Dec 4, 2008

The heat's not on

We put in a woodstove two years ago. We got a great deal on a gently used, newer Jotul stove, and paid what seemed like a fortune to have a chimney put in. After a minor flue issue last winter (in which it simply wasn't working and we went through two cords of wood in no time), we made sure everything was in proper working order this year.

The result was that we haven't had to turn on our furnace yet. Not once. Wow! Today it will be a high of 19 degrees outside. We buy some of our wood, but get much of it for free by offering to cut down trees that people need to have removed. This year we spent $75 on an old cord of wood, and will probably spend $100 on a better cord (and I bet we'll have lots left over).

This works for us for two reasons. First, we have a very small house. The footprint of our main floor (on which we live exclusively in the winter) is only about 650 square feet. The whole house heats up quite nicely, and the stove stays warm through the work day and through the night (the fire is usually gone, but there's a nice bed of coals).

Second, we don't mind the work. During the summer and fall we work with another family for probably a total of 4-6 Saturdays to cut, haul and split wood. We've got a woodpile out back, and hauling wood in each night is my daily weightlifting. We sweep around the stove once or twice a day. It is so very worth it for the radiant warmth that the woodstove provides (so much better than forced air, which never really seems to warm me up unless its set way too high).

And the best part is that we're saving a lot of money on our gas bill too!


  1. How did that work for your homeowners' insurance? Up here in duluth, we have an old chimney in the house we're in and what looks like the cemented over opening for a stove pipe vent.

    Did you have any issues with insurance for your house with a wood stove inside providing heat? Easy approval? Did your rates go up?

    Thanks Joey,

  2. Hey Scott,

    Nope, insurance did not go up. We had to declare it with our insurance company, but they just wanted to know- it didn't change our rates at all. We did get a new chimney put in though, so I'm not sure if an old chimney would change things... and by the way, heat's still not on!