These pictures were taken in my back yard, but it is not typical of the area. Let me explain. There are two kinds of heat pumps. There is the most popular one with a unit inside the house that supplies the hot or cool air, and there is another unit outside that dissipates the heat or cold as required. In the summer, The cool air will be pumped in the house, and you can feel the heat blowing from the unit outside. In the winter, it will be cold air on the outside. This is an air to air system.
A second type of heat pump is the air to water or geothermal heat pump. The big advantage that I have is the efficiency of the unit. In the summer, the hotter it gets, the less efficient the air to air heat pump becomes. You can understand that when you are trying to cool the outside unit with 95 degree air. Similarly, in the winter you are trying to get heat out of 30 degree air. In my heat pumps, we cool and heat with well water, which is 73 degrees year round. Even paying the electric to pump the water, it's still a lot less expensive than the other kind.
A by product that we have is the water that runs through the heat pump, and this we have running a couple of sprayers out in the woods. The sprayers work whenever the heat pumps are operating, which is almost constantly when it's so cold. It's this spray that you see in the trees and bushes behind our home. A few years ago we had an extended cold spell with temperatures as low as 15 degrees. After a few days, there were several TONS of ice hanging from the trees. Icicles 2 feet in diameter at the top were hanging from the trees and I was surprised that no limbs were brought down. I guess it's because the icicles went all the way to the ground without tapering very much. They were actually columns of ice extending from the ground up to the trees.
In talking with the neighbors about the bobcat in the last blog, they mentioned that the beautiful feline was trying to get water from the bird baths. Unfortunately, they were frozen. They said the cat headed toward our property where the water from our aid conditioning/heating system runs every day. I'm not surprised. We see crows by the dozens crowding in for water. Squirrels, rabbits and many other birds are also seen there. One morning I saw a handsome buck drinking and it was a perfect picture, or would have if I had a camera. Since it has been very dry for so long, many animals manage to come around sometime during the day or night. If I had some discipline, I'd sit by the rear window in the early morning with my camera.
Now that I've completed this blog, I realize that, by comparison, we're not to bad off compared to some past years. As I get older it's getting easier to complain. Of course, as I get older I dislike the cold more and more.