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9 October, 2006

I'm meltiiiing...

The Michelmas (autumn) term has begun so, by definition, the University's central heating has been turned on, irrespective of whether the weather demands it.  That's routine, and not worth questioning; at least individual radiators can be turned down/off (well, those with functioning valves, anyway).

The problem is that the boiler was shut down during an unexpectedly cold spell in the Spring, so most radiator valves were left fully open. It was fired up again on Friday evening (the official first day of term) and rooms have been blasted with heat for the entire weekend. Even with the heating off now, the furniture itself is re-radiating stored heat, so it's almost as oppressively hot indoors as last July.

Quite apart from the inflexible timing of the institutional heating, the magnitude of the temperature (if that's the correct physical concept) is annoying.
People are naturally acclimatised to the ambient conditions of early October, so it'd be sensible to match and maintain that level as external temperatures drop in subsequent weeks. It makes less sense to raise office temperatures to a 'luxurious' summer level, forcing occupants to reacclimatise. That'll make external autumn conditions feel colder, and drive people to heat their homes sooner and more than they'd otherwise need.

I know the staff pension scheme has investments in petroleum companies, but that's no reason to inflate fuel expenditure....

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