Our heating bills for January and February were each over $400, most of which was made up of gas charges for heating. And that was with us being away for a week each month, during which we set our thermostat to 45. Yikes! Maybe it’s just because we were used to low bills in our 350-square-foot apartment, but we still thought we could do much better. It was frustrating knowing that we’ve taken all the little steps to save on energy (covering drafty windows with plastic, setting the thermostat to 64, wearing extra sweaters and wool slippers indoors…) and still end up with a huge bill.
We had heard from several neighbors, friends, and websites that a wood-burning stove was an energy-efficient and effective way to heat a house. Even better, you could have a wood-burning stove insert put into an existing fireplace so that you need not have a freestanding stove in the middle of the room (something a bit more than scary with kids in the house). The big snowstorm that knocked power out of half our town and left many households without heat (even gas heating systems have electrical parts) basically sealed the deal for us. Oh yes, and with an EPA-certified clean-burning stove, you get a big tax credit that cuts the cost by a third.
So yesterday we had the wood burning stove installed and we are all cozy now!
Some photos of the process:
Before: Just a regular ol’ fireplace, which was actually quite well insulated, but couldn’t really heat the room very well.
Delivery on Thursday: The stove is the big cube and the insulating pipe for the chimney is in the box at left.
Always a favorite toy.
A close-up shot: Sadly, we have a little smoke in this one, but in fires since we’ve had a clear view. You get that comfy by-the-fire visual with the major heating capacity of the stove.
Now if only it had a pizza-oven insert…