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Should heaters stay off till Anzac Day?

By Charlotte Harper - 22 April 2016 30

Cat with heater

Does anyone know where the Canberra “rule” about heating staying off till after Anzac Day comes from?

It’s one of those things I’ve always known but can’t remember how I came to know it.

A comment on an earlier RiotACT post on how to survive your first winter here indicates that Canberrans have stuck to the rule since oil heaters warmed our homes.

Personally I’m not a believer in the rule anyway. I can’t think straight when I’m cold, and I start work before the sun comes up. The heating has been on more than once in recent weeks. I switched it from aircon to heat on March 19, when the temperature fell to zero, and haven’t looked back.

April temperatures

I wondered whether the average temperatures for April backed up the Anzac Day theory, and found some charts on San Francisco-based Weatherspark.com’s website that answered that question instantly (and made me shiver a little too).

April temperature bands

So, what happens at your place? Have you turned the heater on yet? Is the Anzac Day rule cruel or cool with you?

What’s Your opinion?


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30 Responses to
Should heaters stay off till Anzac Day?
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Loviatar 5:13 pm 28 Apr 16

My housemate has certainly been running the heating (until I point out how ridiculous that is and switch it off) almost every day since it dropped down below 15 overnight. Then again, she also runs it to dry clothes (hanging them outside or doing washing before 4pm is too hard apparently) and has no concept of closing windows or doors while the heating/air con is on (but will close all doors/windows when she smokes in the laundry for some reason).

Me personally, I’m still sleeping with the window open most nights and won’t be touching the heater for at least a few weeks. Our house hasn’t dropped below 21 inside yet, and that’s more than warm overnight.

old canberran 3:44 pm 28 Apr 16

Well, that’s a new one on me. I was born there and lived there until 1988 and the only “rule” relating to Anzac day and heaters was they usually went on full time after Anzac day. I don’t remember any rule about not putting heaters on before Anzac day as there was always a night or two where it got cold enough to have a fire/heater.
If there was such a rule it probably had something to do with the fact that most heating back in the 40s and 50s was wood consumed in Rayburn slow combustion heaters or oil burning heaters. When the fires started so did the fogs due to the fact that Canberra is in a valley and there is a temperature inversion when heaters go on and the smoke can’t get away due to the blanket of cold air covering the valley.

Crazed_Loner 2:59 pm 28 Apr 16

rommeldog56 said :

heater on anzac day?

blimey….

i try to hang out to the june long weekend….

last week i gave in in the last week in may though.

must be getting soft in my old age….

There’s always one. Cue Monty Python’s Four Yorkshiremen sketch.

Crazed_Loner 2:49 pm 28 Apr 16

It’s not so much that they have to stay off until Anzac Day but that’s when they historically need to come on for comfortable living. It’s simply a response to the usually prevailing weather and uncanny in its accuracy – last year, for example. This year is an obvious, pleasant exception so we’re in the ‘bonus’ period now, though we’ve had occasional years like this before.

Rollersk8r 9:56 am 26 Apr 16

gooterz said :

Kalliste said :

April has been unbelievably warm so far, compared to long term averages.

We can thank global warming for that. If only we could turn that on and off like a heater.

It is even stuffing up the bolt hole that we hoped might actually benefit, Tasmania. Their fisheries were savaged this year and their protracted drought has lead to massive fires and energy shortages from the Hydro due to lack of water.

Best current financial advice is sell oil, buy water futures. The Chinese are not as thick as some, and are grabbing arable land and water rights wherever they can.

I think you’ll find Tasmania’s problems are the result of (a) the broken electricity link to the mainland (Bass-link) and (b) the fact they chose to generate and sell excess hydro electricity – which has left them stranded.

carnardly 10:29 pm 25 Apr 16

heater on anzac day? blimey….

i try to hang out to the june long weekend…. last week i gave in in the last week in may though. must be getting soft in my old age….

Maya123 10:03 am 24 Apr 16

I am a Rabbit™ said :

JC said :

dungfungus said :

No heating before Anzac Day or after Melbourne Cup. Immutable rule.

Was it really zero in Canberra on March 19? 5.3 at the airport, 6.3 at Tuggers the minima. Unless you live on Mt Ginini…

Hadn’t heard of Melbourne Cup being used in relation to heating before. Does it correlate with the average climate stats?

Melbourne Cup is for planting tomatoes, but everything is shifting.

Floriade may no longer last until the Labour Day long weekend. My garden starts greeing and flowering earlier each year, last year my bulbs popped up weeks early.

September with protection for tomatoes.

lolaberra 11:30 pm 23 Apr 16

I certainly grew up with this lore as law in our house! Made for some very chilly Aprils back in the day.

I was told quite recently that it was to do with ACT public housing and shared heating facilities, when residents had to agree to turn the heating on.

Perrin 6:40 pm 23 Apr 16

I guess it’s “a thing”, like the US thing about not wearing white after Labor Day. No one’s sure where it came from, everyone has a theory, and everyone knows about it.

dungfungus 4:19 pm 23 Apr 16

I am a Rabbit™ said :

JC said :

dungfungus said :

No heating before Anzac Day or after Melbourne Cup. Immutable rule.

Was it really zero in Canberra on March 19? 5.3 at the airport, 6.3 at Tuggers the minima. Unless you live on Mt Ginini…

Hadn’t heard of Melbourne Cup being used in relation to heating before. Does it correlate with the average climate stats?

Melbourne Cup is for planting tomatoes, but everything is shifting.

Floriade may no longer last until the Labour Day long weekend. My garden starts greeing and flowering earlier each year, last year my bulbs popped up weeks early.

Could that have something to do with climate?

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