I was out in the yard yesterday, digging my way through the snow to the shed. I happened to look back along the side of the house and saw a very curious formation of ice that stopped me in my tracks.

What I saw simply didn’t compute. It was a pillar of ice just over 1 metre tall and nearly 10 centimetres wide, standing on its own, beside the house.

It was directly under the furnace exhaust, and surely that was no co-incidence. Once my mind started working again after being blown, I thought perhaps the furnace exhaust cooled as it exited the house, and the moisture in the warm air condensed onto the inside of the cold pipe. It finally dripped to the ground and gradually created the ice stalagmite you see here.

My nephew, who has forgotten more about HVAC systems than I’ll every know, confirmed my suspicion. He told me that he’s seen this kind of thing before and it was no doubt caused by the cold weather we’re having.

Before the last few years, I haven’t lived in a house in more than fifteen years, and for the decade before that, I lived in other people’s houses as a border, so I’ve never really needed to know things that homeowners know. This may be old-hat to you, but it’s new to me!