We tried to heat with the fireplace and most heat goes up the chimney and the fire is out by midnight. Then we bought a wonderful Franklin stove and I designed a way to close the fireplace and run a stove pipe into the chimney. We cooked some great l=London broils on the Franklin but it wasn’t air tight and the fire was out by morning. Then we went air tight and I bought a vent that was thermostatically controlled. No window but it heated our 2000 sq. ft. home.
For a teacher it was great to get the fresh air and the exercise of cutting trees and all the work involved. I would drive to Virginia and cut a pick up full and go back home then unload. You handle each log five or more times before you empty the ashes. While I was down here cutting wood I was hunting deer. On a teacher’s salary my kids were raised on venison and every ounce was packed and eaten. It was a great feeling to have my 28′ commercial fishing boat blocked up in my driveway with 6 cords of wood neatly stacked and covered and the freezer full of deer and vegetables plus fish and canned vegetables and our own tuna.
Fisher stoves everywhere but after a year the soft ones were selling their stoves. I love the old ways of cooking like an open fire and then a wood or coal stove. Gas is good and we have gas. Electric was the rage and I never liked the surface units but especially the broiler was terrible. I have gas that works without electricity and I believe in being prepared and having backups.
After the price of oil skyrocketed we went from 2200 gal a year down to 300 gal. The American Standard boiler provided very comfortable hot water baseboard heat & also all the domestic hot water a family of 6 could use. Since we were heating our 2000 sq. ft. house with a wood stove the oil furnace was only used for hot water & I found that each morning by turning the red burner switch to “on” for 15 minutes we had all the bath water, dish water & laundry water for an entire day. A huge saving in fossil fuel! I didn’t notice my government doing much of anything to save energy.
Before buying that house on a half-acre, there were only 5 houses on our triangular shaped block, we had purchased a 3 acre piece of land with one acre zoned commercial & the rest residential. That lot was beautiful with hundreds of tall holly trees. I had a set of plans for a house almost identical to the one we bought & I was the general contractor. Not counting the land the new home would be far more expensive than the one we bought. It is nice to own land but the property taxes keep going up & soon you are land “poor”. Unfortunately we sold the property doing well but that piece is now worth many times the old values as is the case with other places we owned & lived.
I never missed a meal due to weather. In the Army I always had a bottle of vodka and food in my rucksack and when times were tough I shared and we all did OK. I was known to carry perhaps a canned ham or knockwurst and a sack of potatoes.
Old saying: “A good soldier never wants”.