Tag Archives: cold

Lessons Learned at -20° F

ThermometerAs one from “away” here in Maine, I have been warned repeatedly about the terrible winters here.  Up until this week, we have been pretty lucky – a couple of 8″ snow falls, cool temps, but nothing worse than the PA winters I have experienced all of my life.  Well, the thermometer dipped a bit this week – with temperatures dropping past the -20° F mark.

Overall, we fared pretty well by keeping the wood stove in the house well fed and threw an extra blanket on each of the beds – after all, our house has experienced this every year for the past 25 or so…

But, my office, which is separate and above the garage,  was a bit of a different story.  In my haste to move my consulting operations to Maine, I installed a nice little Jotul 602 wood stove as the sole source of heat – without any back-up.  Usually a bit chilly in the morning until the stove got things warmed up, but functional.  Well, Monday morning was a bit different with temperatures in my office at about 9° F – a little tough to work in.  What’s worse, the computers , printers and scanners didn’t like it much either.  Hard drives refused to spin up and computer fans screamed like banshees when I woke them up.

IMG_2046It took almost 4 hours with the little wood stove wide open to get to the point where I could take off my coat (the hat stayed on all day) at about 40° F.  Although the space is well insulated, I am slowly finishing off the walls and ceilings -very slowly.  Hopefully next year will be a bit different, but I still think that I will opt for a propane back-up – just to keep things above 40° F so the little stove doesn’t have to work so hard.

From what I hear, this was probably the worst of it.  Even the few native Mainers that I know were complaining about the cold.  Although, there were still a few testosterone laden folks walking around in tee shirts without coats – guess it proved something, not sure what.

Spring is coming and I am looking forward to it.  I thank the spirits here for offering  a very mild first winter – just a taste, but also a lesson on what could have been a lot worse.  They say February still has the highest snow fall and can be pretty brutal – but, I am set.  Snow shoes and skis at the ready and my portable computer available for work in the main Maine house from an easy chair next to the fire.