1. Winter

House info pages:
1. Winter
2. All year
3. Security and WiFi
4. Checklists (PDF)T-handle of water main valve (arrow) in pantry cupboard. Turn on upon arrival, turn off before leaving; directions are indicated.Hot water heater, next to the furnace in the garage. The arrow points to the red control dial.Woodstove in living room. Arrows point to catalytic converter (upper) and damper (lower).

What winter can look like! Photo taken March 26, 2011 
at the Hansel House.

Parking: Park in the garage or the driveway well inside the street snow plowing line. Two cars can fit tightly in the garage (please check that your ski rack will clear the top of the door opening, and be careful of the post in the middle of the garage). The driveway is two cars wide and almost level, so several can park outside. There is a tub of sand in the garage just in case. Do not park on the street or you will be towed. 

Plowing: We have contracted with Mountain Elements Co for plowing the driveway. They usually plow at ~4 AM and again at ~8 AM to clean around cars that have been moved. If you arrive late in the day and it has been snowing, be advised that you may have to shovel a berm left by the city plow and up to the garage (only shovel as much as necessary; Elements will take care of the rest later). There may be some snow left by the garage door that can interfere with its operation, and they do not shovel stairs of the entry-way. Shovels are inside the garage. It’s much easier to shovel while snow is fresh, before it gets walked on. 

Do NOT park on the street except only briefly. Leave an interior light on to let them know our driveway should take priority; dont leave exterior lights on after 10 PM. Keep driveway clear of toys, shovels, firewood and other items that can damage snow plowing equipment.

If the garage door gasket is frozen down, pop it loose from the inside with the garden spade. Watch when you close the garage door that it stays closed; if it reopens, chip any ice from the edge of the garage floor, the track, or the door gasket. On a similar note, snow build-up in the various sliding glass door tracks can cause those doors not to close properly; please brush out any debris and double-check that the locks have actually latched.

Water and heat: The water main must be shut off in between visits in winter. The water heater should be set back to “Vacation", but not off (dont want it to freeze!) 
>> Download full checklists for arrival and departure items: Checklists (PDF)

When arriving:

  • Turn on the water. The main water shut off valve is in the pantry off the kitchen, a T-handle sticking up through the bottom shelf in the far bottom cupboard. Turn it a quarter turn counter-clockwise.
  • Turn up hot water heater to medium or high (red dial at base). The hot water heater is in the back right corner of the garage.
  • Close any faucets that might have been left open.
  • Turn up thermostat (in back hallway on main level). When the alarm system is disarmed the thermostat’s program will cycle warmer in the morning and evening, cooler during the day and at night, beginning with the next set-point in the cycle. You can override the current cycle’s setting with the + and - buttons. When the alarm system is armed again, the thermostat will change to steady 55oF.

When leaving, please (please, please): 

  • Turn water heater down to “Vacation”. Please don’t turn off or empty it.
  • Turn the water main’s T-handle valve OFF.
  • Open sink faucets in kitchen and bathrooms for the pipes to drain, then close them. 
  • Flush toilets to empty the tanks. Add splashes of anti-freeze to the tanks and bowls (bottles are under the sinks in the bathrooms).
  • Turn off all lights and close all windows and drapes.
  • The thermostat will set itself back to 55oF when the alarm system is rearmed. 
    Critical: do not turn heat off!

Woodstove: Open damper (pull out sliders in front and at back upper right) at first, then close them (push in) as fire gets hot, first the back right one (catalytic unit), then the front one (damper). Control the rate of burn with the front one. Open both sliders before you open the door again or smoke will pour out. Be careful not to allow burning logs to roll out of firebox. 

Split wood and “energy logs” are in the garage. Kindling is in a box on the patio off the living room. Fire starter packs and matches are on the bookshelf. A small eco-fan set on the stove will start to turn as the stove heats up. An electric fan should start automatically when the fire box heats up; you can control the fan’s speed with a small knob mounted on the left front leg of the stove.  Leave the ashes for us to remove, they need to be COLD. 

Next : 2. House info, all year >>

© Jeffrey Paduan 2019