Last week I introduced you to the most important home improvement that we’ve made during the past 10 years. Did my appreciation for our hard-working wood stove come through? I love that big old slab of iron and stone. Our stove has saved us money and given us peace of mind.
We talked last time about why to purchase a stove, and what different brands offer. Let’s move on to the meat; how to save money during the stove buying process.
Timing your wood stove purchase can save big bucks.
After visiting every stove dealer within an hour’s drive, we settled on purchasing the Heritage stove by Hearthstone. This stove was rated to heat a house our size (1900 sq. ft.) or slightly larger. We’ve found that it easily keeps our home warm, and often we’ll leave the man-door to the garage ajar so that the warm air heats our garage as well.
Many dealers are antsy to switch over inventory in the spring, when the new models arrive and the winter rush has died down. We found a dealer in our area who offered a 15% discount for buying during a weekend in April. That was a significant savings on a stove that cost nearly $3,000.
We also purchased essentials such as billows for fire starting (much better than blowing incessantly!), fireplace tools, and a proper splitting maul. Make sure that you purchase a maul and not an axe. A maul is generally heavier, with a blunt edge. This combination forces the log to split rather than the axe head just embedding the wood (ask me how I know!).
The satisfying “crack” of a well-split round
You’ll find few things more enjoyable in life than the swing of the maul and the satisfying “crack” of a well-split round of wood.
The neighborhood kids loved to watch me whack away at the large pieces as I was learning to chop. They would laugh as I repeatedly struck the wood with no apparent effect, all while I was sweating like crazy. I grimaced and informed them that I was teaching a lesson about perseverance. Eventually my 15 min. per piece splitting average (whew!) turned into a steady stream of chopped wood. Proud? You betcha!
Installing the Wood Stove
My husband is an excellent handy man. He can create, build, and engineer, but he draws the line at cutting a hole in our roof for the stovepipe. The Mr. built and tiled the hearth, and we hired a friend with more carpentry experience to help with the installation of the stovepipe.
When it came time to put the stove in place he called in a favor. Four large men showed up to carry the extremely heavy stove (475 lbs!) into the house and set it in place.
Peace of Mind
The greatest advantage of having a wood-burning stove is the peace of mind that comes with knowing that we can heat our home regardless of whether or not the electricity is working. We don’t have to worry that it will be 20 below and our furnace will quit.
My husband cleans the chimney yearly and we are careful to always start the day with a hot fire to discourage creosote build-up.
The greatest benefit of having a wood stove is peace of mind. The second benefit is the drastic reduction in our home heating bill. If having a secure source of heat and eliminating your heating bill are desirable, I’d highly recommend considering the installation of a wood stove.
What’s your plan for emergency heating?
Read more about our wood stove adventure by catching the first article in this series, The Best Home Improvement of the Decade, Part. I. You can also read the final installment, which details our savings from this venture. Happy woodstoving!
This article was shared at Motivational Monday, Frugal Crafty Home, and Motivation Monday
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