Our new fireplace insert is in. We'll pick it up on Saturday. Last weekend Brian took out our old wood burning stove, cleaned out the chimney, and removed the crumbling chimney cap. We've been keeping the thermostat down and turning on the oil heater in the mornings to get the chill out of the house. I am seriously in love with my feather blanket. The price of propane, and the cost of gas in general, has kept us diligent in using that resource only as much as is absolutely necessary.
This new insert is listed at 75% efficiency. That's pretty amazing. Not only will it drastically cut our propane use, it will likely even cause us to use less wood than we normally would. Our old wood stove was ancient technology and was starting to rust. It had no fire brick inside, was small and didn't really keep the heat overnight. This one will keep a fire going 12 hours, that's nearly twice what the old one did.
And it's pretty! We got the one with the solid brass door with the large glass viewing area. We'll be able to see our fire without opening the door (like I did in my icon). It has a nifty feature that pipes hot air down the front of the glass which prevents soot from forming on the glass. I'll have to do a new icon when we get this installed. Plus, this is going to get us back a lot of floor space. The stove sat in front of the fireplace. This insert sticks out about 8", so we will gain a few feet! I have a tile project in my future to make the area look a little more upscale. I love doing small tiling projects!
The top of the stove is actually a cook surface. I plan on making popcorn on it this season. I also have a really nice hunter green porcelain coated cast iron steaming pot to put on top to keep up the humidity up and to put in some essential oils to keep the house smelling spectacular.
The big thing looming isn't getting the 400lb insert in place, it's getting the new fireplace lining down the chimney. There are a few obstacles to doing this. First, the steep pitch to the roof means Brian has no comfortable place to be or to put the sleeving while he feeds it down. Second, he has to stand on a very tall ladder to do this and suffers from a distaste of heights. Lastly, the cast iron flue has a 5.5" opening, and the pipe is 6". This is going to require the use of a friend with a torch.
With luck, we'll be able to have a fire by Sunday evening. That is my fondest wish.*so does Brian, but I'm working on getting that problem fixed.