Wednesday, January 18, 2012

No Smoking, Please

While the weather forecasters were predicting a cold, snowy season, I was praying for a mild winter.  For some reason He saw fit to provide us with just that.

Even so, it gets cold around here.  The building is poorly insulated, and it would be irresponsible of us to set the thermostat for our casual comfort.  So instead of relying solely on our 60-year old furnaces, we turn to our soapstone wood stove for some zone-specific heating.

However, the ridge on the roof is impossibly high for getting a good, consistent draft in our chimney.  Far too often the smoke would either refuse to go up the flue or it would play nice for awhile, then wait till we were asleep before it would retreat out of the wind and into our living space.

Choking on smoke and smelling like stale smoke has a way of making a person feel impoverished.  So I urged Paul to purchase an electric motor draft inducer which is installed directly on the chimney pipe.  It's visible in the picture above.

What a great thing!  Aside from occasional user error, we no longer have smoke billowing where it oughtn't.  It's wonderful!

When he installed it, Paul made a couple modifications to our set-up: instead of hard wiring the draft inducer to an electric box, he attached it to a cord with a 3-prong plug.  This allows us to plug it into a timer so that the fan can be turned on and off at regular intervals when we're not attending to it ourselves.

Paul also connected the wood stove air intake to a piece of conduit that he fed through a freshly bored hole in the concrete wall.  Now the fire consumes cold air from outside instead of drawing from the warmed air inside.

A homesteading book in our library speaks well of newspaper logs.  Rolled tightly and held together with wire, they burn much like wood logs.  We appreciate how they help make the wood stretch, and the post office always has a nice stack of newspapers for us to take.  We have giving friends, too.

The door to the 3-H is on the left, and the door to the basement is on the right.
The bright green balls are osage oranges placed there to supposedly repel the bugs.  We really don't need them to come in with the firewood.

One man's trash is another man's treasure, and we treasure the cast-off wood that we've gleaned from our friends.  Fred needed some trees removed from his property, and Bill and Patsy had some demolition wood from their kitchen redo.  So did our new neighbors who just bought the property across the street.  God has blessed us with wood enough for our needs so far, and we haven't even considered buying any yet this year.

Of course, all of this is just to get us by until we can replace the furnaces with something better.  I have an idea, but I'll save that for a different post.  =)

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