Usually when a telemarketer rings me up and asks whether I would like a home demo of some product or other, I just say no. But I've been thinking about installing a home ventilation system, heat pumps and/or underfloor insulation all winter, so yesterday I welcomed an HRV salesman into my home to give me his Irish-accented sales pitch.
I'm sure that handsome salespeople with charming accents and the good manners to ignore a 14-month-old with his shoes, are more likely to make an on-the-spot sale than the rest. But I tend not to buy anything (unless it's at a book, DVD or clothing sale) until I've mulled it over, compared it to several competitors, talked to my friends about it and tried to get a discount.
Consumer magazine might have advice on how to choose between the different ways of cleaning or heating the air in one's home, but I'm too lazy to go and look through the stacks of magazines.
I'd rather just ask you folks.
The climate here is mild, ranging from around 5 degrees Celsius in Winter to perhaps the late 20s in summer. My place is a draughty 2-3 bedroom cottage, only insulated in the ceiling. There's a little condensation on the windows in our bedroom in Winter and the hallway sometimes has a piebald look about it. Two rooms are heated by oil column heaters and the rest of the house is au naturel i.e. fridge-like in the Winter and oven-like in mid-summer. Oh, and we're considering moving house sometime.
So what do you reckon? Should we bother with heat pumps? Would a forced-air ventilation system make a noticeable difference to my asthma? Does under-floor insulation fix cold feet better than a boyfriend's warm tummy?