Wednesday, August 15, 2007

A Tale of Two Temperatures

Today's post transports you, the reader, back to the mundane. No fake news stories, just a commentary regarding the accuracy of the temperature reading inside my little wine storage unit, aka the Emerson Suites.

The unit (actually units, since I added a second one) comes with a digital temperature readout. Curious me bought a cheap indoor/outdoor thermometer at WalMart the other day to see (1) how the temperature per the thermometer compares to what the Emerson Suite tells me it is, and (2) check the minimum and maximum temperatures both inside the unit and outside. I must add I was pleasantly surprised at the checkstand as the shelf tag said the thermometer cost $11.95 but the register rang up an even $5.00. Such a bargain!

On the first point: I put the outdoor probe inside the wine unit, hanging from the top shelf near the 2nd bottle from the left. As you can clearly see, the temp reading is 59.0 degrees. As you can not-so-clearly see, the temp readout from the wine unit says 57 degrees. Hmm.. I have to tell you, every time I check the wine unit readout, it is always 57 degrees. I thought, wow, that's really good. Now I am wondering if somehow they program the readout to equal the desired temp you set using the buttons on the handle. The program would read something like this:

GET desired temp owner inputs via buttons
WAIT a little bit so owner is not suspicious
DISPLAY desired temp to make owner happy

Well, that's a pretty cynical view and I don't think that is the case. I'm not sure where the built in temp sensor is inside my Emerson Suite but I do allow for variations within the box depending on the location. So 59 degrees isn't so bad. The minimum reading was 58.2 degrees and the max was 59.2 so a 1 degree variation over the course of 24 hours is not bad at all.

Now to point #2: The outside temperature, i.e., the room temperature, hit a max of 87 degrees and a minimum of 76 degrees. That's HOT! Not surprising, since Southern California seems to be in the midst of an all-summer-long unbearable heat wave that is driving me nuts. 87 degrees inside the house! But it has been at least 100 outside so I'll count my blessings. You can bet I make a beeline to the thermostat when I get home from work!

Conclusion: while I would ideally like my Emerson Suites to keep its valued occupants at a year-round 57 degrees, I certainly can't complain under the circumstances. Not when it is doing an admirable job of keeping the temps below 60 degrees when the surrounding air gets over 27 degrees higher than the inside.

That was just one of the suites I tested. I don't want to keep opening and closing the door, paranoid that I am. I'll test the other one when I remove the next wine of the week (i.e., when I have to open the door).

Pretty mundane subject, huh? Tomorrow: another shocking news article!

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