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To heat, or not to heat

For those of you with bills included within your rent, please press ALT+F4 now. I dislike you a lot. Harsh but put it down to jealousy as for the rest of us without such luxury the time has now come to discuss the annual issue of heating.

With energy prices having already risen 21% in the last year, and with the expectation that they’ll rocket even higher as winter continues, we unfortunately can’t pump out heat willy nilly. So this leaves us with the horribly awkward conversation to be had between housemates as to when the big switch on takes place.

Granted this doesn’t have to be awkward at all it just depends on who you live with. If any of your housemates fall under the following categories then, be warned, awkwardness awaits.

The heating Nazi: this person wants you to die of frostbite, or at least that’s how it seems. Either stingy or plain evil they will continue to deny the need to heat the house to plus temperatures until you’ve lost the feeling in most of your limbs.

The cotton-wooled mummy’s girl or boy: this person has been begging to have the heating on since Fresher’s week and clearly has more money than sense. It’s also quite probable that they spend most of their time in hot pant pyjamas or boxers. Put on a hoody.

Now different households have different milestones indicating when the big day occurs. Some do this by date, for example Halloween or the first week of November. Others wait until there is snow on the ground, frost on the cars or you can see your own breath.

Whatever your signpost may be and whenever you reach it there are further discussions to be had. Namely, when specifically on a daily basis the boiler starts up and how long for. Such a conundrum can lead to a somewhat heated debate, and even some icy behaviour, between humanities students and those on “real courses” (i.e. those with lectures before midday and for more than four hours a week).

Medics, mathematicians, engineers I’ll have you know it’s still pretty chilly when we rise from our pits to switch on E4 at gone 11am, don’t deprive us of the heat.

In the end it’s all about compromise – timers, fitting to everyone schedule and basically not taking the piss. Crack out the hot water bottles, slippers and the infamous onesie but if your teeth are still chattering do the deed and switch it on; then quickly put the hefty incoming bill right to the back of your mind.

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Lily Howes

Former Lifestyle Editor at The Mancunion (2011-2012). English Literature and Drama graduate. Originally from Croydon, South London. If you don't fancy being hounded to sign up for Blind Date then do avoid me at all costs (however if you are interested in taking part then e mail [email protected])
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