Sunday, February 5, 2012

Got Wood?

It's a cold, windy night here, and my loving husband is feeding our monster.  She's hungry on cold, cloudy days and nights.

Here she is in all her glory. 
I keep thinking that she's the illegitimate offspring of a potbellied stove and an octopus.
I always wonder when I'm going to go down and find new ducts.

And a closeup of her "face."  She's a Lennox Torrid Zone 42RB, circa 1930ish? 

We don't have central heat, we have the monster.  For some reason, I think of her as female.  She eats logs like some women eat chocolate.  Some women gobble it, but she's one of the ones that savor it.  If we have her dampers adjusted right, she enjoys those logs all night long, and so do we.

Heating with wood takes some getting used to.  I was used to campfires, but this is a whole 'nother ballgame.  There are air intakes, there are vents, and there are dampers that all need to work together for max heat efficiency.  Then there's chucking wood.

Luckily we have a chute that comes in from the outside, so getting it into the cellar isn't a big deal.  That is, unless you catch a log wrong and mess up your elbow like I did.  We have all sizes of firewood, from sticks to logs.  On still days, the draw doesn't work as well and you need more kindling.  On windy days, you have to close it up a little bit.  I'd say you get the drift, but you're probably scratching your head wondering why in all the world we don't just install central air. 

Well, besides being way too expensive to install, all of this great firewood on our place would go to waste.  That's hardly ecological.  We get other benefits out of it as well--the kids love to help with the smaller pieces, and that teaches them that work can be fun.  We get a workout loading the bigger pieces.  Scott cuts ours and splits it by hand.  If I can manage to catch the logs right, it feels good to heft them and swing them into their proper spot.

Sure, sometimes we get smoke in the house.  Usually, that's because we haven't swept the chimney as often as we should.  It's happening a lot less this year, so we must be getting a handle on it.  As we get used to it, I realize that I wouldn't want it any other way.  Gotta go.  Time to feed the monster again before going to bed!

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