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Dragon-breath and snow-melt: Know-how, experience and heat flows in the home
journal contributionposted on 2023-07-26, 14:56 authored by Sarah Royston
People manage heat flows in their homes through diverse skilful engagements, including interactions with a wide range of materials that help to generate heat, move it around, or prevent its movement. Using these strategies, we try to ensure that heat is where it is needed, when it is needed, and can also try to minimise its wastage (heat-out-of place and heat-out-of-time). However, the practical knowledge or know-how used in managing these thermal flows has received little attention to date, despite its relevance to topical debates on energy consumption. This paper explores how experience-based know-how is used in monitoring and managing heat flows in the home. I also consider three processes that stimulate the development of new know-how: changes in the life-course, in material arrangements, and in shared understandings. These themes are illustrated using quotes from various sources, such as web forums and advice sites. Finally, I consider how these ideas relate to wider theories of experience and know-how, and offer some reflections on what this approach might mean for research, policy and practice on sustainable energy use.
Publication titleEnergy Research & Social Science