Sunday, November 16, 2008
Great Balls Of Fire
Hey! Success! Woohooo! Man, this thing is great! Yesterday Allen finished adding the last three sections of pipe and extending it through the eave of the roof. We still have some flashing and caulking and insulating to do but the heater functions now. And for those of you who may be wondering, I cooked Allen a very nice steak dinner for his efforts. I had a fair amount of firewood cut already but big efforts must now be made to get a lot more cut. the basement is staying very warm and I'm sure the heat is migrating to the floors but I am making some observations and notes from some strategically placed thermometers to see just how much this heat is affecting the rest of the house. This is just a really big experiment and I'm not sure how much things are going to be affected. I have one vent in the bathroom floor already and am monitoring the temps there but have not placed any other vents in the floors elsewhere. This is obviously, a very subtle way to heat but I have found that simply heating the underside of a house can really make the upper parts more comfortable. A warm floor can do wonders.
Now, I know a lot of you are probably wondering why in the world would I do this? Why not just be done with it and put the thing in the living room? and it was my first thought to do that: Well, several reasons: 1. I have bad allergies to smoke and dust. To keep a wood burning stove and surrounding area clean (to what I would consider clean) requires a fair amount of effort. 2. It's less effort to carry the large amounts of wood into the basement. 3. Warm floors. Unless you've experienced that it's hard to explain! 4. I suspect it will be easier, through the use of natural, convection currents, to move the warm air into all areas of the house from below, rather than trying to force it back into the bedroom and bath if the heater were on the same level. And convection currents require no energy; heat just rises! 5. The wood heater sits close to the water heater and so will make for very short runs to install the system to obtain hot water from the stove. And I don't have to worry about looks of the lines showing.
Unfortunately, the basement is not 100% sealed up so I'm not getting the full benefit of the heater but I believe it is helping considerable. I was worried about the chimney and would it draw right blah, blah, blah but the thing works like a charm. Once you get a roaring fire going, just shut the doors and close the damper. There are 2 small slots in the doors that you can adjust the opening to about 1/4- 1/2" on both sides and let it go. Open the damper all the way when you go to open the doors and that's about it. No smoke billows out into the room when you open it or are getting the fire started. One other great feature is that this heater has a built in fan that comes on automatically when the stove reaches a certain temp. It takes the hot air that builds up between the stoves 2 outer walls and forces it out into the room. If the stove drops below and certain temp, the fan shuts off. The only problem with this is that it scared the crap out of Lika. The fan is actually very quiet but he didn't like it. What a scary monster! It breathes fire and now was blowing it's hot breath on him! He wouldn't go into the basement for love nor money (or dog treats). I finally had to carry him in there and we sat by the heater with him for about a half hour to show him it wasn't going to eat us. He seemed to calm down but still would not sleep anywhere near it.
On a different subject, this is some stone that I have gotten off the new job I'm on. This is a good job for several reasons but one of the best is that it is nearing completion and so there are lots of finish products around. Finish products that they often have a lot of excess of and tend to throw it away. You know, what I mean. So everyday I go through the trash or once the laborers know I am looking for certain things, they will save any scraps for me as they clean up the building. The large dark, blueish stone is well, bluestone. I think it may be a type of slate. This stuff is anywhere from 1 1/2"- 3" thick and I hope to use the thicker pieces to make a hearth for the heater upstairs. The other stuff is travertine marble and I'm not sure what I'm going to do with that if anything. I could probably get enough to do a small bath or the pantry but it is soooo cold and hard I don't think I actually want to use it anywhere I would be standing a lot, say in the kitchen or pantry. Maybe a back splash or something. Any ideas? I have to be somewhat secretive about getting this scrap as the foreman for the tile setters is an A-#1 a**hole and would make his guys bust it when they threw it away, just to keep me from being able to use it. He is Hispanic and took an immediate dislike to me. We are having to work in the same area and he does everything he can to interfere with me completing my work. Which is strange because most of the Hispanics I meet just go out of their way to help me but a very few of them have very...ummm, Neanderthal ideas about women.
Well, anyway, this post is getting very long so I'll end it. Got lots of work to do anyway. Hope ya'll have had a great weekend!
*Jerry Lee Lewis (never been a big fan but I do like this one song)