A Lovely Wood Stove
We live in an early 20th century house with a brick hearth and built in bookcases. I have always wanted such a set up and loved it for two years. But last winter, I couldn't ignore what was missing: a fireplace.
These houses were built to hold gas burning units, as evidenced by the gas key hole in the floor. I'm not a huge fan of gas heat, though it runs our furnace, because gas is an unsustainable resource. It's also seriously expensive.
Wood is renewable. In a high efficiency stove, wood is an efficient heat source. Free wood is often available on craigslist or freecycle and building a woodpile is simple.
So last winter, in February, we were able to score a wood stove that fits our hearth on clearance at our local Sutherlands. We were unsure of the quality of our chimney so we bought pieces for a chimney liner at the same time.
We hired friend Leonard to help install the liner and stove. He and Alex had to do a fair amount of modification to fit the woodstove in our small space, including placing the unit slightly off center in the opening. This does bother my sense of order, but I can tolerate it for the wonderfully warm heat that fills our house from this tiny stove.
Last night, the temperature dropped to mid 30s overnight. Alex lit a fire in the early evening, adding logs every hour or so until he went to bed at midnight.
When I woke up this morning, heat was still emanating from the fireplace and there were still hot coals. Mmmm....toasty warm! We have yet to turn on our furnace this year.
A few weeks ago, I attempted to start a fire on my own. I sadly couldn't do it. I do not have the natural affinity for fire that Alex does and I always defer to him to start campfires and get the wood stove going.
I practiced under his eye for a few nights. This evening, night one of his business trip to California, I made the fire myself!
There is more pleasure to come from this wood stove. In early 2011 when I prepare taxes, I will be able to take a credit for 30% of our purchase price through the American Recovery Act. This credit, which applies to new stoves purchased and installed in existing homes, expires December 31, 2010.