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Stacking wood and staying warm: time, temporality and housework around domestic heating systems

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>03/2016
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Consumer Culture
Issue number1
Volume16
Number of pages18
Pages (from-to)43-60
Publication statusPublished
Early online date11/11/13
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

This paper presents a study of the socio-technical ordering of time around wood-fuelled heating systems of detached houses. It analyses the sequences and rhythms that organize the work of domestic heating, its synchronization with other daily activities, and tempo as the subjective experience of time in these activities. The study is based on a large, pre-existing Finnish free-form diary collection. We suggest that domestic energy technologies become useable and useful through the gradual embedding that involves the temporal organization of everyday life. As a result, technologies that organize time are not only convenient in an invisible way but also act as taken-for-granted coordinates and rhythms of human pursuits in everyday life. In many countries, wood-fuelled heating systems remain a common renewable energy technology in detached houses and stand as one option to lower related carbon emissions. However, the broader use of wood is compromised by time and convenience.