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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.

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?
Nilrem 4:43 am 23 Apr 16

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?

rubaiyat 1:39 am 23 Apr 16

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.

dungfungus 10:07 pm 22 Apr 16

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.

Your first paragraph is fact.
Your second paragraph is fantasy.

Charlotte Harper 8:28 pm 22 Apr 16

rubaiyat said :

I think it stems from the military.

ANZAC day is traditionally when winter uniform starts, hence, that’s when heaters get turned on.

That’s a very interesting theory. Our kids switch to winter uniform on Tuesday as well.

Kalliste 7:55 pm 22 Apr 16

When did we get down to 0? I certainly don’t remember that this year.. all I remember from March is the record for days above 30. Checking the bureau it shows the coldest day minimum was the 19th but it only got down to 5.

Around the start of April I changed to our winter doona and started wearing long pants and jumpers more often but never felt any need for the heater. I’m currently wearing a jumper and considering taking it off because it’s too hot!

Anyway, I have no idea why that rule exists and I think last year we turned ours on the week before but haven’t felt any need to do it this year. In our house we try to not use the AC or heating for as much time as possible and the heater usually only goes on when it starts to get quite cold.

drfelonious 6:37 pm 22 Apr 16

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.

Maya123 6:04 pm 22 Apr 16

My old work place ran to that rule.
My house is still over 20C (23C at present), so no need yet for a heater.

pajs 2:54 pm 22 Apr 16

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…

leonnie 2:43 pm 22 Apr 16

Nope! I’ve been aware of the “rule” too but never related to it or bothered to even try to do it . I work . I pay my taxes. I pay my bills. If I am cold I turn on some heating, if I am hot I use some cooling. I use my brain to consume within my means and with some reverence to the environment. Interested to know it’s origins more 🙂

buzz819 11:51 am 22 Apr 16

I think it stems from the military.

ANZAC day is traditionally when winter uniform starts, hence, that’s when heaters get turned on.

bronal 11:42 am 22 Apr 16

I always thought it was ‘we get the first frost on ANZAC Day’. Doesn’t look like this is going to happen anytime soon this year.

When you think about it, temperatures are often cool enough in Canberra over the summer period to warrant a bit of heating, even if only for a couple of hours in the evening.

Rollersk8r 11:40 am 22 Apr 16

Well it’s usually a challenge to hold out until ANZAC Day – but not this year. The last few weeks – and this week especially – have been absolutely brilliant – perfect weather. I doubt my heating’s going on for another few weeks if this keeps up.

Garfield 11:18 am 22 Apr 16

I turned my heater on in March to test if it was working and haven’t touched it since. In past years its normally been a struggle to keep it off in the couple of weeks leading up to ANZAC Day, and I sometimes gave in and turned it on and didn’t tell anyone, but this autumn has been unusually warm. In the last few days I’ve even had the cooling on in the office a few times as it became uncomfortably warm just wearing a shirt.

bd84 10:17 am 22 Apr 16

Depends on how sensitive you are really, as well as your appetite for using energy and money. In most years you can get to ANZAC day without the heating, put some pants and jumper on and you’re fine. There are the occasional years where it will get colder early or an odd very cold day before winter kicks in properly where the heater is required.

The heating hasn’t even been close to being needed this year. Lovely daytime temps warms the house to a comfortable temp. Overnight temperatures a little fresh, but it’s long pants or a jumper only at home and the house warms quickly in the morning. I think you’re wasting money if you have turned the heater on at all so far this year.

MERC600 10:14 am 22 Apr 16

Well I have changed the air con mode from cool to warm, and cleaned out the filters. But have yet to fire the thing up.

As for the heaters staying off till the 25th; well its certainly an old saying. Much like the one ; you wait until Melbourne cup day to plant your tomatoes.

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