Fall is upon us! Pumpkins on the doorsteps, corn husks on the door, Comfy Sweaters & Leather Boots – I’m into all of it! All except – the yuppie problems that come along with transitioning from Summer to Winter.
If you live in an urban area, you can probably relate to these. Sometimes it seems I’ve got 99 problems, and they are all because of my location.
The majority of high rises in Chicago were built prior to the 1970’s, which means most of the heat for the buildings is generated via radiator or broiler. This means, the lucky tenants who live here, have no control over the heat in the fall/winter. The heat simply comes out of the walls at full blast, whether you like it or not.
This is great for times such as the polar vortex, or -30 degree weather, but there is that transition period between October and late December that can leave you with some very uncomfortable nights.
You could seal your windows, but then there will be a sunny 50 degree day, and suddenly your condo is 110 degrees, and the only way to bring it down is to open the windows. So no, sealing windows is not an option in my book.
I have to say, I think I have mastered the fall season and almost gotten this down to an art form.
These top 3 tricks are how to survive the fall by dealing with all of the buildings turning on their heat too soon.
Trick #1: Electric Blanket
This electric blanket has saved my life. And no, I’m not being dramatic. I have two of these babies – one for the couch, and one for the bed. During the fall the temperature can get up to 75 during the day and drop to below 30’s at night. When I come home from work, my condo is SUPER hot, so I usually open up the windows and turn on the fan. By the time I’m ready for bed, it’s freezing. I close the windows but I’m still cold! Even if I don’t open the windows, there are days it can be 70+ outside, and then the next day its a windy 35. For those cold days before your heat is on, or for those hot days when the heat is on and you make it cold, come home from work, and just turn on that electric blanket. By the time you shower, make dinner, and watch your favorite show, the bed is just the temperature you want it! You can adjust the blanket settings for anywhere from “I can barely tell this was on” to “OUCH THAT’S HOT!”
Trick #2: Pre-Packaged Juice Items
I don’t know about you, but I’m a pretty basic white girl. In the summer, I live for fresh pressed juice. I would love those lunch time afternoons walking down the street to the juice store, or coming home and making my own. For some reason, once it turns to fall and the sun begins to set sooner, I start losing my motivation to get that burst of vitamins. I don’t want to walk to the juice store anymore, and I find myself buying peppermint tea over juice items.
After a couple weeks of that, I begin to get depressed and start craving those fresh juices again. I crave them, but I have no motivation to get them/make them. In combination with that, and the fact the buildings start turning on the heat and I’m sweating through my clothes, my craving turns from a want to a need. I NEED A FRESH COLD DRINK GREEN NOW!
So, to make sure I can get this without a) having to walk somewhere or b) have a whole ordeal making one after the sun has set , I have started making 4 or 5 zip lock bags on Sunday with everything I need for just one juice drink.
These one stop shops make it no hassle for me to collect ingredients, or think about what I’m putting in each drink. My juicer is an old fashioned super small one, so I have to cut them all up, but just placing the main prepared ingredients in a baggy can save you so much time making the drink, and will motivate you to make it when you get home, which in turn, will put a smile on your face.
(Warning: You’ll feel better, too!)
Trick #3: The Lasko Ceramic Heater Fan Combo
I’m obsessed. My old college roommate introduced this invention to me our Junior year of college. She loved our small sorority room to be 89 degrees, while I liked it a cool 65. Our deal was that it would be cool during the day, and hot at night when we slept. I went to bed around 8:30pm and woke up around 4-5am, and she went to bed around 2am, so I could get a solid 5 or 6 hours in the cool temperature before she would come in and blast the Lasko Heater. (We even came up with nicknames for each other. She called me Birphin, combination of Bird and Dolphin, because I would wake up so early and made high pitch noises when happy – I called her Battile because she was a nocturnal mammal who like it very hot)
Oops – that’s us ^^^^^
Anyways, back on topic, this teeeeeeny tiny heater would heat up our room to a hard 85 within 10 minutes. Not joking. And the best part? It’s not just a heater. It’s an air conditioning fan as well. I bought one of these for my desk in the winter because I sat by the window at work and would be freezing cold. One day I turned it on, and realized the air was cold. That’s when I discovered it’s amazing cooling abilities. In the summer I use this as a fan, and in the winter as a heater!!
Not only has it saved me money on AC because it’s fan is so cold and powerful, but it’s perfect for those fall nights that are freezing cold before your condo/apartment building has turned on the heat.
As a side note – I also don’t have a microwave – so when I want to heat something up quickly I literally put it in front of this mini heater, and it’s completely heated in less than 5 minutes. When I say powerful, I mean powerful.
Voltage Issues? My space heater can be plugged into one wall by the window, and no other electronics can be plugged into that fuse area while it’s in use. Actually, I don’t think I can plug in anything anywhere when my space heater is on. Anyone who has blown a fuse from using a space heater can relate. This Lasko heater/fan has a 900 watt low setting and only a 1500 watt high (most are around 1500 I think). For some reason this Lasko can be on medium blast, and all my outlets can have things plugged in, and we’re fine. If I choose to run my large space heater, boom, instant fuse blow. (And my place has those old fuses that you have to physically unscrew and replace, so walking to the hardware store in the freezing cold at night = not fun).
The Lasko Heater is available on Amazon and can be found on Amazon, but I’m sure any other portable heating/cooling contraption could get the job done.
Well my dear friends, maybe one of these things gave you an idea you can apply in your own lives. Maybe not. But either way, I feel good that I’ve been able to share my life-saving tips.
Does anyone else have a tip/trick for dealing with these weird ups and downs of temperature???