The Hearth Woman

Posted on November 6, 2011 by

A few months ago we purchased a wood-burning fireplace insert, and I’d like now to give a report on our experience with it.

We have set our forced-air furnace to 68F in the mornings and 64F the rest of the day. This keeps me from freezing my tail off while getting the fire going in the morning, and keeps the temperature of the house from sinking too far down at night or when we are away. This is also useful for circulating the air in the house, and keeping the basement from freezing.

With a log or two burning well the house temperature is usually between 72F-86F, so I’m walking around in light clothing once it gets going. We have a medium-sized stove for an area under 1500 ft², and it keeps the living areas cozy warm and the sleeping areas cool. The kitchen is a bit cut off from the rest of the house, but the appliances keep it warm. This gives me incentive to cook and bake.

Getting a fire going is much more work than I expected, and feeding it with air and wood can also get complicated. I understand better now why it’s called “tending the hearth”, and was seen as a main task. I feel like I am constantly poking and prodding it, staring at it and worrying over it, and watching over it. My children are also kept busy with the task of collecting kindling from below our trees and refilling the firewood box.

I’m saving a lot of money and my house is considerably warmer, but I have a better appreciation for conventional heating systems now.

Posted in: Homemaking