Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Another brilliant idea: brought to you by Elodin Enterprises
Okay, I've been thinking about this for years, and I need someone to explain it to me.

Here I am in Wisconsin. It's winter. It's cold outside. I will be spending hundreds and hundreds of dollars to heat my house despite the fact that I keep the thermostat at a relatively conservative 62 degrees. The air in my house is chilly and dry as a bone.

Then I go down into my basement, put a load of laundry into the drier, and for the next hour I run a big machine that vents hot, moist, delicious air through a tube and out the side of my house. Presumably so that the local squirrels can enjoy a sauna.

Does this make any sense? Is there some good reason why I don't have a second tube that runs from the drier directly into my ductwork of my forced-air furnace? Free heat, free humidity, and as an added bonus, my house would smell like Snuggle fabric softener.

I mean, I could understand why this idea wouldn't be a big deal in, say, Texas. As I understand it, in Texas the winter weather is relatively clement, and the summer weather is like being beaten with a burning shovel until you are on fire, then having someone extinguish you by wrapping you in a thick, wet towel that is, somehow, also on fire.

But here in the north, it's cold for about half the year. And for a couple months centering around nowish it's an amazing flavor of cold that you really can't appreciate unless you experience it firsthand. Night before last, up here in Hayward, it got down to twenty-six below zero (Fahrenheit), not counting wind-chill.

That's the sort of cold where, if a young gentleman tries to enjoy the unique privilege of manhood and write his name in the snow, he will end up with a pee stalagmite instead. It's the sort of cold where you go outside and realize that if you aren't careful, you will fucking die.

So I go back to my original question: Why isn't this done? I'm not an engineer, but I'm pretty sure we have the technology to install what amounts to a valve. One side would be labeled "make my house warm" and the other would be labeled "squirrel sauna." You could adjust it according to the outside temperature, your mood, and how you feel about the local fauna.

I can't be the first person to think of this, so I'm assuming that there has to be a good explanation for why it isn't already commonplace. Can anyone think of what it is?




posted by Pat at 81 Comments

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