03 Jan

Comparing Christmas in 2 very different homes

Comparing Christmas in 2 very different homes

Happy New Year to you all, we hope you had a great Christmas break. Since we got back to work some of us here at Purr Towers have been looking at the results of a little experiment we set up over the break. At Christmas Hermione spent her time in an 18th century folly in North Yorkshire (DP) and I (Liz Stevens) spent it in my parents 70’s build house on the south coast (CC). We thought it might be interesting to take a look at how the 2 buildings behaved with all the family piling in and a roast dinner in the oven.


DP – The 18th century folly is a sprawling 2 story house with 6 bedrooms, single glazed, not insulated, 4 external doors, oil central heating, open fires and a large aga in the kitchen. 8 people stayed in the house over the Christmas period.

CC – This is a 70’s build box shaped house with double glazing, cavity wall insulation, a very well insulated roof, 4 bedrooms, 2 external doors, a partly integrated garage and gas central heating. 4 people stayed here over night during the period and there were 9 people in the house during the day on Christmas day.

Cooking the Christmas dinner:

DP has an Aga which is constantly running at least at a low level where as CC has a conventional gas oven. The kitchen at DP is a large room with a dining table that seats 8 people, we can see that the cooking of the roast dinner doesn’t have much impact on the temperature in this room as the heat is dissipating and there is no clear time when the oven is working.

CC has a conventional gas oven so you can clearly see when the oven is turned on (11am). The kitchen at CC doesn’t have any radiators which means it can get quite cold on a normal day but it was constantly warm with all of the cooking and people coming and going. You can also see the oven heating up the room on Christmas Eve while a ham is being roasted.

Eating our Christmas dinner:

You might have already guessed that DP was rather colder than CC with one of the rooms hardly getting above 16 degrees over the period we monitored despite being heated by a radiator. It’s a very large room, which doesn’t get much daylight, with single glazed windows and a stone floor. This was actually the room where they had their Christmas dinner and the temperature peaked just below 17 degrees – ouch chilly.

It makes a very interesting comparison to CC where our lunch time temperature was about 22 degrees and the temperature didn’t drop below 20 degrees for the whole period. You can see the difference when you have a well heated well insulated modern carpeted dining room.

CC conclusions:

We looked to see what was going on with the temperature quite a bit over the Christmas period and there were a few things that surprised us about the findings. I found that I was only comfortable when the temperature was below 22 degrees, once the temperature climbed above this I felt like I was in a tropical jungle. Clearly other people didn’t always agree but it was interesting to know my threshold. We have always know that the downstairs bathroom (Kitten 29) was always rather cold but we didn’t really quite how bad it was and we had no idea that they temperature in the hall by the front door (Kitten 32) was so low. You can see from the Hotspotter view here that they spent rather a lot of the Christmas period below 18 degrees although it wasn’t surprising to see the kitchen (Kitten 13) above 25 degrees for 28% of the time.

You can also see how the temperature changed from Saturday till Monday:

DP conclusions:

Well we already knew that it was going to be colder at DP over Christmas as it’s further north (so colder outside) and it’s an old building with a few poorly insulated slightly more modern extensions. I think we were all a little shocked at just how cold the dining room was but this room isn’t often used as there is a large dining room in the cosy kitchen not far from the Aga. It’s a big house and it’s going to take more heating than the average building even in warmer parts of the year. I think I for one might have been more comfortable with the temperatures at DP but it really does show us that comfort levels are very personal to everyone. The Hotspotter view below is very interesting and really shows you how cold the downstairs of DP was over Christmas, I’m sure there were lots of cosy Christmas jumpers being worn (I didn’t get to wear mine once at CC!). The dining room is Kitten 48 and the kitchen is Kitten 46 but I’m sure you could have guessed that.

You can also see how the temperature changed from Saturday till Monday:

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