1 Heat for When You Have No Heat | The Billfold

Heat for When You Have No Heat

7:15 a.m. (alarm clock) Blow dry inside of bed

7:20 a.m. (alarm clock) Blow dry inside of bed

7:30 a.m. (shower) Do not blow dry

7:40 a.m. (post-shower) Blow dry inside of slippers

7:40 a.m. (post-shower) Blow dry hair, whole head, face, shoulders

8:00 a.m. (getting dressed) Blow dry inside of pant legs

8:05 a.m. (still getting dressed) Blow dry socks

8:10 a.m. Call landlord to report unworking heat


8:30 p.m. Duct tape edges of all windows while listening to Betty Harris. Feel like I’m in movie scene about living in city.

9:00 p.m. Heat comes on for ten minutes. Is insane orgasmic amazing. Almost cry.
And then like cruel, fleeting lover, heat leaves without a trace, never to return.


7:15 a.m. (alarm clock) Blow dry inside of bed

7:20 a.m. (alarm clock) Blow dry inside of bed

7:30 a.m. (shower) Do not blow dry

7:40 a.m. (post-shower) Blow dry inside of slippers

7:40 a.m. (post-shower) Blow dry hair, whole head, face, shoulders

8:00 a.m. (getting dressed) Blow dry inside of pant legs

8:05 a.m. (still getting dressed) Blow dry socks

8:10 a.m. Call landlord to report unworking heat.


Lauren Rodrigue has a cold, cold heart, body, room, life. 


29 Comments / Post A Comment

honey cowl (#1,510)

I don’t think I have EVER laughed harder than this.

josefinastrummer (#1,850)

And now I am freezing!

this is relevant because my heat has been dying slowly for weeks and my elderly, crotchety landlady told me that it’s fine because last year we used too much heat so this was just making up for that.

finally last night, once it got down to 50 in our apartments, all four of us in the building banded together and called her repeatedly until she sent a repairman. apparently the motor had burnt out. thanks, landlady!

selenana (#673)

@Madeline Shoes For a minute I read that you “huddled together” instead of banded together and it was good.

questingbeast (#2,409)

Relevant to my interests. It’s 7pm and I’m in bed wearing a hat and scarf. Heating’s not even broken, just a) shit, b) expensive.

probs (#296)

My heat is broken, but luckily I guess enough residual heat comes in from the rest of the building that it’s not tooooooo bad. I need to put another work order in, they’ve clearly forgotten about me.

Blondsak (#2,299)

I haven’t used the heater in my apartment yet this winter. It works wonderfully, but is so expensive! It was easier last year because the winter was unusually mild, but (like most of the US) we are in a cold snap right now and it’s become very noticeable. Even my furball kitty has been digging herself underneath the covers to sleep!

ATF@twitter (#1,471)

Haaaaaaa. I have electric heat and the heater in the bathroom crapped out one winter. My solution as I waited for it to be fixed was to turn the blow dryer on while I was in the shower. I’d just stick it in the sink and let it go as I showered. It did the trick.

EM (#1,012)

At my last apartment my landlord told me that both adjusting the thermostat in my apartment getting space heater were eviction-worthy offenses. I used to huddle in front of my toaster oven for warmth.

@Michelle Howwwwww is that an eviction-worthy offense?! That’s cruel.

MissMushkila (#1,044)

I live in MN, where it has been well below zero every single day. My boyfriend and I are in a new apartment with a few electric baseboard heaters and poor insulation. IT IS SOOOOO UNBEARABLY COLD. We paid 450 for our electric bill last month and our pipes still keep partially freezing. I’m pretty sure one of them broke this morning, but luckily our landlord has decided it is time to update the heating system.

(although he doesn’t seem to understand the concept of reasonable notice, so I came home to find a work crew yesterday in my bathroom surrounded by all of my bras I had hung to dry after hand washing. “hello strange men. yes, those are my bras. sorry, I had no idea there would be strangers in my home today!”)

Generally, I have been wearing ski gear and trying to use my oven to heat the apartment. I don’t know if that is safe, but it works!

julebsorry (#1,572)

@MissMushkila NOT SAFE. See my note below about boiling water instead.

Also, that sounds awful. I hope the heating system update helps! I hate being cold :(

@MissMushkila Yes, stop using your oven! See here for why not, courtesy of the New Hampshire Carbon Monoxide Work Group’s crack PowerPoint team. Ski gear is a good strategy, though.

When my house was without heat for a week in 2011, I wore Under Armor cold gear and my bathrobe and slippers and I cooked a lot (hanging out by the warm stove).

kristindru (#2,477)

Here in St. Louis every 100 year old + building I have lived in has crap windows that just suck the heat right out. I have been trying to save money and keep the thermostat set to 62, but yesterday I had to change the batteries and all seemed fine until I came back to my apartment 45 minutes later after a grocery store run and it was LITERALLY 85 degrees in my apartment. Not a bad thing to happen since it’s freezing, but hello, I cannot pay for it to be this toasty until spring. Need to figure out why that happened…

BananaPeel (#1,555)

@kristindru Hello, fellow St. Louisan! Have you tried that insulation that you can get at Home Depot that’s like saran wrap for your windows? Worked well for me.

julebsorry (#1,572)

Tricks if you don’t have heat:

-Boil a big pot of water on the stove. The warm moisture in the air will raise the temp in the room a few degrees. Add some lemons or cinnamon to pretend it’s just something festive instead of something necessary.

