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Archive for November 22nd, 2010

22.11.10 – Brrrrrr! It was cold this morning! What happened to my warm little tree fort in the sky? I had to don my long underwear under the blankets and let them warm up before I could get out of bed. A check of the thermometer just outside my kitchen window told me it was -5°C which has been the norm all week, nothing crazy.

I’m pretty sure every apartment I’ve been to in Finland has radiators. Maybe it’s a result of being a Nordic Welfare State (BTW, Finland isn’t a Socialist country because the countries means of production are not state-owned), an “all for one and one for all” kind of sharing characteristic in this country. Transportation leans more towards public trams, buses and a small but easily accessible metro, rather than everyone owning their own car. Healthcare may not be cutting edge but it’s available to everyone and it’s affordable. Why not share the warmth with radiated heat instead of individually controlled thermostats in each apartment?

Radiators require a little maintenance though ;) My landlord showed me the radiator “key” when I was first moving in. “Put this in a safe place where you can easily find it!” Each room has a radiator, a flat panel almost flush to the wall which usually spans as much length as possible on the wall facing outside and almost three feet (or a meter) high. There’s a simple knob valve which opens it up, on, or closes it, off, with a couple of turns. There’s also a little valve as high as possible on the radiator. Over time, the radiator will become filled with air and lose the ability to heat the apartment. You basically open the valve with a special key to bleed the air out of the radiator and maximize the warm water in which allows the radiator to do its job.

Getting out of my warm bed wasn’t easy but at least I knew the drill and got the place nice and toasty in no time. You only need to do this every couple of months so hopefully I’ll be set for a while now ;)

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