Minus Twenty Demands Baking Warmth

Published Categorised as Personal

I didn’t know what to expect as we headed into a sudden temperature plunge last weekend. Going down down down to -20…-21…-22C. Would my heat pump handle it? It’s not called a cold climate heat pump for nothing!

There are some growing pains in learning how to use a heat pump. “What’s there to learn‽” I hear you say with a puzzled frown. “You turn the thermostat to 21 and the furnace goes on and off and on and off.”

Heat pumps aren’t furnaces. Mine stayed on during the entire cold snap. It kept the flow temperature at a steady 35C. Unfortunately, with no waste heat from a furnace anymore, my basement tried to morph into a fridge, which screwed with the flow temperature. I had to use my space heaters down there. Upstairs, I baked.

Close up of brownie in cupcake cup with a wedge cut out and a spotlight lighting up the front edge with a couple of rich dark brown crumbs.

Baking didn’t really warm the place up. But then I discovered what I’ve heard others say: heat pump heating is warmer at lower thermostat settings. Nineteen is the new 20. It’s warmer at lower temps because slow, steady heat feels warmer then hot roaring on, place cooling, heat roaring back on. The trick is to find that sweet flow temperature in relation to the weather so the heat pump gets to be itself not a furnace facsimile. So I won’t be too cold or too hot, but just right. UK and European heat pumps have this weather compensation built in. We Canadians are so advanced, we do it manually.


Meanwhile, I have a freezer full of feta-caramelized kamut rolls, chocolate chip-macadamia nut cookies, and pecan brownies. Yup, my parents will be getting some. After all they paid for the ingredients!

My Duck logo walking on my books in pink and blue shading.



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