-Seal off one room thoroughly to trap the heat in. Get everyone to be in this room, ESPECIALLY if you have dogs. Dogs are nature’s space heaters. Blankets over the windows can also help, although you may worry your neighbors will then think you’re a meth-head.

-HOT HOT HOT shower. Close the door while you do it. Luxuriate in your steam sauna before running back to your closed-off room.

-Buy an inexpensive quartz heater. Seems to suck up electricity much less than oil-filled space heaters, which will provide not as much heat and shockingly high power bills.

Tips learned by spending one year with no heat because I couldn’t figure out how to get gas heat hooked up to my weird rented house and was too young to realize you can yell at the landlord if this happens (also, I lived somewhere warm and it was only below 30 maybe a week or so out of the year).

SandyStillSux (#3,093)

@julebsorry During Sandy we did the boil water thing, and my friend did it too… Water dripped down the walls and we both still see “ghost drips” in our apartments!

Thinking of those folks still affected by Sandy, just read an article in the NY Times, we are having a very cold snap here in NYC.

One resourceful lady, a former nurse, is using bricks for heat. But I think you do have to be careful of what kind of bricks you use, because they can explode if there is moisture in them (I hear?!) But there are special fireplace bricks you can buy.

Heated Bricks: If you have a gas oven or fireplace, you can heat bricks up to a high temperature. If you have an electric oven and expect a power outage, you can warm the bricks up as a precaution. Remove the bricks when they are warm, but still touchable. Bricks hold warmth for a long time, sometimes days. You can wrap these bricks in towels and warm up your bed.

julebsorry (#1,572)

@SandyStillSux Haha, ghost drips! Yes, it’s a terrible permanent solution – I learned this when my kitchen wallpaper began visibly sagging off the walls and my coffeemaker would mold literally overnight. But for a few days it’ll definitely help in a pinch.

Bricks! That’s pretty genius, although yeah, I’d be terrified of exploding ones. But I kinda want one just to warm my feet up in bed b/c they’re always FREEZING despite the apartment temp. Better solution than putting my cold feet on my husband to warm up :D

julebsorry (#1,572)

Also,feeling so happy right now that my NYC landlord has to pay for heat. Living in a studio apartment with only 2 windows in a really old, well-insulated building with crazy-active steam radiators, it’s been toasty (to the point of having to crack a window occasionally).

chic noir (#713)

@julebsorry – you lucky thing and I love steam heaters.

pterodactylish (#2,321)

I do this dance, too, but only because my heat is turned off from roughly 1 a.m. to 6 a.m., if you base it on boiler bangs, but SOME OF US GET UP AT 5:30

AlliNYC (#1,725)

@pterodactylish YES. THIS. I want to kill my landlord and roommate when they’re like “no, the temperature is fine, stop complaining/running a space heater”… the landlord doesn’t LIVE in my building, and my roommate doesn’t wake up until 7:30-8. Screw everyone.

kellyography (#250)

So, so familiar. Our heat works acceptably well if it’s in the 20s-30s, but once it gets down to the teens and zeroes like it has this week, the thermostat can be up to 70 and it still feels like 50 in the house. 100+ year old row house + basement living = frozen town. I keep small electric space heaters in my room and do the blow-dry-my-whole-body thing after a shower.

Ovens are also excellent, if inefficient, sources of heat. Baking?! :)

saritasara (#2,710)

Three words — Hot. Water. Bottle.
Tuck one of those babies in bed with you at night and I guarantee you will not be cold, no matter what the room temp is.
Pro tip: put it under the covers an hour or so before you get in bed, to start heating up the sheets.

navigateher (#555)

Is this real world? You people really live like this? Coming from the country of heated-to-the-point-of-unhealthy apartments, this is both horrible and strangely fascinating. (Mostly horrible.) (And sad.)

sparrow303 (#1,641)

One year in college (in Michigan in February), our landlord “didn’t believe” our heat was out. It stayed off for almost two weeks. It was so cold I had a baking fiesta as an excuse to run the oven– brownies, cookies, bars, the works. I made piles of chocolate things.

My friends realized the magnitude of the problem when I brought over the 4th plate of cookies and made me sleep on their couch until our heat was fixed.

Nowadays, it is so hot in bf’s apartment that it’s literally impossible to sleep. Like 85 degrees when the radiators run, and they run all night. He says it’s better than being cold, but my three hours of toss-and-turn sleep beg to differ. :/ Grass, greener, etc.

Stina (#686)

1. Temporary move: (if you have electricity) A rice bed warmer. http://www.ehow.com/how_6233937_make-rice-bag-bed-warmer.html
2. Permanent move: Report crappy landlords to the government Building Inspectors.

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