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Baby, it’s cold outside

By Charlotte Harper - 30 May 2016 20

fog

The forecast was for an overnight minimum of 4 degrees, but the mercury dipped to -1.8 at around 11.30pm and it’s still 0 out there now as families head off for school and work at 8am this morning. The city is shrouded in fog, too.

We’d love to see your fog photos on our Facebook page or via Instagram, by the way.

Last night, when I left the pitch after a reasonably unpleasant 70 minutes playing sport a little after 9pm, it was 2.9 degrees. I played with my jacket on and regretted not owning a pair of skins to wear under my uniform.

At 8ish on Saturday morning, as we joined hundreds of families watching their children play soccer, I was very glad to be wearing fur-lined boots and thermals under my jeans. Our son was a shivering mess, unable to focus on the match with fingers like icicles. We went straight to buy him some gloves, a beanie, leggings and a long sleeved top to wear under the soccer uniform afterwards.

So, as we shiver our way through these last autumn and early winter days, I’m wondering what your tips are for surviving the Canberra winter.

fog

Is the solution to embrace it and spend all your weekends and disposable income in the Snowy Mountains?

Or to stay here but buy up big in the thermal underwear and polar fleece sections of Kathmandu?

Or maybe you book a long holiday in Queensland or Fiji to give yourselves a break from the freezing months?

If, like ours, your house lacks central heating, what are your recommendations for affordable electric heaters?

Do any of you use a cover over your car to avoid the run back inside for a jug of hot water to deal with frost on the windscreen in the mornings?

Every single year when it starts to get as cold as this I think again about moving to a warmer city. For the first few years after returning to Canberra after living interstate and overseas, I vowed to be gone before winter rolled around again.

Now, as I look out at the bare branches of trees in the mist through my , I realise I don’t want to leave. Our clearly defined seasons are one of the city’s joys. I just need the right equipment to get through the colder months.

What’s Your opinion?


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20 Responses to
Baby, it’s cold outside
Southmouth 4:43 pm 31 May 16

madelini said :

Actually, it has been too cold for SNOW! However, I hope we get some, again, this year. Way back in the 80s when I came here, we had a lot of snow. It covered cars left out and the lawn was white with snow in the morning. I recall driving down Belconnen Way with the windscreen wipers on because it was snowing.

Those where the days. 🙂

It isn’t too cold to snow. Thats an urban myth. There are plenty of places colder than here that get snow. You need moisture to go with the cold and the right air currents and ice nuclei etc.

dustytrail 4:01 pm 31 May 16

Actually, it has been too cold for SNOW! However, I hope we get some, again, this year. Way back in the 80s when I came here, we had a lot of snow. It covered cars left out and the lawn was white with snow in the morning. I recall driving down Belconnen Way with the windscreen wipers on because it was snowing.

Those where the days. 🙂

Nightshade 1:51 pm 31 May 16

Not applicable to everyone, but if your house has windows that face the sun, open up the curtains during the day and let the warmth in. My house is almost entirely windows along the northern side, and I rarely need the heating on in the daytime when it’s sunny.

The house next door has a similar design, yet they always have the curtains closed and the heating on.

drewbytes 7:18 am 31 May 16

GCS14 said :

We’re going the double glazed retro fit option. Trying to decide between Solace Creations and Architech Windows. Has anyone had experience with either of these providers?

Have a look at the Window Energy Rating website:
http://werscpd.net.barberry.arvixe.com/browse.aspx?state=ACT
and compare the ratings of the two windows. Be aware there are many different options from the same supplier. You need to do a bit of reading about the Uw, SHGC values etc to understand how it all works and what’s better.

I ended up going with Dowell Thermaline (thermally broken aluminium) double glazed low E awning windows which had better ratings than the Solace windows and were a bit cheaper for our new build. I did like the look of the Solace uvpc windows and they were pretty helpful and the display room is good.

I can’t comment on how good the Dowell are as the house is under construction.

kean van choc 8:00 pm 30 May 16

We’re going the double glazed retro fit option. Trying to decide between Solace Creations and Architech Windows. Has anyone had experience with either of these providers?

Mordd 8:00 pm 30 May 16

dungfungus said :

pink little birdie said :

DO NOT POUR HOT WATER ON A FROSTY WINDSCREEN!

The thermal shock is an excellent way to crack the glass and put yourself out a couple of hundred dollars for a replacement. Use cold water and a scraper/credit card.

Do you know anyone that this has actually happened to? I’ve done it often enough over the years, if anything it quickly freezes over again. You have to be really quick to scrap it off whilst it is still soft.

Your windscreen is actually tempered laminated safety glass so has already been heat stressed.

According to:

http://www.speedyglass.com/2011/11/does-hot-water-on-a-frozen-windshield-cause-shattering/

the problem is water may seep into a crack and possibly delaminate the glass.

