Posted by: thebylog | December 7, 2005

Controlling the Climate

Ah, the blessing of climate-controlled indoor comfort, especially in such an extreme climate as we have up here in the frigid north. But allow me an observation, and then watch me back away from it.

Observation: Suppose it’s really cold outside, say 20 degrees. Common sense indicates that you better turn on the heat inside of the university buildings so we stay warm. So they do. But what they sometimes fail to take into account is that
people WEAR MORE CLOTHES IN THE WINTER because it’s so freezing cold outside. So they come in all layered up, not only wearing their heavy coat (which I realize they can take off easily enough) but also wearing a turtleneck or a long-sleeved shirt or a sweater.

What they actually should do is set the temperature in the building a degree or two cooler than normal. Even if it’s set at 71 instead of 73, the vast temperature differential between the outside and inside will make us think that we’re coming into a warm place. Our extra clothes will bridge those last couple of degrees.

Think of all the heating costs that could be salvaged!

Now, backing away: I think the university has taken me up on my suggestion, even before I made it public. I sat in two of my classes today without taking of my coat because of how cool it was.



  1. Ahhh….. somebody else broaching this subject. When I ask questions like this of my wife, she gives me that “just go away” look!
    Here is my deal…. Since we live in S.C. where anything below 40 is really cold, and where forecasts of “a possiblility of 2-3 inches” will cause the stores to be sold out of bread and milk…. why dress warmer when going somewhere? We live in a climate controlled enviroment, walk 20 feet to a vehicle that has a heater, drive to where we’re going, walk another X amount of feet, and we’re back in another climate controlled enviroment.
    But instead we spend extra time layering on clothes, and extra time taking them off, only because we’re outside for 2 minutes?!!
    I understand layering if you’re going to be outside for a longer period of time….

  2. Answer to your problem- go to school in Florida!

  3. Answer to your problem- go to school in Florida!

  4. A.Riehl, I think you are understating the southerner’s response to winter weather. If it gets cloudy and cold on the same day, people get nervous and begin sneaking out to the BiLo.

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