07 January 2014

Relentless winter

I suspect that the first week in January is probably too early to be getting fed up of winter weather. We haven't had a full thaw since before Christmas, so the layer of ice that fell in the pre-Christmas ice storm is still there, and every so often the weather warms up enough to melt the snow on top of it, but never enough to melt that underlying layer of ice. Which makes walking outside tricky.

The children have not gone back to school yet as the last two days have been extremely cold and windy. Today we've had snow all day with 30mph/50km/h winds, visibility has been pretty low at times. You can see from the trees that the wind has pasted the west-facing trunks with snow.

Temperatures at the end of last week were around -25°C/-13°F. It's a bit warmer this week, but with the wind, it doesn't really feel it! We've been using the kids' toboggans (and the kids!) to bring wood for the fires down from the barns.

We don't rely on the fires now in the way we did in our first winter here, as the geothermal heating copes pretty well in averagely cold temperatures, but warmly glowing logs are a very welcome sight once the temperature dips below about -15°C/5°F!


Lisa from Iroquois said...

You mention geothermal working pretty well in normal coldness. What happens during our current deep freeze? How easy is it to bump up the warmth when living with a geo-thermal system? And how is it for the summer? What happens when the power goes out? We have a combination of oil, propane and wood but have wondered about geo-thermal.

Amanda said...

Hi Lisa

The geothermal system works on a thermostat, so you can set it to whatever temperature you want. We've found that ours can maintain 18C quite happily in the winter, so long as the outside temperature is no lower than -10C. Below that, and we need to use the woodstoves to keep it from running flat-out!

And in the summer it does a great job of cooling the house - it has never got too hot to make it struggle.

It needs electricity to run, of course, so we didn't have it on during the recent power outage. That's when the woodstoves were really essential!