After fighting my way up an unplowed driveway with my intrepid Jeep at around 4:00 PM on a December night, I was greeted by a very cold house. It was about 34 degrees inside when I first lit the wood stove fire. The house was too cold to sit around and do nothing so I went out and took these pictures. The house warms up in about 2 hours before you can take off your coat and it takes all night for the walls to warm up nice. In the morning you’re fine. Notice in this photo that there is no visible smoke coming out of the chimney–when you have a hot fire and dry wood, there won’t be any.
I drain the pipes when I leave so they won’t freeze.–turn just 3 water valves and put some RV antifreeze in the toilet traps. I can’t see wasting all that money and energy on an empty house. I do keep the hot water tank going in my small basement.
It is all worth it for the peace and tranquility of the winter mountains.