Friday, January 16, 2009

NOW...It Is Cold!!

Wow, so this is what cold is! This morning my dashboard on my car said it was minus 11 degrees. The weatherman said the temperature never got above 9 degrees throughout the day. Interesting to me...however...was my pre-work commute visit to my Hardy revealed a half-full firebox of wood...go figure. The coldest night of the year and I was still half-full well into an 8 hour burn. I'll take it. Our house has been warm as the way.
What confuses me was that on Tuesday the temperature just began dipping into the single digits and when I opened my firebox on Wednesday morning, I was staring at nothing but grates...all the wood was gone...ashes to ashes...dust to dust. I was concerned because I knew colder weather was coming and this wood consumption was substantial. But when life deals you a lemon...make lemon aide. So I took that opportunity...the empty firebox... to rotate my grates. I grabbed my long hook and I flipped the center grate as I saw it had been sagging a little...noticeably lower than the front and back grate. Please refer to my blog entry titled "Hardy Ash Maintenance," where I go into more detail on keeping your grates healthy. How you "work" your ash has a lot to do with the lifespan of your grates. I tried taking a picture of my grates from the view I get when I peek up into the ash bin but the camera didn't like the lighting situation. I will try again tomorrow, in the daylight and if the picture comes out good I will post it. Perhaps this will give you a better perspective of what I see.
Anyhow...the Hardy grates are symmetrical...that is they are the same for all three grates, front middle and back, upsides and down. My experience has been the center grate seems to get the most abuse from the heat and weight of the logs so I keep an eye on it by peeking up into the ash bin and checking to see if any of the grates are sitting lower than the others. This cold morning, I took the opportunity of the empty firebox to flip the center grate and put the sagging side up. Once I did that I threw in a bunch of small round logs, then a row of larger logs, and then one huge log on top, just big enough that it fit thru the door. I do this so the small logs burn down quick and make a nice bed of coals. This helps the larger logs burn and relight easier when the blower kicks back on. The huge log on top will be nice and dry (kiln dried) by the time it gets its turn to sit on the grates...which will be my bed which time I will have filled the firebox up again with new wood while the huge logs burns away. Nice seems to work for me.
What confounded me thru this cold snap so far was that I burnt thru an entire loading of wood Wednesday morning when it was pretty cold, but on Thursday and Friday, when it was really, really cold I only went thru a half of load of wood. I think all the logs were about the same size...and all of it was cherry...and I never adjusted the home the reason, I'll take it.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Web Site Counter
Family Vacations