My hard-working husband sharpened up a chainsaw and a spare, put on his protective gear and finally started working on our wood supply today.
It's not that we don't take seriously having a good quantity of dry, seasoned wood under cover, ready and waiting to be used. We've talked about getting going on the wood for a couple of months now, but there have been plenty of other tasks that seemed more important.
Although we heat with wood, we also use L.P. gas in the house, too. It fuels our water heater and kitchen stove and we have a gas wall heater in the main part of the house as a back-up. Plus, this past winter Papa Pea spent many hours in the basement installing a medium-sized gas furnace there that we could use if we were to be gone from home for any length of time.
I'm sure another reason prepping firewood hasn't been at the top of our list is because we have a good amount left that we put up last summer. Matter of fact, hubby has guesstimated we might have enough for two years of heating completely dried and ready to use. (We may have gotten a little carried away in the wood working department last year.)
Believe me, it's not a usual happenstance to have so much wood remaining at the end of a heating season. So why do we this year, you ask? (Didn't I hear somebody ask?)
Well, this past winter we experimented. We decided to try keeping the temperature inside the house lower than we had before. I can't truly remember whose idea it was or why we made the decision to do this, but boy howdy, did it ever make a difference in the amount of wood we went through.
But, aha! Were we uncomfortable? Suffer from chilblains? Have to wear our outside clothing inside? Nope, not in the least.
The temperature was kept in the range of 64 to 68 degrees and unless we were spending a couple of hours in a sedentary state (which doesn't seem to happen often around here), we were always quite comfortable. Actually, the few times when we stoked the wood stove a little too vigorously and the temperature rose to 70 degrees or so, both of us were too warm, complained and a window got popped open. In previous winters we kept the house heated to about 70-72 degrees so there certainly wasn't a huge divergence in the lower temperature this winter. We've talked several times about how much less wood we burned this past heating season and are pleased as punch it turned out to be so much less.
Needless to say, we can't see any reason not to continue following the same plan next year. But that doesn't mean we won't continue to put up enough firewood so that we have no worries . . . no matter what comes our way.
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