“HERD ABOUT IT”
by ana grarian
Early this year I posted quite a bit about learning to live at reduced temperatures. Since my home was heated with fossil fuels (kerosene) which are both environmentally damaging at all stages of extraction, production and use, and also very expensive, I chose to live very frugally. In addition my furnace is very loud which made sleep difficult. Watching TV was a constant dance of turning the volume up and down and sometimes even conversation could be difficult.
This year my chimney has been replaced and I am able to use my wood-stove.
I am aware that wood burning has some issues too, but it is a more sustainable fuel.
My wood-stove I believe was hand made by the previous owner, or custom made for him. It is a simple cast iron box with a door and four cast iron pipe fittings with screw on caps to control air flow. I was a bit concerned about learning how to use it.
It works very well. My wood is extremely dry, having been in storage for about a decade, which I am sure helps. On days when the outside temperature is moderate, or at night, I can keep the drafts closed down and it will hold coals that can be encouraged into a fire in the morning. Those fittings stay cool enough to adjust bare handed except when the fire is burning strong. The stove also has a fan which moves heat out of the corner and distributes it through the house.
I foresee less time huddled under blankets this year,
and more time spent learning to cook in a cast iron dutch oven.
Soon I will start cutting my own firewood. There are plenty of dead trees which I should be able to use this year, but I am already starting to stockpile greener wood for the future. More good exercise in the fresh air. Burning wood warms you twice is the old saying. Most likely more than that as there is the cutting, hauling, stacking, filing the wood-box and finally the heat.