Signs of spring and the end of the building phase

This first unusually cold and long winter has really put the house to the test, but signs of spring are finally starting to appear nearby. We met with our builder this morning to go over the remaining to-do list put on hold by the seemingly endless cycles of snow and ice. More snow may still come this week, but the worst of winter is finally behind us now. Unfortunately, several plants put in the ground last fall had to be replanted today as the freeze/thaw cycles heaved them out of the ground. Remarkably, some of the rattlesnake master plants (Eryngium yuccifolium) that were halfway out of the ground were showing signs of life despite the winter trauma. Those native prairie plants are tough! I am very much looking forward to this year to finally bring the construction phase to a close to make this house a home.

The Consort black currant bushes, as well as the Pixwell gooseberries, that were planted last October 6 are breaking dormancy and revealing their first leaves. I can already taste the jam! :)

The Consort black currant bushes, as well as the Pixwell gooseberries, that were planted last October 6 are breaking dormancy and revealing their first leaves. I can already taste the jam! :)

The Inchelium Red garlic cloves planted last November 3 survived the brutal winter and have sprouted into rows of green! Fortunately, the deer have ignored these plants. The Chesnook Red garlic is also slowly making an appearance from under the mulch.

The Inchelium Red garlic cloves planted last November 3 survived the brutal winter and have sprouted into rows of green! Fortunately, the deer have ignored these plants. The Chesnook Red garlic is also slowly making an appearance from under the mulch.

Minisplit maintenance

According to the manual, the air filter in the indoor part of the Mitsubishi minisplit heat pump should be cleaned every two weeks. Fortunately, with the ERV also filtering air, we have not found such frequent cleaning to be necessary despite constant use of the heat pump in this bitter cold winter. The unit higher on the wall of the living room is more challenging to access than the unit one floor below.

According to the manual, the air filter in the indoor part of the Mitsubishi minisplit heat pump should be cleaned every two weeks. Fortunately, with the ERV also filtering air, we have not found such frequent cleaning to be necessary despite constant use of the heat pump in this bitter cold winter. The unit higher on the wall of the living room is more challenging to access than the unit one floor below.

Fortunately, once removed, the filters themselves wash very easily in our laundry room sink.

Fortunately, once removed, the filters themselves wash very easily in our laundry room sink.

A happy (warm) new year!

The winter has so far been unusually snowy and cold. Fortunately, even with family and friends over for the holidays, the house has performed very well. The two minisplit units have had no problems keeping the house warm, with the living areas around the 68 °F (20 °C) set temperature and the bedrooms 2-3 degrees cooler as hoped. The high insulation levels, triple-pane windows, and great air sealing are especially welcome when reading by the upstairs office window! The holidays also allowed us to unpack the last of the boxes. The red candles were a thoughtful gift; they run on batteries and thereby do not contribute to poor air quality created by burning things.

The winter has so far been unusually snowy and cold. Fortunately, even with family and friends over for the holidays, the house has performed very well. The two minisplit units have had no problems keeping the entire house warm, with the living areas around the 68 °F (20 °C) set temperature and the bedrooms 2-4 degrees cooler as hoped. The high insulation levels, triple-pane windows, and great air sealing are especially welcome when reading by the upstairs office window! The holidays also allowed us to unpack the last of the boxes. The red candles were a thoughtful gift; they run on batteries and thereby do not contribute to poor air quality created by burning things.