Do you have some form of central heating or reverse cycle air conditioning at home? If so, please consider being part of a University of Wollongong research project called Warm as toast? Home heating and energy use in the Illawarra. We seek households who are willing to discuss their home heating practices and energy use, and have their household electricity measured over approximately three months over winter 2014.
On reading Chris Gibson’s post on wood fires in his Sydney home, my immediate thoughts were of my own wood fire memories. Being in country New South Wales rather than inner-city Sydney, they are perhaps not so surprising. At my childhood home we spent winter evenings in the living room around the fire, but more vivid memories stem from visits to my grandparents’ farm in northern NSW. During Christmas or Easter visits, one of the main jobs for anyone in the family was stocking the woodshed: finding the best fallen dry wood on the farm, sawing it up and carting logs back to the house paddock, feeding the logs through another saw and/or splitting some into smaller pieces for the kitchen stove or for kindling. Us kids helped stack the wood and collected piles of pine cones to use as fire starters. A good job was done when the shed was full. Daily chores included cleaning and resetting the fireplace. One year it was so cold we had to light the living-room fire on Christmas Day! Continue reading