It's no secret in my invisible kingdom that we going to hit 30 below. That was our 70's winter. The phillies can blame it on a dancing jet stream. I would never blame it on anything else.
Anyway, when jet stream gods deign to give us cold, we would do well to take precautions. My old city house had pipes in uninsulated places and they froze at 30 below.
But today I found out a modern problem. I got a fancy new furnace with many levels. This is super ideal for 30 below, as every corner is warm, and you can read in the rocking chair without feeling the furnace going on and off. Apparently, two levels is not enough.
However, the new furnace came with a fresh air intake. With the old furnace, I kept the furnace room window open a crack for combustion air. The new furnace didn't need that, so I closed the window. Ha! I forgot about the hot water tank and my basement mechanical gas fireplace with conventional chimney venting.
Today, I was smelling burnt air. This is not carbon monoxide, but what you smell with a gas stove. My gas fireplace was stinking, so I kept turning the thermostat down, because the room was warm. And it kept turning on.
Now I realized the venting issue. It was so cold that the gas fireplace was reversing the chimney. blah. So I reopened the furnace room window and everything is wonderful. That was only 20 below. Can't wait for the next thing. I think the pipes in the basement might be too close to the wall, even though we fixed and insulated them. Maybe at 40 below, but Toronto can't really hit that as long as Lake Ontario doesn't freeze. However, a good 'Little Ice Age' will let us walk to Rochester.
I'm glad nobody can read this, because it would scare the bezeebees out of them.