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I live mostly in Paris and København. It is very common to keep a place on the cold side and dress appropriately indoors. During the day my thermostat is Paris is set for 18°. In København it has a North facing window plus it is alway cloudy so it is more like 20°. At night it is much lower. Visiting America in the Winter seems wrong. People dress like it is Summer and complain about the cold. You can buy some very nice sweaters and stockings for the difference in price.


I grew up in the 60s Jheri. It was common and necessary to keep the house cold during the Winter. The thermostat never went past 60° (16°C) when I was a teenager. There was a small family room that was well insulated and had a small radiant heater. Four people and three dogs would spend much of their evenings there .. it would get toasty. This was just common sense at the time - no one would think of spending large amounts of money heating parts of a house you didn't need or heating to a level that a sweater or long johns could easily get you to.


Two readers had comments and and questions on low energy techniques for staying comfortable in the Winter. There are big payoffs heating mostly areas where people stay. I had forgotten about Kotatsu warming tables.

In Japan traditional wooden houses sometimes use a special warming table that becomes a center of family life during the Winter. The Kotatsu tables have a small built-in heater of 400 to 600 watts and are covered by an insulated quilt. I've seen and even used one without knowing what it was. When I was a teenager a neighbor one. She was Japanese and he had spent several years in the service working on a radar installation on the Northern tip of the Japanese Island of Hokkaido.


The downside is it would encourage sedentary behavior so perhaps a standing table variation is in order. You could wear a big quilt at a standing desk. Body heat should be sufficient with a good insulated quilt. Perhaps a Stay Puft Marshmallow Man theme?

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