I’ve only done this once as everyone told me after how stupid I was, but one morning about 4 years ago I poured boiling water all over my windscreen to clear it of a very thick layer of ice, and it worked a treat and didn’t crack. Of course I never tried it again as I read how bad this is, so I must have got lucky, but it certainly didn’t crack in my case. This was with an older car but it did have a brand new windscreen on it at the time.

rubaiyat 5:02 pm 30 May 16

pink little birdie said :

DO NOT POUR HOT WATER ON A FROSTY WINDSCREEN!

The thermal shock is an excellent way to crack the glass and put yourself out a couple of hundred dollars for a replacement. Use cold water and a scraper/credit card.

Do you know anyone that this has actually happened to? I’ve done it often enough over the years, if anything it quickly freezes over again. You have to be really quick to scrap it off whilst it is still soft.

Your windscreen is actually tempered laminated safety glass so has already been heat stressed.

According to:

http://www.speedyglass.com/2011/11/does-hot-water-on-a-frozen-windshield-cause-shattering/

the problem is water may seep into a crack and possibly delaminate the glass.

Nilrem 2:49 pm 30 May 16

Mordd said :

ungruntled said :

Retrofitting double glazing in our house halved our gas bill. Amazing.

I have heard conflicting reports about retrofitted double glazing of window, so good to hear a positive experience.

Did u do all windows, cost compared to replacing existing windows, any external noise reduction, any condensation between the glass panes, and who did it ? Thanks – sorry about the questions, but would prefer to hear from a customer rather than a salesperson.

We did it with Magnetite, who fit a perspex pane on the inside. Gap is quite large, to enable access to sliding windows, so soundproofing is good, while insulation perhaps less than optimal? Nevertheless, produced a big reduction in energy consumption. Still some condensation in bedrooms, but much less than previously. We did almost all our windows, so the cost and disruption compared with fitting double-glazed windows would have been much less. I’m pretty sure windows would have been five times more and then some. We have big windows.

MERC600 1:54 pm 30 May 16

Steven Bailey said :

Houses can be built that are warm and need little heating. I live in one. But unfortunately most, even new, houses are not built that way. I haven’t needed to put a heater on yet and it was 19C when I woke up this morning. Late morning now 23C and warming.
If it’s your house, double glaze. Wooden frames are the best, but if, like me, you feel this doesn’t suit your style of house or you don’t like the maintenance, aluminium is available, but make sure it comes with something to slow the heat escaping through the frame. Without a thermal break a double glazed window frame is no better than a single glazed wooden frame. Also the gap must be about 12mm, not the 6mm some windows are sold with. Etc. Do your research before buying one and don’t necessarily believe the seller/builder. A typical builder is likely to boast their houses come with double glazing, but then supply windows (the cheapest) with too small a gap and no thermal break. You might as well have had single glazed wooden framed windows, as they would have been as good.
If you rent, consider ‘winter windows’. Something like http://www.clearcomfort.com.au/pricesorders.htm
It’s a clear plastic film that is stretched over the windows. I put this in my last house and was pleased with the result. My last house was half original wooden windows and half replacement aluminium windows (put in by the previous owner and NOT an improvement). This only worked on the wooden frames, as the aluminium windows didn’t have enough gap. To do them a frame would have been needed to be built. Ask the house owner first though if this is okay. I used to have a rental and I would have allowed my more capable tenants to add this if they had asked.
Don’t ‘fashionably’ rip up your carpet and polish your floorboards, without first putting some serious insulation under the floor. Polished wooden floors, without insulation, make the house colder. This was demonstrated to me at my last house. I pulled up my old thin carpet that had no underlay (as I discovered) and replaced it with underlay and thicker carpet. My house felt warmer after that.
Get thick curtains with backing, or good blinds such as honey combed, and get a pelmet too – a proper one; not just a decorative one. Unless, as in my present house, the blinds fit snugly.
Then, insulate, insulate, insulate 🙂

Thanks for the tip on the ‘clearcomfort’ site. I went out to a joint in Fyshwick to get a quote on double glazing my family room windows, which consists of a standard glass sliding door, and the window over the sink (158cm wide) The rough quote they gave me was 2,900 bucks. I thanked them and left.

Then found Bunnings sell 3M insulation film, which seems a lot like your clearcomfort rig. Not sure if it can be used on the door, but will wander down for a look.

Morelia 12:09 pm 30 May 16

DO NOT POUR HOT WATER ON A FROSTY WINDSCREEN!

The thermal shock is an excellent way to crack the glass and put yourself out a couple of hundred dollars for a replacement. Use cold water and a scraper/credit card.

Mysteryman 12:06 pm 30 May 16

ungruntled said :

gooterz said :

If you own your place rather than renting, it’s well worth investing in double glazing for at least a few windows in the most used parts of the house (presuming you have already insulated the roof and floors and where possible the walls as well). You don’t need central heating, but having reverse cycle will pay off in Summer.

The best option for keeping warm is to visit friends who have warm houses 😀

Other than that, close doors and heat just the rooms you are actually using, and wear warm clothes so you only need to heat to about 18–20°C. More than that and you are just burning your money.

The last time I bought a heater was back in the ’90s, but it was a ceramic element fan heater, this means it is a much lower fire risk. Other options include oil heaters (electric radiators) but you need to combine those with a fan, and if your ceiling is not insulated you are wasting your miney.

