Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A Grey Foggy Day

Today the fog is hanging around, it doesn't seem to want to go away. The kids walked to the bus stop in the fog and drizzle. The dogs weren't too keen to go outside from their nice warm laundry and I didn't blame them. I've lit the fire the early today as it is rather chilly. Normally I don't light it until the afternoon to save on firewood. If I'm home on my own I just put on another jumper and brave the cold. The fire is lit mid afternoon so the house is warm when the kids come home.

Back in the days when we had central heating, the heating would be on all day during autumn and winter. For the last 10 years we have lived in a house with only wood heating. It is amazing how much more conservative with resources you are when you have to collect the wood, split it, stack it and light the fire yourself. Days that are just a bit chilly just don't seem worth the effort of lighting the fire, we put on extra clothes, snuggle under a blanket or go outside and do something active.

If we do light the fire early I try and make the most of the heat and dry the washing in front of the fire. Today I'll do loads of washing to make good use of the fire, its also a good excuse to stand in front of the fire as I hang the washing out.

Using wood heating is certainly more work than gas or electric heating but it does have some benefits. You are much more conservative with your resources, you get exercise from stacking and splitting firewood (much cheaper than a gym membership), a fire is friendly, wood is renewable and we seem to suffer from far fewer colds and sore throats now we don't have central heating. There are disadvantages too: it takes longer to heat the house, coming home on a cold, wet night and knowing you have to light the fire to get warmth is not fun; it takes time to source the firewood, split and stack it; fires are messy; and chimneys must be cleaned annually.

All things considered I like the fire. It suits us at the moment but that may change as time goes on. Our son is happy to split the wood for us at the moment and we live in an area where there are often fallen trees that need to be cleared or branches pruned so wood can be collected easily. We also have enough room to store firewood.

The rain has just started so its definitely a day for staying indoors - lucky I stacked the wood box yesterday!
The wood pile waiting to be split and stacked.

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