Sunday, January 10, 2016

Shower power

My favorite time to have a shower is just before bedtime, so I can get into my cozy warm pajamas and thick socks at once. It's also practical to bathe kids after supper, once they've finished getting dirty for the day.  Lately, however, I was forced to re-evaluate this practice, due to us living in an area with plenty of power shortages in winter.

In Israel, most houses heat water using solar energy. Of course, for this to be efficient, you need to have plenty of sunlight. Israel is a sunny country, but there are those days/weeks in winter which are cloudy, rainy or even (in some areas) snowy. Also, days are shorter in winter so you have fewer hours of sunlight, and the water might get cold again before you shower. Then you need to turn on the water heater. Even if you don't mind the extra expense, it's not an option if there's a power shortage like we had this week.

So here's our new strategy: if there's a sunny day and our solar heating provides plenty of hot water, I take advantage of it while I can and we all take showers during the day or right after sunset, before the water gets cold.

An additional bonus of taking daytime showers or baths is that we don't need to waste electricity on heating the bathroom itself, or at least we don't need to heat it as much, because it's a lot warmer than it is in the evening.

I've also come to the conclusion that it's OK for kids not to take showers every day in winter. It's quite enough if their hands and faces are clean. For the baby, I prepare a pail of hot water (which can be heated on the gas stove) to wash his tushy as needed.


Tammy said...

Sounds good to me!
Our son isn't an outdoorsy kid, he much prefers to stay inside and play with toys, tv, books or games (including electronic ones). So he doesn't get a bath/shower every night either. He's 7.

Stay warm, and happy winter!

Lady Anne said...

I have often wondered if my mum was allergic to water. She would come pounding on the bathroom door if my sister or I let the water run too long, and my grandmother said even as a child she'd have a fit it there was more than an inch or two of water in the tub.

Anyway, we were only allowed three baths a week. Saturday night so we'd be clean for church, Tuesday night and Thursday. She claimed we didn't sweat in the winter, and we didn't go to school in the summer, so nobody knew if we smelled funky.

Other than those horrible mad dashes through the communal shower after gym class in high school (did you have that in Israel?) I never had a shower until I was out on my own. Mum didn't believe you could actually get clean that way, and the thought of her hair running down her back gave her chills.

t's really a wonder I'm as normal as I am - which isn't saying much, I'm afraid.

Kim said...

You are not alone. My very active five year old gets a bath every other day or every two days in winter because her skin gets so dry. Her bath is always at night because it is the only way I can ensure she will stay clean.