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

Mikko Jalas*, Jenny Rinkinen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-60
Number of pages18
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2016
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • heating systems
  • household consumption
  • housework
  • renewable energy
  • temporality
  • Time

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