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Could You Live Without Heat?

In the New York Times article Chilled by Choice, writer Penelope Green interviews a number of people across the country living in cold climates (such as New York and Colorado) who choose to live in a home with no heating. In the Winter. Many of these folks' homes are an average of 30 to 40 degrees in the Winter, and they point to a number of reasons for their choice to live without heat.

I have a very hard time imagining that I could handle these temperatures, and I definitely don't want to wash dishes in a down jacket, or rig my toilet so it runs constantly, thus preventing frozen pipes, as these folks do. Still, I admire the pioneer spirit of these cold-weather-embracing dwellers. I just don't think I want to be one of them.

Source: Flickr User chispita_666

Join The Conversation
kurniakasih kurniakasih 7 years
Um no. I grew up in a tropical country where the temperature never fall below 75 (and that's we consider cold 75) all year long and goshdarnit, I almost 'died' the first Winter here. LOL.
4evrfuzzy 4evrfuzzy 7 years
I live in Portland and I try to o as long as I can w/o turning on the heat. I NEVER turn it on before December, and I try to only turn it on every few days if I'm REALLY cold. Otherwise, I run on my treadmill to keep warm (GREAT MOTIVATION BTW) or take a bath. Plus, your body burns more calories trying to keep warm than it does trying to stay cool, so that's a bonus too. Oh yeah, environment stuff ;)
betty-kraker betty-kraker 7 years
no way i hate the cold and im in the Midwest so its real cold at times
Gdeeaz Gdeeaz 7 years
I live in Los Angeles and we don't have heat at my house. If it gets to cold we just sit by the fireplace.
runningesq runningesq 7 years it's been in the 20s the past few weeks. we live in a really old rowhouse (it was built in 1910) and the pipes froze the winter we moved in... now they are wrapped with healing coils and it was a total PITA to unfreeze them.
kimmyk10 kimmyk10 7 years
I am living in Arizona and I couldn't live without heat here. It gets chilly at night time in the desert. I just moved back to AZ from Colorado, and there is absolutely no way I could go without heating there, it boggles my mind that people could do that...
LittleMzFit LittleMzFit 7 years
Only if I lived in the tropics! Then, it wouldn't matter.
HoneyBrown1976 HoneyBrown1976 7 years
I've experienced having no heat from time as I watched my mom struggle with bills. Hell no. I need heat. GlowingMoon, living in the warmer side of the country does not equip you to living with no heat. You live where there's a choice, not a necessity.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 7 years
Yes, I could. I live in the warmer part of the country, so I can manage. Besides, I prefer to be on the cool side. I don't like being heated. Also, heated air tends to give me nosebleeds.
weffie weffie 7 years
When I was a kid, our house was heated by a woodstove, so when we woke up in the morning and the fire had died down overnight it was FREEZING! Often you could see your breath while you brushed your teeth, and even though it was only for the first 20 mins of the day it was awful... I don't think I could stand it full-time, and I certainly couldn't tolerate the trickling sound of the toilet running 24/7!
kimmieb124 kimmieb124 7 years
Definitely not. I hate being cold. If it was financially and environmentally sound, I would have our house much warmer than we currently keep it.
syako syako 7 years
I agree with anon in comment 5. I probably could have easily lived heat free in NOLA, but now that I live somewhere with actual seasons, I'm going to say no thanks. We keep our house pretty cool though (62) and do fine. I don't have problems wearing socks/slippers and sweaters at home. Plus cuddling with hubby with a huge blanket while watching movies and drinking hot tea is an added bonus. :)
kclulu kclulu 7 years
Absolutely not. I hate the cold and feel completely tense when I am in cold and I want to feel like I can relax when I am in my own home. I also agree with Belle28 about motivated. If I am cold all I would want to do is lay on the couch bundled up and I wouldn't get anything done.
LMessing LMessing 7 years
I *do* practically live without heat, but I live in Austin TX: our winters are legitimately cold, but they only last for a month or so. I can and do manage to function when it's as cold as 55 in my house, but I don't think I could do it for more than a few weeks. I didn't notice anything in the NYT piece about those people having kids. I'd never subject a baby or child to a cold house.
khameel khameel 7 years
I'm always cold (and often wonder why I live in the Northeast during the winter) so I could NOT live without heat!
belle28 belle28 7 years
my roommate could. it's something i could probably adapt to, but simply choose not to. i LOVE being warm. and i know i could pack on the clothes and blankets, but breathing in cold air just bothers me. plus i feel more motivated when i'm content with the temp.
mo_ri_ah mo_ri_ah 7 years
If it wasn't for my 12 year old dog, I wouldn't have the heat on at all. I have 2 small heaters for each room. I love in Los Angeles though and the absolute coldest it gets is 30 degrees, lol.
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