Jan 8, 2010

Wood Heat

This is a picture of our back porch--for the winter, that is. In the summer there's a glider and wicker rocker, a cute table, and green grass beyond. But not right now.

Last year we spent the winter with the thermostats set at 58. That was because the economy hit us hard enough to put my husband out of work for nearly 4 months. In the winter. Up north. This year, I made a vow. Yes I did. I declared that I would NOT be cold!
For my part I hustled furniture all over the house and created a more compact space that needed to be heated. For my husband's part he set up a wood stove in the basement (because that's where the chimney was) and put in the supply of wood.
After getting over the initial fear of our house burning down (that one took a while!), I have been amazed at the way the wood heat keeps the temps comfortable. That is wonderful. It's also wonderful that the fuel source (the wood) was HALF the cost of kero and propane in our area.
We've been bantering about the idea of putting the wood stove where our "seating area" is. The flue for the chimney is just to the right of the door next to the couch. That would mean the couch and coffee table would have to go.
Could I give up my couch and coffee table? I love my couch. The coffee table is convenient.
I don't know. Do I need to call on Clean House and get Niecy Nash to reason me into it? She's good at wrangling things out of homeowners' hands, you know. . .
Anyone else a fan of wood heat?
Anyone else a fan of Clean House?


Packrat said...

This is going to be a book!

I love wood heat. I really, really miss our wood burning stove. For those who have never had wood heat, there is nothing else like it.

Besides it heating almost the whole house (a little over 1000 square feet) (the back bedroom needed a little extra help when it was really cold out), I could cook (simmer beans, soup, spaghetti sauce, or stew meat) on the stove, always have a tea kettle of hot water, and dry the laundry/wet outerwear by the stove. There was always a warm spot to set the bread to raise.

We also used the wood stove to heat our household water. (Of course, this was only in the winter, usually October through May, but sometimes part of September and June.) Our electric bills were twice as high in the summer (no air conditioning) than in the winter. (Let me know if you are interested in how to to do this. With the stove in the basement, you might be able to do this, too.)

The catch? We spent a lot of time getting wood, splitting it, stacking it. And, it is messy. (You know this! lol)

Before you do anything drastic like having to get rid of your couch and coffee table try a couple of other things first. Put a fan in the stairwell to push the heat upstairs. Are there a places where registers can be cut through the floor? Since hot air rises again a fan or two would be probably all you would need to get the air moving upstairs.

FarmMom said...

We only use wood to heat our home - 3, yes, three! - woodstoves! I love that it is very cost effective and you cant beat that homey smell of a fire burning. On the downside, we can't leave the house all day anymore. Last night when we arrived home, it was only 48 degrees. CHILLY!

If I could bring myself to enjoy less square footage then we would not need 3 stoves!

Seating areas are wonderful for when company comes. Speaking of company, it's about time for some company with or without a camper in tow.......!

Roxanne said...

Packrat--I beginning to branch out just a touch with heating up leftovers on the wood stove. I've definitely taken advantage of the quick-drying effects!

I've found that my cultured buttermilk ferments very quickly in the "fire room" (as we call it). I haven't tried bread rising yet, though.

I am DEFINITELY interested in the hot water heating you mentioned. Perhaps you could do a series on your blog about the benefits of wood heat. I will definitely link to them!

The splitting and stacking and carrying is a breeze for me--my husband does all of that LOL!

My husband actually DID put holes in the floor with registers and fans to pull the heat up. They really, really work. We have even found that the tile in the kitchen is nice and warm. We have radiant heat in our floors LOL!

Roxanne said...

FarmMom--Three? I remember the one in the basement, but I can't picture where the other two are.

I know what you mean about leaving the house. I tried damping the fire and filling up the woodbox before we left for about 4 hours. The house was OK (about 58) when we got back, but we know that 100% wood would not have us coming back to a warm house!

We'll see what we can work out for visiting!

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