Saturday, February 07, 2009

Warm This Winter

If you look closely on the left side of the stove there, you will see some pipe rising up and going off to the left. This is a contraption I have rigged up to transfer some of the hot air blown out from the double walls of the stove, up to the bathroom. It works pretty good. There are three vents on the front of the stove that force the hot air out and into the room. I simply covered one of the side vents with a standard 4" boot, attached a 90 and a 4' section of pipe to get it up to the ceiling, another 90 etc and over to the vent in the bathroom floor. I had already cut this vent in the floor, in anticipation of the day I have some type of HVAC system, because it is a slate floor and didn't want to cut through that later. If the pipe could be straighter it would undoubtedly work better but as it is it keeps the bath anywhere from 69-72 degrees on a fairly cold day or night. It might do a little better if I insulate that pipe; not sure.
My intentions are to run another one of these off the vent on the other side, to go to the bedroom. The air blows pretty forcefully and warm air goes up anyway so it does help to get that warmth up there. I have discovered that, since I'm not here during the day to keep a fire going all the time, that the heater does not help a tremendous amount in keeping the rest of the house warmer. On the weekends when I'm here and can keep a continuous fire, you notice a big difference. The floor in the bedroom is very warm and the rest of the area of the house is more comfortable but during the week it just doesn't do much. I get a very hot fire going when I get home and it warms the basement quickly but the mass of the floors require a continuous heat. Still, it does help some and when I put in this other vent it will help the bedroom for immediate heat, I believe.
I bought a cheap bathroom exhaust fan and Allen installed the box in line with the duct work in an attempt to move more air up the pipe and into the house but it actually cooled the air too much to work any better. Plus, it was loud and required power. This method doesn't require additional electricity.
So, it has been pretty cold for here this past week and I've been burning a good bit of wood. We had a very light day at work on Wednesday, I think, so I came home and split the wood you see in my holder. We only poured a piddling 4 yards of concrete, and it was a footing, so I needed some exercise when I got home. I enjoy splitting wood actually. It is kind of soothing. If you have nice seasoned wood that is! I have read several other blogs of women that homestead and they express interest or a desire to be able to split wood but one said she was too weak. Now, I understand many women might have health conditions that make this type work impossible. And some women are built so petite that it would be very hard for them. But, for an average built, decently healthy woman, it is just a matter of conditioning. I swing a 8 lb. sledgehammer at work but it is just something I've gotten used to and that's the key to the whole thing. Just start out a little at a time but you have to do it everyday to build your muscles up. Most might not want to go to the extent I have but women need to build their muscles up in order to be more efficient. What if your husband gets bad sick and can't do some of that work? And I've read about that very thing happening on one woman's blog. Women need to become more self reliant about such things. The way things are going these days, manual labor or just doing more things by hand, is something many women might find themselves at the mercy of. Splitting wood is not something that requires massive brute force to a large extent. It is mostly technique. And a matter of a sharp axe and good maul or wedges. Of course, you have to be able to move the sections of wood around in order to get them into position but even this can be accomplished with a pry bar. So, ladies, build those muscles up! It will make you feel better in many ways.


Sissy T. said...

A few years ago I helped cut/haul/unload 3 huge loads of wood. Then it took a week but I split it all myself, then stacked it in the dry. Wasn't hard at all; trick is: lots of rest and water breaks. It was very satisfying seeing the walls lined w/a winter's fuel. A good slogan is - "Yes, I can."

Anonymous said...

What a great idea that heat transfer pipe is ER, WTG!

Maya said...

Amen! I get incredibly frustrated when I hear women claiming ignorance or weakness as an excuse for not doing something. Learn how or build up the strength, I say. It is a strange world that as life has gotten easier for us (less manual labor required)people seem to cling even harder to gender stereotypes and feign weakness at picking something up that a woman 100 years ago wouldn't have batted an eye at.

That is a great idea for using the excess warm air. I hope one day that I can actually claim to think that far ahead when constructing something!

amy said...

I completely agree! I am pretty adamant about using the chainsaw, stacking wood, etc. and when it comes time I am sure I will do my share of splitting. It makes me feel good, is good exercise and I think it helps keep Josh and I on very even footing. After all, he cooks and cleans just as much as I do, so why wouldn't I do my part in the heavier stuff? I think many women would be surprised what they can do and how strong being a bit more self-reliant can make you feel.

The Scavenger said...

What a great idea to make the best use of that heat. You're smarter than the avergae bear for sure, good job.

edifice rex said...

Hey Sissy! Yes, it is very satisfying to do work like that and see such an amount accomplished!

Hey Molly! Well, one thing about construction is it teaches you how to think creatively about how to get things done.

Hey Maya! You're right on, I get very frustrated too about that sort of thing. Or they just flat out say, I'm not going to do that; my husband can.

Well, I don't know that I thought that far ahead! I just got lucky on that one.

Hey Amy! That's it exactly; just the knowledge that you can handle such work and do it is very empowering and strengthing. Lots of women could use that self-esteem boost. And yes, if women really want equal rights that means us helping out in these types things too.

hey Chris! Well, thanks but I was just lucky on figuring that one out! That and so many years of seeing similar things on construction sites.

Woody said...

Annie...come up and split a cord to show me your technique.

edifice rex said...

Hey Woody! LOL!! Bring that cord down here and I'll be happy to!