Lights off. Heater on. What?
April 6, 2010 1:39 AM Subscribe
Why does turning off my lights sometimes cause my heater to turn on?
posted by 0xFCAF to science & nature (10 answers total)
Setup: I have an apartment with electric heat. Sometimes when I turn off the lights in the living room, the electric heater in the living room (whose thermostat is directly above the lightswitch) turns on instantly thereafter (literally as if the lightswitch itself were controlling the heater). What's going on here? Vibrations from me hitting the light panel? Changes in voltage that I don't understand? Ancient Indian burial grounds?
omgconfirmationbias math: In the absence of a causal relationship, these things should be completely independent. I toggle the lights in the living room 4 times a day, tops, and the heater turns on less than half a second later. Even if the heater cycled 100 times per day and I toggled the lights 16 times per day (both huge over-estimates), I'd still only have a ~1% chance of seeing this in any given day, and this usually happens at least once a week in the winter.