bedroom is on the west side of the house, by the time I’m cool enough to sleep the other side of the house is downright arctic.

 

Now, these are the same kids who wear shorts in January and corduroys in July, so I’m not sure I’m buying that story, especially from someone who won’t go near the swimming pool until it reaches 110. (I’m talking pool water temperature, folks). However, she did get me thinking. It’s common knowledge that most homes in our area do not cool evenly.

 

When a “tract home” is built, the HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) system is often treated as an afterthought. Flexible ducting is snaked up and around framing, choked by wiring and plumbing, and trampled by workers during construction. The system design may take square footage and possibly even window location into account, but the layout of the ducting, registers, and the location of the thermostats are the same regardless of how the home is oriented. Whatever part of the home faces west or south, will almost always be the most difficult to cool.

 

In an effort to avoid an escalation in the sovereign nation of Prickett, I called on my HVAC guru. Armed with his knowledge, and my wallet, we set out to come up with a diplomatic solution. Next week (hopefully), you will get the results of our “Mission of Mercury”. (thermostat/mercury, get it?)

 

 
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