Monday, January 27, 2014

After the cold

It's become warmer and we enjoy milder minus temperatures with lots of snow!

Svempa playing & taking a bath in the snow




The icicles at our roof are getting thicker and longer due to snow melting during daytime when the sun is shining and then freezing again...


Sun is up much longer now after long winter nights. Sunrise: 9 am Sunset: 3 pm giving us approx. 8hrs of daylight. In two months days will be longer again than nights.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Heating system (with wood pellets)

In our last blog post we mentioned the importance of a good heating system at arctic temperatures. We have some pretty cold weeks behind us and temperatures around -10°C at the moment feel warm compared to -30°C before!

Usually, we heat with wood pellets but our system also allows us to heat with wood, oil or electricy. The latter is the most expensive way to heat but handy if we are away for a few days and just keep it on to hold a minimum temperature. Oil used to be the primary heating choice a few decades ago but is more expensive nowadays than wood or wood pellets. Of course there are other methods of heating such as heat pumps or geothermal heating but we do not have these systems installed in our house.

Wood pellets can either be delivered in big sacks (approx. 600kg), small sacks or if you have a huge storage they can even be pumped directly into the house from a truck. We have small sacks, which are being delivered in pallets 800kg each. To 'survive' a winter we need 6-7 pallets resulting in about 5.5 tons of pellets. It does sound like a lot but considering that we have a detached house that needs constant heating from October to May it is not so bad. It still is quite a bit of a job to carry over 300 sacks from our garden into the basement (usually we do this in autumn before the first snow).

We still have a few sacks left...

Our pellet burner
  

Pellets silo lasting 3-6 days when turned on 24/7...
 ...when it's empty we fill it up with 16kg sacks. Filled up it contains about 130kg of pellets.


Sunday, January 19, 2014

Arctic Temperatures

Winter is in its best mood at the moment with temps below -30°C. Last night we had -35°C and we heard cracking sounds around our house - wood lives! In some areas of Lapland it was even colder. A few hundret kilometers further north near Pajala -44.5°C were reported!
Our heating system is very busy at the moment consuming loads of pellets. There is nothing like an effective + reliable heating system at cold temperatures like these. (Another article about our heating system might follow soon!)

Although it's warm & cosy inside at 20°C above zero ;o) the cold is creeping in...
  
...on our windows...

and at our door...

At temps below -30°C we don't spend much time outside but it's worth the views! The landscape is so beautiful at a clear blue sky... just magical...




Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Crazy weather

First of all, HAPPY NEW YEAR everyone!

Let's talk about the weather today. The weather is a bit crazy at the moment, isn't it? While it's been unusual warm here in Europe it's freezing cold in North America at the other side of the pond. So far, here in Lapland at the Arctic Circle it's been unusual warm this winter. While in mid Europe weather is springlike with temps above 10°C we are facing the same phenomenon here just that it's around 10 degrees colder. Between Christmas and New Year we had a few degrees plus and just 150km east of us at the Gulf of Bothnia they didn't even have snow this Christmas. That's pretty unusual! Despite thaw during the holidays we still have enough snow and it's been snowing a lot the past days with temps around zero.

However, by the end of this week we are supposed to get freezing temps again (below -20°C). A clear sign that the winter isn't over yet!

 Icicles at the roof





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