Well, well, February has arrived with a cold and sunny flourish! A wind chill of -25C this morning makes for a foot stomping outdoor experience. The curtains in the house remained closed this morning, to keep the heat in, until the sun was well up and ready to add a little warmth to the day.
The weather people predict warmer temperatures, below freezing, but not so frigid. This will be welcome. For me, living indoors in self-isolation here at Mist Cottage, the main disadvantage of the cold snap is that the oil furnace heats the house. The oil furnace dries everything out, and the relative humidity can drop below 20%, which is not comfortable, or even healthy. So much time is spent wetting and hanging towels near the heating vents. This can bring the relative humidity up to 30%, if one is diligent. The timer is set for three hours, as a reminder that it is time to again wet the towels.
Our electricity provider offers usage information by the hour. It is easy to know what hour of the day hydro usage greatly increased. At Mist Cottage hydro usage increases two to three fold when the oven is turned on. It takes more electricity per hour to operate the oven than it does to heat the house. Our oven is extremely inefficient.
In view of the high cost to operate the oven, there will be an attempt to do some of the baking in the air fryer. The air fryer has no effect on the amount of hydro used in an hour, so it is much more efficient. Since it is much smaller than the range oven, adjustments will need to be made. Smaller recipes are now being researched. This takes time, so it will be days or weeks before the first attempt at baking in the air fryer.
I wonder if there is an energy efficient oven on the market? Our range is a bottom-of-the-line, cheapest-in-the-city unit. Energy efficiency is not to be expected from such a unit. It will probably last forever, but if it ever gives up the ghost I’d like to replace it with something that does not gobble electricity.
We are now on tiered electricity billing, thank goodness! This month’s billing period was extra long. The amount paid per day is slightly higher, but that is a function of mild winter days. On those days the house is heated with the air source heat pump, and that is a form of electric heating. It is wonderful that the daytime temperatures will now be above -7C, which means the oil furnace will only run during the cold of the night. The humidity can now be maintained at a healthier level.
My small concerns on a February day in Canada.
Stay safe dear friends!
Date: 7:00 AM EST Monday 1 February 2021
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 102.4 kPa
Dew point: -20.6°C
Wind: NNE 15 km/h
Wind Chill: -25
Visibility: 24 km
“Give what you have. To someone, it may be better than you dare to think.”
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
1807 – 1882