Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Wood Stove?

Photo from HERE.

OK....so I found out today that our natural gas prices (which heats our home and water...and runs our dryer and oven/stove) are going up 30-50% a month!!! That can be a $70/month increase!!! AACK! Isn't that insanity? It's just plain ridiculous! Horrible....just horrible!
Anyway....sorry..had to rant for a second....OK...so our home is older...and Chris is working at insulating it and residing it....but let's face it....heat during the winter, has this funny knack of escaping our home easily. We keep our thermostat between 62-68....chilly. We wear slippers and hoodies and warm clothes all winter. We are trying to be as frugal as possible without getting our toes frostbitten.

So....anyway...I said all that to ponder the idea of getting a wood stove. We would love one of those outdoor ones...but alas, I don't have $10,000 in my back pocket to purchase one..and we don't like to borrow. (Anyone take Dave Ramsey's class? LOL) So....we have looked at some indoor ones....but see...here lies the issue...we have an addition on our house. The upstairs is our bedroom and the downstairs will be our living room...but right now it is completely unfinished...well~eventually...most of our family/entertaining time will be done there...when it is completed. So technically...if we purchase a wood stove..it should go in there..but as I said before, it isn't done yet nor ready for a stove. PLUS...I called about our homeowners insurance...and they won't accept us getting one....so we would have to find a new homeowners insurance. ARGH.

So then I think....why not put it in the basement. We can buy an old, ugly one and put it down there to heat our home...well...great plan till Chris tells me our chimney is POOOOOPY! Drat! So now we dont' know what the smartest move to make is with all this. Chris is going to insulate the floors and the outside of the walls and try to finish up the siding before the cold hits....but still...I wish we could get a wood burner as well..or something to help.

You all have any ideas or suggestions? Advice or anything at all to help us figure this heating/money issue out? I would love to know how you all heat your homes..and what works and doesn't work for you!!! Thank you so much!!!

17 comments:

  1. What about one of those pellet stoves, I heard they are safer and cheaper than wood and you might not have to worry about the insurance company...I don't know because we can't have a wood stove, our house is stone and we can't cut in for a chimney. But we do use gas stoves to suppliment the oil heat. They are ventless so we can put them in any room. Sorry I can't be any more help, I don't know much about wood stoves.

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  2. I don't have any stellar advice, but we've been contemplating the same exact solutions as you spoke of. We too would love an outdoor wood furnace, but as you mentioned, the price is standing in the way. We've also been trying to figure out how to put a wood stove in the basement and use it to heat the house....but alas no solutions yet. We're even looking into geothermal. We do have a newer home, 8 years old, we built it after living in a way old home that had zero insulation in it for the first few years of our marriage. Yea, that was fun!!! I can still remember gutting the living room, tearing down the plaster and lathe and staring at daylight blaring (not peeking) in through the cracks in the outside siding that you could now touch from inside our living room. My DH and I just turned and said at the same time "no wonder we've been so cold!" LOL I'll keep watching your blog to see if you've come up with a solution and I'll try to remember to let you know if we do the same.

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  3. I'm sorry that your bill will be going up and you are running into dead ends with trying to find a solution. I hope that something works out! I would love a woodstove too.
    ~Kelli

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  4. We have no option because of the trailer, we're stuck with an oil furnace. Dad said we could switch to electric but that's not going to be any better when that cap goes off in March (You know about that, too, right? Our electric bills are going to go up....we have Allegheny and it's like 60%)

    My Dad has a corn burner. It's like a pellet stove but burns hard corn. Dad buys a ton here or there from local farmers that he knows. It's cheaper than anything else right now and works great. His house is warm and although you can smell the corn when you see the stoves at the Fair or out somewhere where they are showing them, you can't smell it in my Dad's house. But popcorn smells better than wood smoke! LOL Some homeowners insurances won't accept the corn burner, either. It just depends!

    Good luck!

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  5. I'm not sure how I can help, other than to say that we go thru the same thing in summer here...our electric bills are $250 a month minimum because of the a/c. It's outrageous! But I refuse to sweat all summer (which here lasts about 6 months out of the year) so we pay up the behind!

