Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Bird nests in my heater

Since this is my blog, and I can post about whatever I want, I am going to write today about a bizarre experience I had yesterday getting my heater fixed. I live in an apartment in Los Angeles, so it doesn't really get too cold in the winter. But this winter I realized it was too cold at night in my apartment. My heater wasn't working. So I called my landlord to get it fixed. It took a couple of weeks, but the guy finally showed up. My heater has a pipe leading straight outside. In it were 3 0r 4 bird nests. Apparently they had been there for a while. But now they're gone, and my heater works fine. Except that there's no thermostat, so I have to adjust the heat manually. Which is not exactly an energy-efficient approach to heating.

Which leads me to discuss a conundrum about my apartment building. Architecturally, it's very interesting. It's a prewar building, all brick and stone. It's taller than the other buildings in the neighborhood, and has lots of character. Definitely the coolest-looking building for blocks.

But since it's so old, it's also horribly inefficient. The windows are very drafty, and the ceilings are 10'. In terms of historical preservation, it's a great building, but in terms of energy efficiency, it's terrible. There's very little I can do about either, but it seems like something to think about.

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