Riding the Roller Coaster Weather Machine

It has been cold all week. After a nice warm weekend it got cold again and has stayed cold all week. We had a low of about 5 degrees Tuesday night. Yesterday was nice and sunny but it never got particularly warm. Today the wind is blowing about 20 mph right out of the south which sounds warm but the temp so far is about 28 degrees so it is miserable outside. The warm ups are nice but getting there is the hard part. When the wind is out of the south the front of the house is really cold and hard to heat. We just do not have anything to break the wind from that direction.

We have lots of protection from East, West, and North. Lots of trees in all directions except the south. It makes a big difference. It can be cold and blowing from the Northwest and it does not have much effect on the comfort level in the house. A lot of the older farmsteads here in this part of the country used to have protection against the winds and some still do. It is the new places that baffle me.

Built with no protection or utilization of any kind of windbreak, these places are built with a mentality of cheap energy delivered in a truck or over power lines. There might be a few decorative trees and bushes around these places but for the most part they rely totally on lots of imported energy.

There is practically no consideration in new construction for using the sun to do anything like make make heat or electricity. I do not know if it is any different in other parts of the country but here it just has not made it into people’s heads yet that there is something here to use. There is a new place on the road into town that was built last year that is built entirely in the open. There are no trees around the place.

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Although it has exposure all day long to the sun, the windows are small and always curtained over. There is a huge south sloping roof that is covered with shingles and nothing else up there, not even a water heater. The sorry fact is, most every home in this country is in the same configuration. Well yes, places have trees around them and other houses to break the wind, but, no conscious attempt to actually do anything with the sun. It is a sorry legacy of our cheap lazy energy culture. Will it change? What needs to happen for change to begin?

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