Monday, November 30, 2009

Wood Pile

I recently thought back to my first ten years here. During this time I heated my home exclusively with wood. It was a smaller home back then and it is now probably 50% larger.

The house would hold heat pretty well. Just with passive solar I was able to hold off on lighting the first fire of the season until mid November and I was usually able to stop burning by Tax Day, April 15.

The wood stove was getting old, and I got tired of all the chimney fires. I eventually ended up adding a heat pump and I've never looked back. I don't miss all the time I used to spend cutting, hauling, splitting, stacking,curing and bringing in firewood. I had it easy because I got all my wood from my property. I never had to scavenge roadsides or get forestry permits.

When I see folks drive by with overloaded pick-up trucks, I wonder if they realize how much time they spend heating their homes. I wonder if they realize how much more it costs them in time and material than if they just paid a utility bill.


Blogger Donna said...

The insurance company made us stop using the wood furnace in our old house, and I was SO happy! In order to put wood in the furnace, we had to go outside, then down to the basement. Not fun in cold weather, and I was always the first one up in the morning and the one at home all the time; so I was the fire-tender. Up and down stairs with armloads of wood is hard! Not to mention the worrying about whether we'd end up burning our house down.

4:15 AM  
Blogger Auntie said...

when I was young, many Saturday mornings were spent scavenging for, cutting, loading and stacking wood for heat. Our house had a fireplace and a small woodstove that we usually kept going.
Where I grew up, many people used the term "make wood" as in,'going out to make wood today'. It was a Finnish term, as I recall. You usually heard the term with that lilting accent. My dad always used to say "only God and Finns make wood" but I noticed that sometimes he himself would use the term.

5:41 AM  
Blogger darev2005 said...

These days I tend to make much better use of what wood I have. Make of that what you will.

1:51 PM  
Blogger mark said...

We like to have a fire in the fireplace on weekend evenings, but for aesthetic reasons rather than to generate heat. I don't miss schlepping around for wood, the muddy footprints between the back door and the wood stove, constantly fiddling with the fussy chainsaw, or the inevitable puff of soot whenever I opened the stove door.

4:32 PM  
Blogger Tango said...

I remember my grand mother used brickets. that a word here? She had a little foot stool that would hold the glowing coal inside to keep her feet warm.

Before we came to the States we had oil heat. My mother always had trouble with it and often flooded it with oil. Then she would put a roll of toilet paper inside to soak up the extra oil before lighting it.

6:37 PM  
Blogger g said...

Last year was the first year I burned wood to heat the house. I really enjoy collecting the wood throughout the summer. I love the wood heating heat as well. I also have a heat pump but it plays second fiddle to the wood heat.

7:19 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Donna, I remember the old coal furnaces as well. Two of my former houses had coal storage rooms and furnaces that were converted coal furnaces.

Auntie, if farmers can make hay while the sun shines there is no reason the Fins couldn't make wood.

Darev, and you do it well.

Mark, and don't forget smelling like chain saw exhaust and bar oil.

Tango, when my mother was a lass he father would heat a brick by the fire and then wrap it in a towel and put it by the foot of her bed to keep her warm. Heating certainly has come a long way.

g, You will reconsider this in 20 years. I was still thrilled with it when I was your age.

5:35 AM  
Blogger Auntie said...

Guy, you said you liked Darev's wood. Heh heh heh heh

5:49 AM  
Blogger g said...

auntie: LOL

7:10 PM  

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