Sunday, October 11, 2009

Getting Ready

The weather here in Northeast Ohio has been cold and wet since the last week in September. We have yet to get a frost but we have been flirting with the 30's at night for about two weeks. I have yet to fire up the Hardy for the season but I have started to take steps today. My wood pile is good to go. No issues there. I can do a little more stacking to make things neat but I don't have to ration my wood this year. I took the rear panel off and checked the wiring and insulation to ensure the mice haven't messed anything up. I checked the water level and it seems fine. The grates are set up how I want them. and my ash is about 4 inches from the grates.
As of now I am heating my house with propane. My propane company will charge me $300 to keep their 500 gallon tank in my yard if I don't burn at least $300 in gas each year. I thought of going solo and have them take the tank away but after breaking my ankle last year I kinda woke up to the prudence of having a backup system in case I cannot fulfill my duties of furnace feeder this winter. So...I burn propane in the fall and the spring just enough to keep the "man" happy with me. I don't like spending that much money since I could spend it on something a chainsaw...but I look at it as insurance and quit stressing over it.
I was hoping to fire up Smoky (my daughters named the Hardy that) once November hits but the way the weather has been I may have to start earlier this year. One problem I have noticed when I heat with propane when the Hardy is cold is that condensation tends to form on the heat exchanger sitting inside my duct work and the water sometimes drips down inside my forced air furnace. The water in my Hardy right now is as 50 (f) degrees so the temperature difference, when the propane is burning, causes the condensation problems. If I could do my installation over again I would add a valve on both the supply and return lines going to the heat exchanger to keep the cold water from carrying away my heat when I am burning propane.

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