Thursday, October 23, 2008

keep the home fires burning

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Fall is most certainly here.

My primary indicator? Not the leaves, oh no, but filling the furnace. We have a wood burning outdoor furnace by Central Boiler. It is a fantastic piece of equipment that we've had installed since about December of 2005. So, this is our fourth season running it.

First fire after the installation in 2005

Like any wood burner, you have to fill it with wood once or twice a day. We're blessed with a huge acreage to cut wood on, and Jude works with 2 neighbors who all cut wood from the same property. This year, we're playing a little bit of catch up. Our wood shed hasn't been filled, and there are lots of trees out in the woods that are just waiting to be cut, split and hauled. You might imagine that our weekends are full of Jude being out trying to make a dent, but always having other things come up that prevent getting a good, solid day in. Our furnace burns a lot of wood, due to the nature of our home (Large, uninsulated, clay-tile house. With lots of air leaks. And radiant heat.)

Winter a few years ago.

So, meanwhile, I toss wood in the furnace during the week. I just dress Elizabeth for the outdoors, and she follows me on my route to and from the woodshed with the wheel barrow. She helps by tossing small pieces of bark and sticks into the wheel barrow, and handing me the pieces she can pick up as I load them into the furnace. Good for exercise! It's not too bad, really - it takes maybe 10 minutes a day. I think that 10 minutes (and exercise) is well worth not paying thousands of dollars a year in natural gas for our old indoor furnace.


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