Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Sweeping

So one of the main reasons we had a wood stove installed this fall was so we wouldn't be paying Questar Gas $150 every month during the winter. I know, we could get on that plan that they have so you can pay the same amount every month, but I just love those $14 gas bills in the summer so much, and I can not give those up. Anyway, we got our January gas bill a few weeks ago and it was $28. It was beautiful. Matt and I were on cloud nine, not because we are total cheapskates, but because we were beating the system. Okay, we are cheapskates too.

I start a fire every evening between 5 and 6 pm, we keep it going most of the night since I am up using the bathroom 3 times a night, and when we all wake up in the morning it is usually a wonderful 72 degrees or so in our house. With me being The Furnace Nazi, the past 5 winters it was around 64 when we woke up. BBRRRRR! I keep the fire going in the mornings until about 9 am and then let it burn out. The stove is cast iron, so it retains quite a bit of heat, but by 3 o'clock in the afternoon, it is perfectly cool so I clean the ashes out, get more wood in, and start all over with the whole process again.



Well, as Matt and I were basking over the glory of our win, we were having a LITTLE bit of trouble with our stove over the past few weeks. Every time we would open it to put more wood in, it would send a plume of nasty smoke into the living room. That wasn't so bad, but when the fire alarms were going off for 7 minutes straight while the neighbor was here, that was not good. We were also having a little trouble, I mean I was having trouble getting the fires to start also because the stove wasn't drawing very well. I used to never have trouble getting the fire to go and now the house was smelling like a tepee instead of a home.
I found a chimney sweep that could come last week and it was a miracle! He was super nice, super clean, and it was super great that he could come because a few other chimney sweeps told me this was their off season and no they would not come. The chimney sweep looked in our stove and said "You guys burn alot don't you?" I replied, "Yes, every single day." "WOW" was his response.
To make a long story longer, he cleaned our stove, the chimney, and could not believe how much he had to clean out of our chimney and that we had only been burning since October. On the outside of our house, he said the outside vent on the top of our chimney was completely sealed off with crap (official term for Heber City Frozen Ash). We gladly paid him his $95 fee and told him thanks so much for not making us burn our house down.
Now that the gas bill just got another $95 chimney sweep fee tacked on to it, it doesn't seem too wonderful anymore! But we have ambience and mood and REAL HEAT dang it!

6 comments:

Tori said...

but if you look at it, that doesn't even match a normal months heating bill, so really you still came out ahead.
Nothing beats REAL heat!
I would love to have a wood burning stove in my house!

Jenn said...

All I can say is $95 is cheaper than the bill I pay MONTHLY! Oh the cheapskate in me is dying with envy!

Anonymous said...

Rachel

No matter how you try and beat the system Karma will find a way of getting you back.

Mark Jones

Anonymous said...

I believe in God not Karma, sorry Mark. Is He trying to teach me a cheapskate lesson??

Bednar Family said...

Wow Rachel I can't believe the difference. A big vote for "yes" on our coal stove theory. We've been debating back and forth about it (truth is Rob loves the idea and I've not been to sure). I'm think it's becoming a definite yes after this info. Thanks for the info and congrats on the cheap bill.

-Cherlelynn

Jenny said...

I told my mom this story and she said "I pay $150 for my sweep." She thought you got a great deal!

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