Sunday, January 25, 2009

Furnace Moments

Northeast Ohio has been blasted again with Arctic cold air. Our thermometer read 2 degrees this morning as my wife went out into the frozen tundra, fed the chickens and checked out the Hardy. She let me sleep in today...but that wasn't for long. When she opened the firebox only one log remained from my last-evening's filling. It was a large 14 inch round piece of cherry that I shoved in last, on top of all the logs. According to my wife, the cherry log wasn't burning well as it then set alone on the grates. She threw in some small logs on each side of it to help it out. The OWB's temperature was down below 150 degrees and it was having a hard time coming back to maximum she came in to wake me up. I put on my smoking coat and hat then went out to the OWB to see what was going on.
By the time I got out to the Hardy its temperature had risen to 160 so I knew things would be OK. Once I took a peek inside I saw what was causing the problem... it was that large cherry log as it had burnt away mostly on its middle leaving only its edges sitting on the grates. The center had burnt away. I threw in a couple extra smaller logs, about 4 inchers...and rolled the large log on top of them. This is a technique I have learned to help the fire burn hotter and allow the larger logs a chance to burn more evenly. It seems in the Hardy most of the burning is concentrated on the center grate so...when there is a big fat log sitting there...the center tends to burn away leaving only the edges touching the grates...Its not a major issue but it can make the blower work overtime to keep the temperature up. So all of this took me about 10 minutes of my morning. To some of you this may sound like a miserable way to spend my Sunday at 8:00 am but to me it is a privilege to watch my summer labor provide the family with a warm house. Remember...the woodpile is more than a woodpile...and because of all that wood in our yard, my wife and I don't have to experience the trauma of the propane truck backing up the driveway to refill our tank.

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