Google analytics

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Central Heating in the Frozen North

Well, it's almost the end of February and still the snow is lying on the ground. Except for a brief period of two or three days when the daytime temperature hit the 40's (that's Fahrenheit by the way) we have been well below freezing since we moved in in mid-November - more than 3 months. Sometimes I wonder whether I've bitten off more than I can chew!

In this climate one of the essential jobs around the house is to keep the driveway clear of snow. If you don't, it builds up and builds up, freezing next to the ground and soon becoming impassible and unusable to all but 4-wheel drives with high ground clearance. During the first few weeks we accomplished this with a snow shovel - not a good idea when you are suffering from chronic spinal issues such as I have. We were having to supplement our shoveling with a snowplow company, but they were charging $60 a visit - $90 when they also laid down grit. Anyway Liz and I decided that it would be a wise investment to get a snow blower, since our driveway is about 900 square feet. With the amount of snow we have had here this winter the snow blower has already paid for itself several times over.

One thing that I have had to necessarily become educated in after my 42 years in southern Africa are the basis of central heating. There is no central heating in that part of the World, but it is an absolute necessity up here in the frozen north - we are about 60 miles further north than Toronto in Canada. This morning we awoke to a cold house, the temperature ten degrees down from its usual 70˚F. The reason - at some time during the night the furnace had stopped because we had run out of #2 Oil. Then came another Quantum event. Liz and I were discussing the situation when my cell phone rang. It was my daughter asking how our oil was doing. As we are getting a big delivery in a couple of days, she came over and we were able to pick up a few gallons from town - enough to tide us over till Monday. The moral of this - always make sure you have at least a quarter tank of oil.