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  6. ugh!!! its awful how much everything is especially the things we need!! We too are facing record breaking fuel prices this winter. What about looking into coal burning? sorry I can't help you more. On a brighter note I really do love your new blog look!!! Take care Katy!!~Wendy

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  7. Katy, we have a pellet stove in the basement....it heats up the whole house for us most of the winter...our stove is just vented out the side of the house...you don't need to build a chimney, and our insurance covers all this......don't know what it's like where you live though.
    Sorry, can't help much......
    Marion

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  8. Katy, we heat in the winter with a wood stove, but we incorporated it into our building plans so we could have a special (and safe) chimney constructed. It does a wonderful job, but it is a lot of work... not only keeping a rather LARGE supply of wood on hand, but also having to get up in the middle of the night (usually 2 or 3 times) to keep the fire going.
    I'm with Marie- maybe a pellet stove?
    Talk to Shannon at http://askland.blogspot.com/- that's what her and her husband do for a living. She could probably give you all kinds of ideas!!

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  9. Hi Katy...thanks for stopping by and leaving a sweet comment!! My sis put a wood burning stove in their family room and she loves it...I would love to have one here...we have a GAS fireplace (newer house) ...nothing beats the crackle of a REAL fire though. I hope you find a good solution...I like to keep it chilly in our house too...I am VERY frugal!!
    Stop by again...love your blog!
    Blessings,
    Robin

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  10. A wood stove is an excellent idea!
    We were recently faced with the same decision. We purchsed a wood furnace (with a blower) that you tie right into the existing ductwork. It is in our basement and we had to put in a new chimney but it will pay for itself in one season. Over all I think we paid around $3500 for everything. Check out NorthernTool.com for Vogelzang wood furnace. They actually have sales on them right now!

    Good luck:)

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  11. Hi Katy-
    Thanks for visiting my blog. I also host one more business related at http://www.woodpelletguru.com
    You do sound like a good candidate for a pellet stove. You are also in Harman's back yard which is the best there is. Unfortunately, timing is a little awkward. In the Northeast Harman is sold out for at least 2008 and we are have commitments through first quarter 2009 for stoves. The benefit of investing in alternatives such as wood pellets will last for many many years but you may find that you will have to wait one more year to get one.
    Write your congressmen and senators and urge them to support the wood pellet industry for heating is the best short term advice I can give you. That is what is needed at this point for us to get to the next level to meet demand.

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  12. Well. I can not even THINK about heat in my home at this point because it's 100 degrees here where I am this time of year.

    And it makes me want to scream!

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  13. Hey Katy, fellow PA gal!

    It's so ironic that you posted this because I was pondering pellet stoves today. Our oil is ridiculous at $4 a gallon and we have two tanks - one for upstairs and downstairs. We've just always been heavy on clothing in the winter and kept the downstairs one filled and let it kind of rise upstairs (though a chilly bathroom is the worst...frozen toes, ergh!).

    I will pray for your solution, Katy!

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  14. Hey katy!!I was away for a few days,so just getting to read this now!!Not sure if anyone else suggested this or not,but what about buying one of thoes kits from a home improvement store with the plastic for the windows?I don`t know the exact name,but you use a blow dryer to seal the plastic onto the windows.We did that last winter and it seemed to help alot.Hope I helped!!

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  15. Katy,
    I feel your pain!! We have neither central heat or air. We have a behemoth of a gas stove in our living room, but the blower is broken and our landlord will not fix it, so we use space heaters. That is tricky though, because you can only have certain rooms plugged in at a time and cannot have certain lights turned on. Many a cold night we have had to go outside to the utility room/laundry to flip the switch to turn back on the power!!
    I hope you find what works for you.
    Elise

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  16. I just know that many families are facing the same dilemma this year. When our home was built, we added a wood stove. Insurance is a often a problem but Farmers State offers insurance to wood burners if you have that program in your area.

    It is very important that your foundation being reinforced under the wood stove or it will eventually sag if you have a large stove. We had a solid concrete slab poured under our stove and a special chimney installed ~ all done for under $2,000. It paid off our first winter.

    Also consider the safety of the children. Those stoves get extremely hot and a hazard for young children unless you purchase a heat safe gate to go around it.

    Just some things to think about.

    Wishing you the best!
    Lea

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  17. A lot of folks are in the same boat with the heating issue. If you can save up the money for an outside wood stove it will be well worth it. In the meantime, you might be able to cut down on the oil use with something like this. It’s just a ceiling fan with a heater on it. It could serve as a supplement to your main heating until you can afford the wood stove. Just a thought! Beautiful blog!

    http://www.ehealthsupplies.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=160

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I am always so grateful to read your comments! I thank you for the time you took to visit and share your thoughts with me. :o)
May you enter as a stranger and leave as a friend!
Warmly, Katy