The Heat is On!


It’s official.  We have heat.  It has been on for two weeks now.  In that two weeks, the boiler has broken several times in several different ways.  My brilliant husband has repaired it every time.  His brilliance needs to be recognized since all instructions and manuals for our boiler are written in Cantonese, and my husband is as white as they come.  Our second language is not Cantonese.   Let’s all take a moment, hold hands, bow our heads and give thanks to my husband’s handy man skills.  Without them, we would be very cold.

Today we woke up to minus 24 degrees Celsius, without the wind chill.  What?  Are we in Winnipeg?  What we do have is a thick blanket of snow all around us.  It is absolutely stunning.


We have spent much of the last two weeks moving our belongings to the warm side of our building.  Unfortunately, our kitchen resides on the cold side, also known as the dark side of the moon.  So when hunger pangs call, I put on my winter coat and touque and head to the kitchen.  Meals have been a little lackluster as of late, as the goal leans towards speed of preparation as opposed to taste.  I don’t think we have ever eaten so badly.

I always like to end on a high note.  If I were the judge in the battle of Canadian Humans vs Chinese Biomass Boiler, the Humans have a significant lead.  Although future struggles are expected,  it looks as if the Human team will beat the Boiler team into submission with cunning and stove cement.

Plus we just bought six tons of wood pellets.  If the boiler shows any sign of winning we can simply bury it under all these pellets and set the whole thing on fire.

And then run out and buy a new boiler right away.


8 thoughts on “The Heat is On!

  1. Wayne says you guys were born in the wrong should have been, as you are, pioneers!! We are agonizing along with you, especially in the kitchen, which we can now visualize so easily! Way to go Jesse..hang in there, little family..and Happy snowy Christmas! Lots of love, W and N

  2. Update: we now have a somewhat heated kitchen.

    For the curious, we are heating our home with a Lamber Numen DE Series CHLS-0.08 biomass boiler. We are currently burning some experimental fuel from Forman Farms in Seeley’s Bay, Ontario. The fuel pellets are, renewable, recycled, locally produced and nearly carbon neutral – and they smell great!

    The boiler heats water to around 80C, and then gets mixed to around 60C and circulated underneath a 4″ concrete slab in 3/4″ PEX-B tubing on 24″ centers. The massive concrete slab holds a lot of energy – during a recent 48 hour period without heat, the temperature inside dropped only 5C even though outside temperatures were -10C to -20C overnight. The boiler will also heat our domestic hot water, once somebody connects all the bits.

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