Friday, June 23, 2006

Unbearable Heat
The temperature was in triple digits yesterday, and inside the house it was even hotter because the gas heater had its pilot on. So, whereas heater had been off the heat from the pilot was making our lives miserable. And in some ways it was hurting us financially too--our last gas bill being $60.12 for using 46.4 Therms.
When I came back last night the temperature inside the house was 88 F. Earlier I had tried to open the heater panel to switch off gas supply to the heater, but I could not figure out how to open it. Last night on coming back home I opened all doors and windows to bring the indoor temperature down. That late at night it was pleasant outside, the temperature must have been in the 60s. I thought about trying to open the gas heater panel one more time, but it was dark near the heater and I decided to give it a try during daytime. I just paced up and down the living room till the temperature dropped to 82 F; by then it was a little after midnight. Even with all the doors and windows open it was taking longer to cool the house because outside air was still and the heat from the heater was trapped near the ceilings.
I got up very early this morning; I had to talk to people on a conference call during their work hours (in Istanbul and Dublin). The thermostat indicated it was 72 F inside. After attending the conference call I went to the gas heater. The writing on its bottom panel instructed the operator to, "Press to open." I pressed the panel but it did not open. I fought with it until I pressed at the right spot (very bottom) and the panel swung open. I lay on the floor to see the controls inside. I could locate the shut off gas valve in the back. I reached back in the heater and turned the knob off, the pilot went off. I felt so relieved--a monstrous ugly monkey off my back.

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