Polar Vortex on the homestead

This week we have been dealing with temperatures in the negatives. As much fun as that sounds it comes with challenges. We replaced our wood stove last fall because the previous one didn’t provide enough heat for our whole house. This year we are using a very large Timberline wood stove that puts out tons of heat. Even on the coldest nights we’ve had, everyone has been warm and comfortable. It is a delightful change. So here’s what we’ve learned; the stove needs to be rated to heat more square feet than you have and if you’re off grid like we are only use a 100% radiant heat stove such as cast iron or soapstone. Our last stove used a blower to move the heat from the fire box out into the house. It wasn’t radiant unless it was running at a very high temperature. The fire box was surrounded by a steel box that held the heat until the blower circulated it into the house. The stove vented on the sides so it didn’t blow towards the areas we frequented so the heat took a while to get to us and was diminished by the time it got there. The stove was rated for the square footage of our house but it wasn’t enough and we were chilled much of the winter. Finally the blower motor died and we got much less heat. With our radiant stove we don’t need a blower or electricity and as soon as it gets going we start to warm up fast. An added benefit is we have a nice cooking surface so we can get the most out of our stove. We also have a wood cook stove in the kitchen for extra heat when needed and of course for cooking and baking in the cooler months.


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