The option that worked well for me was heating the bedroom and ensuite so going to bed was comfortable, then spend time out visiting or dining with friends. That, and huddling in front of the TV/Netflix with blankets and popcorn.

Towels over the front and rear windscreens will help with the frost. I am lucky and have a DLUG.

Retrofitting double glazing in our house halved our gas bill. Amazing.

Good to hear! I know builders who still claim that double glazing is a waste of time. People like that are the reason that residential construction in this country is still far behind where it should be.

rommeldog56 11:55 am 30 May 16

ungruntled said :

Retrofitting double glazing in our house halved our gas bill. Amazing.

I have heard conflicting reports about retrofitted double glazing of window, so good to hear a positive experience.

Did u do all windows, cost compared to replacing existing windows, any external noise reduction, any condensation between the glass panes, and who did it ? Thanks – sorry about the questions, but would prefer to hear from a customer rather than a salesperson.

Maya123 11:55 am 30 May 16

Houses can be built that are warm and need little heating. I live in one. But unfortunately most, even new, houses are not built that way. I haven’t needed to put a heater on yet and it was 19C when I woke up this morning. Late morning now 23C and warming.
If it’s your house, double glaze. Wooden frames are the best, but if, like me, you feel this doesn’t suit your style of house or you don’t like the maintenance, aluminium is available, but make sure it comes with something to slow the heat escaping through the frame. Without a thermal break a double glazed window frame is no better than a single glazed wooden frame. Also the gap must be about 12mm, not the 6mm some windows are sold with. Etc. Do your research before buying one and don’t necessarily believe the seller/builder. A typical builder is likely to boast their houses come with double glazing, but then supply windows (the cheapest) with too small a gap and no thermal break. You might as well have had single glazed wooden framed windows, as they would have been as good.
If you rent, consider ‘winter windows’. Something like http://www.clearcomfort.com.au/pricesorders.htm
It’s a clear plastic film that is stretched over the windows. I put this in my last house and was pleased with the result. My last house was half original wooden windows and half replacement aluminium windows (put in by the previous owner and NOT an improvement). This only worked on the wooden frames, as the aluminium windows didn’t have enough gap. To do them a frame would have been needed to be built. Ask the house owner first though if this is okay. I used to have a rental and I would have allowed my more capable tenants to add this if they had asked.
Don’t ‘fashionably’ rip up your carpet and polish your floorboards, without first putting some serious insulation under the floor. Polished wooden floors, without insulation, make the house colder. This was demonstrated to me at my last house. I pulled up my old thin carpet that had no underlay (as I discovered) and replaced it with underlay and thicker carpet. My house felt warmer after that.
Get thick curtains with backing, or good blinds such as honey combed, and get a pelmet too – a proper one; not just a decorative one. Unless, as in my present house, the blinds fit snugly.
Then, insulate, insulate, insulate 🙂

Nilrem 11:26 am 30 May 16

gooterz said :

If you own your place rather than renting, it’s well worth investing in double glazing for at least a few windows in the most used parts of the house (presuming you have already insulated the roof and floors and where possible the walls as well). You don’t need central heating, but having reverse cycle will pay off in Summer.

The best option for keeping warm is to visit friends who have warm houses 😀

Other than that, close doors and heat just the rooms you are actually using, and wear warm clothes so you only need to heat to about 18–20°C. More than that and you are just burning your money.

The last time I bought a heater was back in the ’90s, but it was a ceramic element fan heater, this means it is a much lower fire risk. Other options include oil heaters (electric radiators) but you need to combine those with a fan, and if your ceiling is not insulated you are wasting your miney.

The option that worked well for me was heating the bedroom and ensuite so going to bed was comfortable, then spend time out visiting or dining with friends. That, and huddling in front of the TV/Netflix with blankets and popcorn.

Towels over the front and rear windscreens will help with the frost. I am lucky and have a DLUG.

Retrofitting double glazing in our house halved our gas bill. Amazing.

Grail 10:15 am 30 May 16

If you own your place rather than renting, it’s well worth investing in double glazing for at least a few windows in the most used parts of the house (presuming you have already insulated the roof and floors and where possible the walls as well). You don’t need central heating, but having reverse cycle will pay off in Summer.

The best option for keeping warm is to visit friends who have warm houses 😀

Other than that, close doors and heat just the rooms you are actually using, and wear warm clothes so you only need to heat to about 18–20°C. More than that and you are just burning your money.

The last time I bought a heater was back in the ’90s, but it was a ceramic element fan heater, this means it is a much lower fire risk. Other options include oil heaters (electric radiators) but you need to combine those with a fan, and if your ceiling is not insulated you are wasting your miney.

The option that worked well for me was heating the bedroom and ensuite so going to bed was comfortable, then spend time out visiting or dining with friends. That, and huddling in front of the TV/Netflix with blankets and popcorn.

Towels over the front and rear windscreens will help with the frost. I am lucky and have a DLUG.

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