Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Winter is always coming

Here in the North Country winter is always a concern. If you’ve ever chopped wood in 80 degree heat you probably live in snow country. 

I was talking to my cousin today and conversation wandered its way to winter heating. That sort of conversation is never out of place in the frost lands. 

We were discussing how home heating oil took a huge jump at the end of the last heating season. My cousin was reduced to buying gas station diesel to run his furnace. A full load of heating oil from the oil company was too big a price to pay upfront. 

He also reminded of the time propane was pretty much unavailable one winter. Then there was the winter no one could get wood pellets for their pellet stoves. That’s why I like having an old school woodstove. I can use cleaner burning compressed wood blocks or traditional firewood. The blocks are clean and easy, but regular wood works just fine too. It helps that I really do live in the woods. 

So why don’t I move to someplace warmer? While winters can be harsh there are some things I don’t worry too much about. For one thing I don’t even own an air conditioner. Hurricanes and tornadoes are pretty rare in the mountains of New Hampshire. My house is at 1200 feet elevation and not in a flood prone area. 

Subzero temperatures we do get so heating is essential. Currently I can heat with wood, heating oil or electricity. I doubt that heating oil will be an economical choice for next winter. Looks like we’ll be using the woodstove, with both wood and fiber blocks. Electric will be a backup for when we aren’t around to feed the stove. There’s a perfectly functional propane furnace sitting on my porch right now. I’m debating if it would be worth installing it or not. Decisions, decisions.



  1. My whole train of thought is ten years down the road.
    When fuel for transportation and chain saws is too costly or just plain gone.
    That and ten years from now , likely my body physically unable to cut the wood and split it.
    Gonna be a tough world in ten years for old farts.

    1. I'm feeling it. I know in a pinch I can heat my house without a gas chainsaw using wood within walking distance. I did it before. Boy were we poor that year. Also, was younger and in better condition. Better work on that.

    2. Can't work on getting any younger. Best work on getting smarter. I'm hearing that loud and clear in my bones.

    3. I certainly can get in better condition. Kinda have to. Spent too much of the winter healing up.