What’s the secret to warm homes. Ask the Norwegians.

We didn’t freeze to death. We are all still present and accounted for. In fact we didn’t even freeze. My experience is that Norwegian standards in house-building, insulation, ventilation, double-glazing are fairly impressive.  Our cozy little place just doesn’t lose heat. Ever. Unless you open doors and windows of course.

You see, I was used to always having fresh air without lifting  a finger as it was constantly seeping through the porous walls and window frames with tiny invisible deadly gaps.

When I grew up, wearing layers of jumpers was the norm. If you were cold, you put on more clothes as that was the only thing you could control. You certainly couldn’t control the house temperature. Of course we had central heating and a solid fuel fire in the kitchen and an open fire in the living room. The bedrooms and bathroom were the coldest as they relied on central heating and of course we couldn’t leave that on ALL the time. Who could afford that with the price of oil in the 70s and 80s. The problem was that when it was turned off, in came the creepy cold with hurricane speed. It never bothered me at the time, it was home, it was great, it was normal.

Houses here are built out of wood mainly because it is more flexible and durable in cold climates.  On a night when it is -20C outside, our inside temperature will fall by around 5C over eight hours, with no heat source internally (except for the humans of course).   So there is a 35 to 40C difference between inside and outside as we wake up.  I have never experienced anything like this.  And of course there is underfloor heating in the bathroom as well. Of course there is.

Our place in London had a gorgeous conservatory which was a perfect play area for a baby. But you just couldn’t, you wouldn’t.  It was a 1920s house and the cold was coming through the floor, the walls, the roof  like it was an express aim to freeze all who entered in.  Now, we have to open windows and doors for fresh air even in the heart of winter, no gratis serving anymore.   So far I am coping OK with this.

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