The house was built with an electric furnace and air conditioner. The heating part failed about 17 years ago and we replaced the entire thing with a state of art electric heat pump. This unit becomes less efficient when the outside air temperature drops below freezing. At some point the electric resistance heaters take up the chore of heating the inside. That is more expensive than when the compressors move thermal energy in or out.
The National Weather Service thinks my nighttime (early morning) temperature will drop to 15°F by 3 am this coming Wednesday. As I write tonight at 8 pm, outside it is just at freezing.
So it is time to turn the chair around. During summer, the recliner faces the back sliding door and I can watch the sky, deer, and birds. The wood stove is behind the chair. After turning the chair around, I can warm my feet and watch the flames change color and dance around.
I started a fire at about 6 pm and watched the temperature rise. An initial hot fire is necessary to get the temperature in the stove and up the flue to a degree that the hot gasses are going up and out. When properly hot the catalytic burner can be engaged by moving a lever on the side. This burns the particles from the fire that one sees as smoke. When working properly there is nothing to be seen coming out at the top. The hot gases will cause the air to shimmer as it does above an asphalt road under a summer sun.
In the photo, there is creosote on the bottom corners of the glass. This is from last spring’s end-of-season use when the fire wasn’t hot enough to burn it off. I made sure the screen at the top of the flue stayed clean but the house was getting up into the mid-80s and I was opening doors and windows – and wasting wood.
When I started the fire tonight, the house was 68°. The room with the stove quickly climbed to about 75, and then I turned the house fan on to spread the warmth around. Bedrooms and hallway are now 71 degrees.
I mowed some of the remaining tall weeds this afternoon. I was expecting to use up the gas and park the mower, without the battery. My butt got warm and my hands got cold. There is still gas, so I have an unfinished project. Oh well. Maybe tomorrow.
Friday we bottled Syrah wine from the 2020 harvest. And next Thursday we are scheduled for something else, although I don’t know what.
For about 10 days, I’ve had the information guide and ballot for the election next Tuesday. All I have done so far is to ignore the dozens of phone calls that want me to listen to a pre-recorded message that tells me how someone wants me to vote. I pay for the phone and the connecting service and for 3 or 4 weeks the political types use the phone more than I do. I think I should get 25¢ for each time they call.
Anyway, I’ll complete my ballot and drop it in the box at the Court House on Monday. Washington is a 99+% vote-by-mail state.
News reports of “inclement” weather – is there any other kind – to the west of me caused power outages, flooding, and road closures. Both directions of Snoqualmie Pass were closed because of accidents. Puget Sound Energy had about 160,000 customers without power but at Noon Saturday only 57,000 outages remained. Flooding has not been serious so news reporters are not covering any of that.
Ellensburg is the largest town on the approach to the mountains so the DOT stops people from going beyond the west exchange. All the necessities for survival are here, and with enough warning travelers can stop sooner. Past Ellensburg to the west, civilization thins precariously.
Now, a snack, feed the stove, and bed.
Keeping track on the Naneum Fan