Friday, December 2, 2011

Heat . . . at last!

How I've eagerly waited to post this news! We have a wood stove!

You may remember me posting about how we keep our house at 50 degrees. Because we had made this choice, it took a while for us to realize that our propane furnace actually wasn't working. Of course, we checked it when we moved in and it kicked on just fine, but it wasn't pushing out heat. Mr. Bushman tinkered with it and through the use of Youtube videos, he thought he'd fixed it by flushing the lines. It kicked on one time AND pushed out heat so we left for Thanksgiving vacation thinking it was fixed. When we returned we discovered it wasn't working again.

We didn't want to invest any money or effort into the propane furnace since our goal was wood heat. So, we decided to use electric heaters until we could install the wood stove. In all the stuff that came with the house, we found three space heaters. Here's one hard at work:

This heater kept the bathroom and one bedroom about 65 degrees at night.

We shut off any room that didn't have plumbing by closing the door and/or hanging blankets. Here's a picture of our living room with a heat barrier up.

There's some stove piping in front of it. :)

We turned on two space heaters at night and the house stayed 50-65 degrees. In the daytime, we just roughed it since we didn't need heaters to keep the pipes from freezing.

A couple of days ago some friends gave us this heater which works better and is quieter than the one shown above.

This kept our kitchen and laundry room above 50 at night.

Since this has been our heating set-up since Thanksgiving we have REALLY been looking forward to that wood heat.

We were very lucky that some neighbors had called us in September when they were buying themselves a wood stove and asked if they could pick one up for us. They sent us this information about the stove. We got it for only $695 because the neighbors got a discount for buying two! We were also told that we get a $75 rebate on our taxes since this stove is considered to be energy efficient.

Here's Mr. Bushman installing it with the help of a friend:

They put down tile but because we were in a hurry they didn't use grout. To keep it in place, we will just put trim up around it.

We are lucky that our house had an existing chimney that we could run stove pipe up.

See the existing hole above the sweeper's head?

My job was to rearrange the living room furniture to make room for the stove.

I thought I was going to have to lose some furniture, but this L design worked.

After about seven hours of work on the part of hubby and his friend, we finally had a fire! Within about 15 minutes it was 70 degrees in our house!

I took down the heat barriers just as soon as we knew it worked!

We were able to pick up sticks from the yard and have a truckload of seasoned wood delivered for $35. It may be kind of expensive to heat our house this first year due to being unable to buy wood and let it season ourselves. However, I'm convinced that next year we'll save lots of money by heating with wood. To be honest, though we haven't ever heated exclusively with wood so I'll keep you posted as to its cost effectiveness.


  1. careful with the wood fireplaces, they can suck in as much cold air as they ever warm up. While the area immediately around the stove may be warm, the use of the air will pull in air from any where it can bringing the chill in with it.
    Something I'd do if I was living off of the grid would be a solar water heater and run the pipes through the floors to warm the house (and create electricity as it falls from the roof to the floor). A little pricy to start but when you are factoring a 30 year life cycle it gets real cheap real quick! take care!

  2. Wow - I thought we were roughing it at 60! You guys continue to impress me - is there anything Mr. Bushman can't do?! Oh, & the living room staging looks fantastic:)

  3. Howard, thanks for the link! I'll definitely look into this. This house in not off the grid nor is it our forever house. Our plan is to live here for 3-4 years while Mr. Bushman builds us an off-grid home. We have lots to learn about building houses between now and then though. :)

  4. Yahooooo!!! Let there be heat!!! :)


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