My home comfort

My sophomore year of college, I studied abroad in Europe for a year. I spent the first half of the year in Italy, the second in the South of France. I dealt with a wide range of climate changes and differences in style of clothing as well. I’m glad that I got to finish the year out in France, where the fashion is made of much lighter fabrics, since I discovered some interesting things about European living. For one, their houses are built much differently than American homes. The rooms are smaller and houses are much closer together on city streets. Something I was forced to take into account nearly immediately was that these houses did not have very forceful HVAC systems, or often, any air conditioning at all. Furnaces are rarely updated, so most of the heating systems in these houses are the ones installed at the time they were built! Because of this, it costs a great deal more to operate heating and cooling equipment for the owners of these houses. They tend to use fireplaces or just bundle up instead of keeping the furnace on all day in the winter. It’s a big cultural difference that I really hadn’t prepared for before coming overseas. The clothes that I had packed worked out in the end, but I needed to re-evaluate the way I assumed a house would be in the winter and summer months, and to make sure I wasn’t relying on modern HVAC equipment. Coming back home, that was my biggest relief of all: being able to relax regardless of the weather.

HVAC equipment