Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Downside of the Wood Stove

As I've said before I love my wood stove. It gives an ambiance to a room that nothing else can match. The heat from a wood stove is also very penetrating and in our case the flagstones on the wall behind it and the blue stone below it heat up an radiate heat as well. However with the stove comes work. I've already shown you photos of my kids doing what they love best, stacking wood, splitting it and dragging it from the woods. But I get to clean out the ashes.

I use an old canning kettle to collect the ashes instead of the standard ash can that you can purchase for too much money. It has served me well for years and frequently gets hot coals thrown into it. But the drawback is having ash dust everywhere. I've looked into the vacuum ash can setups, but they are very expensive and the ashes have to be cold. I rarely let the stove go out because that would be just too inefficient. So I shovel all the warm ashes out and try to float as little dust as possible around the immediate area. Still you almost have to dust three times a week (which I don't)! I've thought about air purifiers but I figure they will get clogged with dust. I highly recommend wood stoves anyway and in our case you can't beat free heat! There is a lot of exercise involved in heating with wood so it's a healthy pursuit!

We used to have a Jotul stove which was an excellent little stove and now we have a soapstone Hearthstone stove. I don't like the catalytic converter in it. It get's in the way. I would also like a top loading stove but alas our hearth cannot be set up that way.