Coldest night of the season for cleaning the chimney.

It hit 28 degrees F. in Nampa last night but we had a frost warning so Mom and I covered the plants against frost.  Another frosty night is coming Thursday so I will be pulling the plants this weekend and get the garden cleanup started as the growing season seems to have come to an end.   I also got the chimney cleaned today so we did not use the wood stove for heating the house in the morning.    Instead we used a couple of electric space heaters just warm the house up.  I don’t care what anyone says, wood heat feels warmer than electric heat even if the temp. gauge reads the same temperature.  Perhaps it is a throw back to our cave man past.

The chimney sweeps got the stove cleaned and added another pipe section to the chimney stack that got well clear of the roof line and works around a large front yard tree.  The triple walled Stainless Steel stack sort of stands out on the roof but the wood stove is drawing much better compared to the “city code” approved stack.  It is a bit of over kill for the wood stove but I think the cost going beyond “city code” is worth it if it makes the wood stove burn cleaner and is safer.  After my last few chimney cleanings the “Sweeps” have told me that creosote build up has been minimal.  Adding the extra stack to make wood stove draw more air and keep the pipes clear of creosote is a good thing in my book.

We have burned a bit off poplar along with some elm and cherry today and  I’d say the poplar ash and wood smoke is comparable to burning elm.  Goodness knows burning an apple or cherry wood does smell much better in comparison.  I think I’m the only one on the block that relies primarily on wood heat and right now that is very noticeable.  In a couple of weeks my fire wood smoke smell will only be one among many.  I had someone come up to me while working in the front yard and tell me how they loved that wood smoke smell as it smelled like Fall.

Mom and I dug up the sweet potatoes and the first thing that happened is Tucker the Peke went into doggie rototiller mode and had to dig up that bed.   I don’t mind to much but his digging site selection but he tends to go after my Marigolds when given access to my garden area.  I’m working on a taller raised bed concept for next year that will be easier for me and will not require temporary fencing to keep the doggies from digging plants up.

Last but not least if you have nicotine stained walls and apply heat and lots of humidity those stains will start running down those walls.  I want to clean those walls but I can say after my high heat and high humidity experiment curing sweet potatoes  in a small bathroom as a bonus all nicotine smoking tar stains ran down the wall.   If you are cleaning a home of a smoker you might want to try enclosing the room, put in a small humidifier and a small electric heater for a couple of days before you wash the walls and paint with Kill-Z.  I’m not sure that will help with the smell but I can say it will make cleaning the dry walls much easier.

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3 Responses to Coldest night of the season for cleaning the chimney.

  1. Pam says:

    In our location we are one of few if any people who heat with wood. Oh we have hot water heat but you are right there is nothing better than heat from a wood stove. In the fall I usually wait until the sun goes down to start my fire for the evening. I don’t want to draw attention to ourselves. But when the late fall or early winter brings serious cold, I don’t hesitate to light the fire during the day. I figure at that point everyone has their windows closed in both houses and cars. We’ve used wood for the last 19 years so it’s not that our neighbors don’t know, I mean we have solar panels on the roof and an attached greenhouse…we are the crazy neighbors. Thankfully I’m also the one who organizes neighborhood picnics and group septic tank clean outs for a discounted price so we aren’t too crazy. Stay warm!

    • Jamie says:

      Pam: Wood stoves are very prevalent on my city block, but I think I heat with wood primarily and the others around me tend to use wood for atmosphere and to augment other ways to heat.

      To go “stealthy” I have the Big Buddy propane heaters and the 15-20 pound tank hose attachment. I love the Big Buddy propane heaters for a backup heat source. I did a test a few winters back (before wood stove) and on 0 degree F. nights a 15 pound propane tank would last about 5 days. I turned off the tank at night and the house would cool to about 50 degrees and using just one Big buddy heater on high I could heat the house to about 65 degrees throughout a 1200 sq. ft. house in about 45 minutes using a small 12 volt/battery powered fan to push the warm air around.

      Solar energy is something I want to install next year to help with getting more self sufficient. I’m adding/ using solar yard lighting and small solar panel and battery banks for electronic devices.

      I have bought a a few 100 watt panels so far and want to add some more for the new solar array I want to install. That job will have to wait as I try and get the house as energy efficient as possible and all those other minor jobs around the house done.

    • Jamie says:

      Dedicated to Pam!

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